Kids adore art activities. They are also wonderful for their development, from using motor skills to hand-eye coordination. Art provides them with an avenue for self-expression, exploration, and creativity. However, it can sometimes be difficult to think of new projects for the children. What are good art activities for kids?
Good art activities are interesting and challenge children without overwhelming them. It is also important to provide a variety, from activities incorporating nature and STEM skills to experiment with texture and design. But most of all, good art activities are playful and enjoyable.
Childhood involves various developmental stages, maturity levels, and, of course, individual interests. That’s why we’ve created a list of 50 fantastic art activities. The suggestions vary, so there is something for everyone, no matter their age.
50 Art Activities for Kids
Below are 50 art activities. We have rock cactuses, pendulum painting, beaded trees, robotic art, crystal flowers, and more. Some are individual projects, others are collaborative, all of them are fun.
Acrylic Paint Nature Sun Prints
Acrylic Paint Nature Sun Prints is a beautiful project that combines art with nature and the science behind our sun’s power. The materials are easy to the source: cotton fabric, acrylic paints, and leaves and flowers. If the end result were framed, these would make a treasured gift to someone special in the child’s life, such as a grandparent.
Autumn Leaf Painting
Autumn leaf painting is a STEAM art project. In addition to creating some lovely art, it has the following aims:
- Teach children color mixing
- Discover ratios required to achieve the desired colors
- Expand language and knowledge through discussion
The materials required are simple: stock card, primary-colored paints, sponge, mixing board or pallet, and a variety of decent-sized leaves.
Baby Turtles Using God’s Eye Weaving Pattern
The woven baby turtles are adorable. It uses the same concept as the classic God’s eye weaving technique, but using craft sticks (popsicles ticks) and a little “turtle” face is drawn on with a marker.
The wrapping of the yarn is great motor skills and hand-eye coordination. These techniques will help when tackling more challenging textiles arts such as more advanced loom pieces, knitting, and crochet. It is also useful for design and builds projects, including robotics, which can require finicky detailed gear work.
Beaded trees are another eye-catching project that combines nature with art. Supplies are basic: clay, “tree” like twigs, and beads. They will make a lovely display piece when finished.
The project is also good for kids, utilizing:
- Fine motor skills
- Pincer grip
- Hand-eye coordination
Blow Painted Peacocks
Benefits of straw blowing include:
- Oral motor input
- Speech development
- Sensory input
Borax Crystal Flowers
Borax crystal flowers are an artistic twist on the basic STEM crystal-making activity. It is also a brilliant glow-up to faux-flowers which, let us be honest, can look a bit sad compared to the real deal. Kids will love watching their flowers transform, and the results would make fantastic party decor. Win-win!
Bottle Caps Mosaic
Bottle caps mosaic makes a fantastic collaborative project for children. This would be great for a class, homeschooling co-ops, and after-school programs such as scouts. While they can be done on a small, individual scale, the results are far more dramatic and satisfying when done on as a big statement piece. The end results will make a treasured display for years to come.
Branch painting is a versatile project that can be done individually, as with the beaded trees, or as a collaborative project for children. The results vary from being gorgeous, sophisticated pieces to whacky Dr. Seuss delights. A wonderful way for kids to express their inner style and creativity while also working with nature.
Button Art Tree
Button art trees are such a cute activity. It is also a great way to use all those spare buttons hanging around. The project can simply be a whimsical hands-on craft that uses fine motor skills and glue. However, this activity can also be a great opportunity for the children to:
- Learn colors
- Sort sizes
- Sort shapes
Chihuly Paper Bowls
Chihuly paper bowls are a colorful project for elementary school kids and above. It also makes a great tie-in to learning about the glass artist Dale Chihuly. Of course, the sophistication of the results depends on the quality of materials used. For younger children, using basic markers is perfect. But older children might want to experiment with other paints or advanced inks.
Clay turtles are a fun and cute clay art activity that focuses on the texture. A lot of kids in the tutorial used the bottom of their shoes to create the texture of the shell, but other materials could be worked in to provide greater breadth. Plus, working the clay is using their pincher skills and igniting their creativity.
Collaborative Circle Painting
Collaborative circle painting is another group art activity. This STEAM activity was developed in response to the extra stress put on both educators, parents, and children. The core of the idea is simple, but the results can be anything but.
The aims of the collaborative circle painting project are:
- Build self-esteem
- Build empathy
- Build a sense of community
Collaborative wings is an easy yet gorgeous group project. Each child is given a feather to decorate, and then they are put together to make wings. A fun project that, when finished, will look brilliant on the wall of a classroom, game room, or community hall.
Color Mixing with Coding for Preschool Kids
Color mixing with coding is a preschool STEAM activity. It is a digital activity that teaches the crucial art skill of color mixing.
Those with older children can check out the color mixing coding and art activity that uses Arduino. It is the same concept as the preschool one but requires a foundation in coding.
Both are fun activities that bring coding and art together.
Credit Card Art
Credit card art does not mean it is expensive. Instead of paintbrushes, you just need plastic cards, such as old loyalty cards or hotel key cards. This makes the project a scraping activity while also using color and abstract painting skills. A creative, colorful, and enjoyable art project.
