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The Best Kids Art Ideas

by Jean Van't Hul
May 11, 2022
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Here are the best art activities for kids! These kids art ideas are easy, fun and work for a wide age range.

Updated May 2022​

For years now, we’ve been working on a list of favorite art activities for kids. Every time we try a new art activity, or even revisit an old favorite, it gets measured against the list in our head.

To get included on our list of favorite and best art activities, it needs to fit the following criteria:

  • The process is fun and open-ended.
  • It’s easy to do.
  • It’s the kind of activity that kids want to do over and over again.
  • Plus, the end result looks pretty great, too.

Who wouldn’t want to do those activities?!

Here are our top 10 favorite kids art ideas.

best art activities pin

Best Art Activities for Kids

neon salt painting
Photo by Rachel Withers

1. Raised salt painting 

This is an all-time favorite kids’ art activity that is loved by all ages from toddlers on up. Plus, it uses materials you already have! Glue, salt, and either liquid watercolor paint or food coloring.

watercolor resist
Photo by Andrea Martelle

2. Watercolor Resist Painting

Watercolor resist techniques are so fun for kids to explore! The simplest version is drawing with crayons on watercolor paper, then adding watercolors to see how the wax resists the paint!

tissue paper suncatcher
Photo by Jean Van’t Hul

3. Tissue Paper Suncatchers 

Make beautiful tissue paper suncatchers to hang in the window! Or you can make a nature suncatcher by using flowers and leaves and a paper plate as the frame for a lovely spring or summer decoration.

Back and Forth drawing of a cat art activities for kids
Photo by Jean Van’t Hul

4. The Back-and-Forth Drawing Game 

A drawing game for kids or kids and adults that allows each person to build off of the previous persons drawings. Low key yet interactive, this back-and-forth drawing game is a fun way to connect through creativity. It also makes a good waiting game at restaurants and doctor’s offices.

DIY Marbled Paper with Shaving Cream and Watercolors
Photo by Jean Van’t Hul

5. Shaving Cream Marbling 

The best, easiest, and cheapest DIY marbled paper is done with shaving cream marbling. This is one of our all-time favorite art activities.

blow painting with straws
Photo by Jean Van’t Hul

6. Blow Painting with Straws

Blow painting with straws is simple and yet lots of fun for kids of all ages! Use a straw to blow liquid paint around on paper, creating interesting designs.

Rainbow of no cook playdough
Photo by Rachel Withers

7. Playdough Modeling and Play 

Here are some of our favorite creative playdough ideas for kids, including making fantastical creatures, using poke-ins, trying playdough mats, forming letters, and pretend play. And don’t forget to check out our recipes for cooked, no-cook, and edible playdough!

butterfly painting
Photo by Jean Van’t Hul

8. Symmetry Painting

Symmetry painting is also known as blotto painting, smush art, squish painting, and more. Regardless of the name, kids of all ages love it. It’s easy, fun, and the result is unique every time. And it’s also a perfect Valentine art activity, too!

Spin art for kids with squeeze bottles of paint.
Photo by Jean Van’t Hul

9. Spin painting

Spin painting is a favorite kids art activity that can be done with a salad spinner or with a kids spin art machine. A comparison of the two methods plus ideas for what to do with all the spin art.

splatter_painting_rw.jpeg
Photo by Rachel Withers

10. Splatter Painting

Splatter painting is exactly what it sounds like! This action art activity is a big-time favorite with all the kids we’ve known. Super easy, super fun, and super messy, you’ve got to try it!

How about you? What’s on your list of top 10 all-time favorite art activities for kids?

By the way, if there are some art activities on the list above that you haven’t tried yet, we promise you they are good ones that are worth exploring with your kiddos. And if there’s something on that list that you have done, perhaps it’s time to revisit it?

More Kids Art Ideas

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The Best Kids Art Ideas

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