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22 Fun, Easy Art Projects for Kids That You Can Do at Home

Posted by Ashley Robinson | May 13, 2020 3:00:00 PM

General Education

 

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If it feels like your days are on a loop of kids shouting, “I’m bored!” while staring at a screen, try mixing things up with some easy and earth-friendly art and craft projects. These projects can be put to use in your home to help your children stretch their brains, spark their imaginations, and even give you a little quiet time to complete some projects of your own.

We’ve put together a list of 22 fun art projects for kids and teens to get you started. We’ve also included three tips for implementing art projects at home that will help keep your kids’ creative ventures hassle and (mostly!) mess-free. 

So let’s dive in!

 

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Art education is critical for kids' development. Luckily, art projects are fun (and usually pretty easy!) to do at home.

 

What Are the Benefits of Art Projects for Kids?

Evidence-based education encourages exploration, creation, and collaboration for kids and teens through art projects and crafts. Research has shown that engaging in these creative practices can benefit young people physically (by developing motor skills), socially (by cultivating self-expression), and cognitively (by cultivating decision making and problem solving skills). 

Arts and crafts projects can also help students perform well in other subject areas, like math and science. Developing a core set of creative strengths may give students the toolkit they need to approach math and science in ways that allow them to take innovative approaches to problem-solving, experiments, and scientific inquiry. 

 

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22 Easy Art Projects for Kids and Teens

Toddlers and teenagers have different levels of coordination and, so it makes sense that they’ll need different types of art projects to foster their creativity. That’s why we’ve divided our list of 22 at home art projects by age. You’ll find projects for preschoolers, elementary-aged kids, and teenagers all grouped together

We’ve made it easier to figure out if you have what you need for each project, too. You’ll find the following essential information listed out for each project below

  • A description of the project
  • A list of easy-to-find materials
  • Instructions for completing each project, and 
  • Links to how-tos for each project. 

That way, you can pick the right project for your family and your budget. 

 

body-coloring-painting-foot

Art projects for preschoolers are simple, and they can be fun for the whole family, too. 

 

Art Projects for Preschoolers

Implementing art projects for younger children can feel particularly daunting--there’s a likelihood of big messes, short attention spans, and high-priced materials. That’s why the nine art projects for toddlers in our list below use materials that won’t stain your furniture, cause sensory overload, or break the bank. 

Keep in mind that every child is different, so older children may enjoy these easy art projects for kids as well!

 

Preschool Art Project #1: Water Painting

Water painting is the simplest art project for little creatives. It’s easy to clean up, doesn’t involve messy paints, and still lets kids’ imaginations run free. 

Here are the materials you’ll need: 

  • Colored construction paper or other type of “unfinished” paper (so it will absorb the water!)
  • Cotton swabs (like Q-tips)
  • Open container of water
  • Video tutorial

Once you have your materials ready-to-go, all you need to do is get your child set up at a table or, even better, on the floor. To water paint, all your child needs to do is soak the end of a cotton swab in the container of water, then use the soaked end to “paint” the construction paper. Because the paper material is unfinished, it will look like the water is actually painting the paper. It will look like magic! 

If you’re worried about water getting everywhere, you can set your kids up on the kitchen floor (or if the weather’s great, outside on a porch or patio). Also, if you allow the construction paper to dry flat, you’ll be able to use it a few times before you have to recycle it. 

 

Preschool Art Project #2: Color Mixing

Another virtually mess-free activity, color mixing shows your kids a new way to work with paint. It can also help them learn their primary colors and what colors result from mixing them in different ways. 

Here are the materials you’ll need: 

  • Clear sheet protectors (like the kind you snap into a binder)
  • Kids’ craft paint in a few colors
  • Wide, clear tape
  • Spoons
  • Video tutorial

To get your kids started on color mixing, squirt a quarter-sized amount of each color of paint into the middle of a sheet protector. Fold the open end of the sheet protector over two or three inches, then tape that end to your child’s work surface. Tape the other sides of the sheet protector to the work surface as needed so that it won’t move back and forth (and so that your kiddo can’t yank it free). 