Bubble Painting STEAM Activity
Bubble painting steam activity is joy personified. The art produced by this science-based project is gorgeous on its own but would also make a good background for a more extensive art activity. Such a creative hands-on project; we love it.
Gelli printing is a straightforward art activity that produces incredibly satisfying results. Wonderful art project to do during the run-up to a holiday where kids might need to make cards for a loved one. While even adults enjoy Gelli printing, it helps develop children’s motor skills and hand-eye coordination while being creative.
Geometry String Art STEAM Activity
Geometry string art STEAM activity brings mathematics and art together, producing fantastic results. In addition to being fun, colorful, and creative, it also teaches children key concepts and helps with development skills:
- Motor skills
- Hand-eye coordination
Giacometti Sculpture art activity is an art project tied to learning about Alberto Giacometti and his artwork. It is inexpensive, requiring only paper, a writing utensil, aluminum foil, and scissors. Instructive and enjoyable art activity for middle school children.
Glow-in-the-Dark Jelly Fish
We adore these glow-in-the-dark jellyfish. It is a delightful artistic craft project to do with kids and make a wonderful tie-in to any sea-life science lesson. A cheerful and crowd-pleasing art activity: can’t ask for much more than that.
Exploding Paint STEAM Activity
Exploding paint STEAM activity, well, explodes (safely), and we all know how much children love a good “boom” to a project. The project produces colorful abstract art that is nice on its own but would make fantastic backgrounds for another art project.
The activity aims:
- To demonstrate a chemical reaction
- To utilize problems solving skills
- Encourage modification and testing
- Encourage creativity and self-expression
Fairy bells is a delightful art project that hones developmental skills. The project also incorporates natural materials with standard art supplies, giving children a range of sensory stimulation. The results are sweet and unique.
The art activity helps develop:
- Hand-eye coordination
- Pincher skills
Ice Chalk Painting
Ice chalk painting is such a clever and fun STEAM activity for young children. First, they do a bit of beginner chemistry by helping the adult make the ice chalk with basic ingredients. Then, once the ice chalk is ready to use, it is time for creative art play. The activity can be done on temporary project surfaces, such as a driveway or paper to keep.
Key Wind Chimes
Key wind chimes is a creative craft that upcycles old keys. It could make a lovely gift from the child to a loved one, too. It incorporates natural materials, making this activity full of interesting textures: metal, wood, string, and paint. Look lovely hanging on a porch or in the window of a classroom.
Leaf relief is another art project that ties into nature. Even better, it is an art activity that all ages can enjoy. Some of the results are absolutely beautiful. A great project that works with textures. It can also be a very soothing and calming activity.
Magnet Painting STEAM Activity
Magnet painting STEAM activity is another fun science-based art activity. Using a magnetic wand, paint, and metal pieces, art is created while teaching children how magnets work. The tutorial suggests tossing in objects such as marbles so the kids can see what the wand can control and what it can’t, further demonstrating magnetic properties (and lack of).
Metal Art STEAM Project
Metal art STEAM project is a beautiful and challenging art activity for older children. The chemical reaction involved to give the metal some color is where the science comes into the project. The results can be incredible and make a stunning gift or art for the child’s own room. Just be safe and have fun.
Mini Lid Banjo
Mini lid banjo is a fun craft project for children between K-5th grade. It is a pretty quick activity, averaging between 10-15 min, not counting prep time. This art activity makes a good tie-in for a recycling lesson, as it upscales old jar lids. In addition, the decorating of the banjo’s neck provides an opportunity for kids to bring their own creative touch to the project.
Monster Truck Painting
Monster truck painting is a creative and tactile project expanding children’s understanding of what can be used as a painting tool. The activity is perfect for the outdoors, and children love it. While a child only requires a single truck to do the activity, a variety would produce additional patterns and effects, expanding the project’s scope.
Natural Paintbrushes Activity
Natural paintbrushes activity incorporates nature into art while expanding children’s understanding of what tools can be utilized in order to paint. This is a fun, exploratory art project that reduces stress while being interesting. The gathering of the natural products could be done as a nature walk, adding a bit of STEM and exercise to the experience.
Origami is not only a traditional art form, but it has health benefits for people of all ages, including:
- Develop hand-eye coordination
- Develop fine motor skills
- Improve focus and concentration
- Stimulates the mind
Origami: 6 Activity Ideas for Older Kids
Origami: 6 Activity Ideas for Younger Kids
These owl masks are a hoot. These colorful masks make a great craft project that is both cute and fun. Kids are going to enjoy wearing their creations when they are done. A wonderful activity to do before Halloween, as part of a costume for a play or as a tie-in to a science lesson on birds.
Paint Brush Robot STEAM Activity
We love how robotics and art have been brought together with this paintbrush robot STEAM activity. This robotics activity does not require any coding, making it accessible to younger children while still being fun for older kids. Plus, it produces a chaotically colored piece of art.
