Note: The information on this blog is taken from my “Tidbits of Wisdom for Parents” video series found on my YouTube channel and includes many links to what I discuss on the YouTube video.
Access the 7-minute YouTube video here: Here are the Most Amazing Fun Art Projects for Kids!
Do your children love to draw, paint, color, or doodle? Do they love craft projects? If so, they are Spatial/Visual Smart! In a previous blog, I talked about the 9 kinds of smart and children who love the arts fall into the category of Visual/Spatial.
Some of the most brilliant minds are Visual/ Spatial—Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, Amelia Earhart, Ben Carson, and others. They saw three-dimensional pictures in their minds-eye and were amazing problem-solvers.
Art Activities for Kids
One way to nurture this “smart” is to provide art lessons. Look in your community and see what is available and enroll your child.
At home, have plenty of art supplies on hand for your child—markers, crayons, paint, and paper, etc.
Here’s a fun idea that our kids loved: put butcher paper on the walls and let them draw in a standing position. As mentioned on a previous blog, drawing in a vertical position helps a child with:
- Midline crossing (helps to determine right or left dominance)
- Hand-eye coordination
- Spatial awareness
20+ Art Activites for Kids: Cardboard Creations
Another idea art activity has to do with cardboard (you know—the stuff boxes are made from that we’re always throwing away!).
Meet Barbara Rucci, author of Cardboard Creations. Her book is loaded with amazing ideas of fun and exciting art projects you can do at home with your children. Materials needed are simple:
- cardboard boxes
- paint & brushes
- recycled materials such as paper grocery bags, toilet paper rolls, paper towel rolls, egg cartons, popsicle sticks, straws, etc.
Stop throwing away those cardboard boxes from Amazon AND—ask your neighbors to save their boxes for you, too. They are perfect for creating amazing artwork.
Barbara’s ideas in her book are endless—and will provide hours of creativity, exploration and problem-solving for your kids.
Here are just 5 simple, yet powerful things your kids will learn when making these cardboard creations:
- How combining certain colors creates a new color
- Following simple directions
- Problem-solving skills
- Spatial awareness
- Building sensory integration skills
Remember: as your child becomes immersed in making an artistic creation from cardboard, it’s about the PROCESS, not the OUTCOME! It’s the process that builds brain cells and sparks lasting creativity!
Barbara gives extensions and variations of how the child can use the materials to enlarge the creative experience. There is also a section in her book called “Inquire and Engage”—where you ask your kids questions about what they are making to get them to think.
Here are just a few art project ideas from her book:
Idea #1: Paper Bag Masks
Make masks made from paper bags decorated with glitter, pom-poms, straws, washi tape and paint. A great after-school activity to do with your kids before settling down to do homework. It will get their brains primed, exercised, and working on all 4-cylinders to tackle those difficult math problems.
Idea #2: Cardboard Houses and Cities
Using all different sizes of boxes, have your children make cardboard houses. Paint windows and doors and stack them on top of each other to create neighborhoods and cities. Can you imagine the hours of fun your kids will have as they play with their own neighborhood and cities made from boxes? Plus as they work with their friends creating these art projects, they will learn important teamwork skills.
Our kids’ favorite toys growing up were the boxes their toys came in—and a simple appliance box provided hours of fun and exploration.
Idea #3: Painted Paper Collage
Take individual pieces of paper and paint or watercolor designs on them. Attach to a large piece of cardboard using washi tape or other colored tapes. As shown in the picture, put the tape directly across the painting. What do they remind you of? To me, these unique designs resemble quilts (just made from paper, not fabric). Look at the quilts made by the Quilters of Gees Bend, Alabama—they have created amazing quilts from simple fabrics found around their homes. Many look geometric–much like these paintings.
Idea #4: Collage from Recycled Materials
Here is a fun and simple Egg Carton & Toilet-Paper-Roll Collage. Suggestion: DON’T THROW AWAY ANOTHER EGG CARTON! They are fabulous to paint and arrange in an interesting cardboard collage along with painted toilet paper rolls, popsicle sticks, straws, buttons and more. The possibilities are endless! Move over Picasso, here are some art creations that will rival the Modern Artists of yesteryears!
Art Activities for Kids: Monart Method
Have you ever heard of Monart? It’s an art program developed by Mona Brookes. Two of our kids went to the Monart school in Torrance, California. Her approach is based on the idea that anyone can learn to draw if they understand that art is comprised of shapes, lines, colors that can be broken down into simple shapes and then reconstructed.
The classes require the child/adult to copy a series of shapes onto their paper. Then the teacher takes the child through a “guided” drawing exercise that puts all the shapes together into a drawing of—an animal, nature scenes, flowers, plants, vases, etc.
It’s like the saying, “how do you eat an elephant?” Answer: “one bite at a time.” You are creating a drawing of something by first breaking into pieces and then putting the pieces back together.
Some critics of this program say that all the artwork looks the same. Nothing could be further from the truth. Two of my sons took the class together; drew the same drawing and they looked totally different. The class allows for creativity, individual interpretation, and coloring.
Her book, Drawing with Children includes information on how to approach art if your child has learning disabilities; how it dovetails with the Theory of Multiple Intelligences, and how the Monart method compliments learning in reading, math, science, ESL, multicultural studies, and environmental awareness.
Art = Smart Kids!
Want to raise smart kids? Kids, that are more visually and spatially aware? (Which means they will be better at math, reading, and science). Kids, who appreciate the beauty found on this earth and in the simplest of things? (Which means they will pay attention to details!)
If you answered “yes,” –then get your child involved with art! My kids loved their art lessons which, by the way, complimented their music lessons. Simply put—there is nothing like the arts for building the brain and helping kids find success in school and beyond!
Check out these books for art inspiration for kids:
Cardboard Creations by Barbara Rucci
Art Workshop for Children by Barbara Rucci
Drawing with Children by Mona Brookes
I’m NOT just a Scribble by Diane Alber
Splatter by Diane Alber
Grab your kids and create away!
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