Children are natural artists, often because they are more interested in the materials and the process than they are in the results. Setting up art activities for children can be as simple as providing a variety of surfaces and materials for making projects. However, there are also some simple and creative art activities you can set up that can help kids explore different art techniques.
One quick and fun art activity for children involves the magic of wax meeting water. Begin with a thick piece of white paper. Have the children draw on the white paper with crayon. They should include some secret "invisible" elements in their drawing with a white crayon. Then, have them paint in watercolor over the drawing and watch what happens when the paint hits the crayon, especially the surprise white elements.
This art activity requires some patient fingers. Have the children begin with a piece of thick white paper. They should color the entire paper with bright crayons (fluorescent shades work well), leaving no white space. Then, they will cover the entire surface with black crayon. They can then use a paper clip or a pencil to scratch lines in the black surface, letting the bright colors show through.
This project is great for kids who enjoy creating abstract patterns and symbols. Begin with a piece of cardboard. Use white glue to "draw" bold, simple shapes, patterns, lines and symbols on the cardboard. Let the glue dry completely. Take a thin sheet of paper and place it on the cardboard. Use the side of a wide crayon to create a rubbing of the pattern. The resulting sheets are great for wrapping gifts.
Shrinky Dink Charms
Everyone enjoys the unique alchemy that occurs when baking drawings on shrink plastic. Make these Shrinky Dink projects more useful by punching a hole in the plastic sheet before baking. Make sure the hole is far from the edge, because the piece shrinks dramatically. Use the resulting charms as zipper pulls, key chain fobs, bracelet charms, friendship pins or necklace medallions. (See Resources.)
For the youngest of artists, it can be the most fun to get a plastic cup or tin can full of water, pop in paintbrushes of various widths, and set your child free to "paint" surfaces in the park, playground or back yard. In the winter, you can add a drop of food coloring to the water and let your child paint the snow.