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Innovative Art Activities for Children

Fostering creativity in children is so important. It’s also some of the most fun you can have as an educator. Art activities play a pivotal role in not only igniting a child’s imagination but also in developing essential skills such as fine motor skills, problem-solving abilities, and emotional expression.

All educators have their go to art activities to do with various age groups, but when you feel like you’re out of ideas, we’ve got you covered. You may be incorporating some of these into your practice already, some you may never have tried before.

Foil or shower curtain painting

Really painting on anything that has a different texture and feel to paper. Painting on foil is a unique sensory experience, and allows children to make different effects with paint to what they can do on paper. Hanging a shower curtain in an outdoor area to paint on is a great way to get lots of children involved, just not on a windy day!

Copy a famous painting.

Print out a picture of a fun painting and ask the children to copy it. The more fun colours and recognisable objects the painting has in it the better.

Bring Fabric into your Recycled Art

Most educators will use recycled materials in their art projects, but do you use fabric in yours? Old (clean) clothes, towels, or other fabrics destined for the bin can be cut up, soaked in glue, and stuck to cardboard in fun shapes. Or dipped in paint to stamp textures across paper.  Not only does this activity promote sustainability and resourcefulness, but it also encourages children to think outside the box and repurpose materials in creative ways.

Shadow Play

Shadow play is a great way to get children thinking about light, shadow, and three-dimensional space. Set up a light source and provide children with various objects to create shadow puppets or shapes on a blank wall or screen. You can also take an idea from the Victorian era who used to draw shadow silhouettes as a cheaper alternative to having portraits painted. Put some paper up on the wall and sit a child between a light source and the paper. Children can take turns tracing around each other’s silhouettes.

Rain splatter painting

This one is great for those rainy days. Give out paper and paint or food dye. Encourage children to paint on the paper, then help them to put the paper out in the rain. They can experiment with how long they want to leave it outside, just a few seconds or much longer, and observe how the rain affects the paint. When you’re done, bring the paintings inside to dry and ask the children to look at how they’re different to what they originally painted.

Collaborative Murals

Encourage teamwork and cooperation by making a collaborative mural. Set up a large canvas or butcher paper (even a sheet will do) and divide it into sections. Each child can then contribute their own artwork to the mural, whether it’s painting, drawing, collage, or a combination of techniques. This activity not only promotes collaboration and communication but also instils a sense of pride and ownership in what they make together.

Storybook Illustration

Bring literature to life by inviting children to illustrate their favourite stories or create their own picture books. Provide blank books or paper along with art supplies, and encourage children to unleash their imagination as they visualise the characters, settings, and events of the story through art. This activity not only reinforces literacy skills but also allows children to explore narrative concepts and develop their own storytelling abilities.