If you’re more of a Neat Nancy than a Messy Mary, then now is the perfect time to try a painting project — You can use the still-warm weather to speed up your dry time and take advantage of a natural grass “drop cloth” and a garden hose to make clean-up quick and easy.
Check out these 10 clever art projects that’ll have your kids painting on paper, rocks, puzzle pieces, and more.
This boomer of a post gives parents a FULL WEEK of art activities to introduce children to some basic principles of art and art history, as well as various “tools of the trade.” Learn about warm and cool colors, the color wheel (with a bonus printable Color-Mixing Worksheet), Pointillism, making a painted collage, & much more in 5 Art (3 Painting) Appreciation Lessons for Summer Learning.
Have your child pretend to be the famous French Impressionist painter Claude Monet in this “Celebrity for a Day” painting activity. Ham it up with fake mustaches and a faux-French accent while you read some kid-friendly books about Monet, go on a French picnic, recreate Monet’s famous paintings, and more. Get all the details (and some Monet trivia questions) in Paint & Play Like Monet.
We warned you that your kids might get messy during some of these painting activities. Well, this one all but GUARANTEES it! This action-packed outdoor art project has your kids literally “throwing themselves into” their work as they explore different painting techniques on a large canvas of easel paper. Your kids’ splatter, finger, and footprint paintings can even be saved and used for customized book covers for school. Get more tips on this exciting full-body painting project in Big Messy Art.
Have your children paint the ABCs on rocks (if needed, they can trace a pencil line drawn first by you). Then go on a nature walk together (either in a yard, playground, or park or on a more official hiking trail), placing alphabet rocks next to corresponding items in nature you find along the way. Find a flower? Put your “F” Alphabet Rock next to it. Spot a stick? Put your “S” Alphabet Rock on top of it. See how many Alphabet Rocks your kids can lay down along your nature walk. Read more about teaching kids about how “NATURE ROCKS” in Nature Walk with Alphabet Rocks.
Did you ever see one of those beautiful glowing paper lanterns launched over a lake and get to watch it float quietly away in the night sky? Well, your kids can create their own version of a paper lantern this summer, too. Just take away the dangerous flame, and add a battery-operated tea light under these kid-created Chinese lanterns that you can set on a patio table to light up your next backyard BBQ. Get all the instructions for making these lovely decorations in How to Make Watercolor Chinese Lanterns.
It’s time to do some leaf rubbings! After collecting some interesting-looking leaves, children put them under paper and rub crayons over the top. Then they paint away with watercolors and watch as the paint magically disappears off the waxy crayon, revealing their artfully colored leaf creations. Their watercolor-resist paintings can then be made into note cards, bookmarks, or other handmade gifts that you may need for upcoming holidays. Get the low-down on this painting technique in Watercolor-Resist Paintings.
If you’ve got old wooden puzzles that are missing a piece or two, but you just can’t seem to part with those old favorites, have we got an idea for you! Flip a few of your stray puzzle pieces over to reveal the plain wood side, and have your child paint on the backside of each puzzle piece. After they’re dry, your children can decorate them even more by dressing them up with such things as stickers, small photos, and googly eyes. Finish by gluing a magnet (or two) to the other side and — voilà — you’ve got your very own one-of-a-kind magnets. Learn more in Painted Puzzle Magnets.
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There you have it . . . 10+ Painting Crafts for Kids. Now it’s time to stop reading, grab your smocks, and get PAINTING!