The materials are pretty easy to obtain, the most difficult being the 3-volt motor which is only a click away from your preferred internet vendor. Also, as the activity uses a DC system, it should not give any user a shock, making it fairly safe.
Pastel scratchboards produce cool art that kids will be thrilled to show off. It’s a relaxing activity, and children will enjoy how the colors “reveal” themselves as they scratch away the black. A great activity for elementary-aged kids.
Pendulum Painting STEAM Activity
Pendulum painting takes physics and applies it to art. As fancy as it sounds, the materials are simple: disposable cup, string, tape, a large piece of paper, paint, two chairs, a stick or broom, and a tarp or drop cloth to protect the floor if needed.
Like most STEM activities, there is a testing stage done with water before using the paint. This allows children to test and modify as needed before creating their art. The project is fun and produces intriguing artistic results while teaching physics.
Red Cabbage STEAM project
The red cabbage STEAM project is a lesson on natural dyes and acid-bases. The results are a tie-dye-like art piece that is on-trend. This beautiful art activity has the following scientific aims:
- Learning what are acids and bases
- Learning about pH
- Learning acid-base indicators
- Introducing working with natural dyes
This rock cactus craft is adorable and could make an excellent gift. The project brings a delightful twist to rock painting yet has room for creative interpretation despite the simplicity of the concept. A fun, hands-on art activity.
Ways to make it more difficult is to have decorated the pots, such as using this ombre painting technique which would look stunning with the cactus. Even harder, having the kids make the pots with clay, which would turn this into a quality extended art project, mixing disciplines.
Shaving Cream Marbling
Shaving cream marbling is a potentially messy art activity that kids adore. The end results are eye-catching and can be displayed on their own or incorporated into another art project. We really like how this tutorial uses dinosaurs silhouettes on a marbled background, for example. Regardless of what you decide, the project is easy to set up and inexpensive, too.
Shibori dyeing is a wonderful hands-on art project for older children. It produces clothes that are on-trend, which is exciting for kids, too. There is so much scope with this art activity no two pieces will turn out the same. Kids are going to want to do this one more than once.
Smoking Dragon STEAM Activity
Smoking dragon STEAM activity is a fun, artistic craft project even before you add the science. But when that dry ice is added and the dragons begin to “smoke,” squeals of delight will follow. It’s a great opportunity to teach children about carbon dioxide and the properties of dry ice. Besides, they’ve made a dragon, which is cool.
Sparkly Paper Plate Dinosaurs
Sparkly paper plate dinosaurs are a roaring good time. There is a free diplodocus template available from the tutorial, and the rest of the materials are easy to source. Kids do love glitter and googly eyes. A wonderful tie-in to a science lesson on these fabulous giants that once roamed our planet.
Tessellations STEAM Activity
Tessellations STEAM activity is a pattered geometric art form. Thus, this art project incorporates mathematics in a fun way, which is a win-win. The materials required are basic and inexpensive, yet the results are colorful and interesting. Who says math can’t be creative and easy?
Toilet Roll Crayons
Toilet roll crayons are a charming craft. Kids are going to squeal with delight, especially at the googly eye details. It is inexpensive, simple, and uses recycling, too, making it a great art project for Earth Week. It also helps children learn their colors, which is a terrific bonus.
Tractor Popsicle Stick Craft
Learning about farming? This tractor popsicle stick craft project would make a fantastic addition. Besides, they are adorable. These would also be an excellent addition to a collaborative mural project for an entire class.
Another complimentary craft activity is pairing the tractors with these craft stick farm animals. These double as bookmarks, and children will enjoy the googly eyes. Lots of possibilities and fun.
Tree weaving is a clever art activity that combines painting with the oh so crucial developmental activity of weaving. The activity is fun, colorful, and allows children to be creative. The materials needed are straightforward and inexpensive, too.
This art activity helps develop:
- Eye-hand coordination
- Problem-solving skills
- Understanding of patterns
Watercolor resist is a great hands-on project. It also creates such interesting conversations with children as you discuss why the watercolor resists the melted wax designs. That’s a STEM activity rolled into art, making it a multi-tasking project. The project is mixed medium, creates a lot of interest, and produces results that will make kids happy.
Wax Paper Lantern
These wax paper lanterns are such a cool art activity. It does involve an iron so use your best judgment if that part needs to be done by an adult or letting the kids have a go under supervision. The results are incredibly satisfying and look beautiful when lit up.
The craft involves:
- Construction skills
- Motor skills
Weaving dolls is such a unique art project for slightly bigger children. While this tutorial has them as wall hangings, they could also make wonderful ornaments. This project begins with children being challenged to make their own loom, adding a dash of STEM to the activity.
The weaving is also at a slightly higher level, which is why it isn’t suitable for preschool-aged kids. But it is not as difficult as the finished product suggests, making it accessible to many elementary and middle school-aged children.
Yarn painting is so much fun, and the kids will be amazed at how a piece of string can create such interesting lines on the paper. The yarn also provides a different texture than your typical paintbrush. The artwork could stand on its own or make a lovely background to flowers made of construction paper.
This art activity develops:
- Hand-eye coordination
- Pincher grip