Once that’s done, sit back and watch your kid use their hands to mash the paint around in the sheet protector using the back side of a plastic spoon. The colors will start mixing together and create an abstract painting! Older kids who know how to be gentle can use their fingers to swirl the colors together, too. 

 

Preschool Art Project #3: Collage Making

Collages can be fun, but gluing pictures down can be hard for little artists who are still working on their dexterity. It’s no fun when you glue more pictures to your fingers than your paper! 

To put together a glue-free collage making project for your little ones, get out the following materials: 

  • Cardstock, or you can use old paperboard, like cereal boxes
  • Double-sided tape
  • Stickable items, such as cut up colored paper, tissue paper, craft poms, buttons, feathers

Once you’ve gathered your materials, get your kids set up for collage making by thoroughly covering one side of the cardstock with the double-sided tape. When the cardstock is ready, let your child design their own collage by sticking items to the taped cardstock.

You can also adapt this activity by cutting out a shape from the cardstock, like a heart or a star, and having your preschoolers decorate that. To make this an art-meets-nature activity, go on a walk or explore your own backyard to find stickable collage materials, like flowers, seeds, pebbles, and leaves, provided free by Mother Earth. That’s a great way to teach your kids about the great outdoors, too! 

 

Preschool Art Project #4: Tissue Paper Sensory Art

If you have styrofoam blocks lying around the house from shipment packaging, put them to use for this tissue paper sensory art activity. 

Here’s what you’ll need: 

  • Styrofoam blocks, cut or broken into 5 inch squares. (You can also use floral foam if you have access to it.) 
  • Tissue paper, torn into 2 inch squares
  • A small paint brush
  • Full tutorial

For this activity, simply give your child the pile of tissue paper and the paint brush, and show them how to use the non-brush end of the paintbrush to push pieces of tissue paper into the styrofoam. The styrofoam will make crunching and popping sounds that will entertain your child, and a little tissue paper garden will gradually take form as your child lays pieces of tissue on the styrofoam and pushes them through with the paintbrush.

If you need some additional sensory experiences, you can allow your child to rip the tissue paper into pieces (instead of doing it yourself). You can also experiment with using different materials in your art project, like colorful magazine pages or even popsicle sticks!

 

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Chalk stained is a creative way to play outside. And as a bonus: all the mess stays outside, too! 

 

Preschool Art Project #5: Sidewalk Chalk Stained Glass

Keep the mess contained outdoors by engaging your kids in some structured sidewalk chalking. This will help little kids work on their dexterity, and they’ll love getting to choose different colors for different “stained glass” squares. 

To make chalk stained glass, gather the following materials: 

Set this activity up by placing tape on the ground in a funky geometric design. You’ll want to make sure that you’re leaving areas open that are big enough for your preschooler to color. 

Once you’re done taping, give your kids as many colors of sidewalk chalk as you can find, and let them color in the squares and shapes created by the painters tape. When they’ve finished coloring in all the shapes, pull up the tape and see your kids’ stained glass creation take form. 

If rain isn’t in the weekly forecast, you can make this a multiple-day activity as well by simply leaving a few squares uncolored and saving them for tomorrow. 

 

Preschool Art Project #6: Playdough Petroglyphs

If you want to teach your kids a little bit about one of the oldest art forms, get out these materials for playdough petroglyphs: 

  • Playdough (store bought or homemade sand dough
  • A skinny, kid-safe “carving” tool, like the end of a paintbrush, popsicle stick, or sharpened crayon

To create the petroglyphs, flatten out the playdough into a work surface for your kids. They can then use their “carving” tool to imprint drawings into the playdough. If your child is old enough to understand this concept, you can encourage them to draw a picture of an important event they remember or something fun and meaningful to them (like playing at the park or a trip to the beach). 

If you want to really emphasize the history of petroglyphs, help your child take their finished creation outside and stick it to the exterior of the house, the backyard fence, or a tree to “display” the petroglyph for others to find! If you’re using a homemade dough that dries hard, you can have your little artist paint or color their design once their petroglyph has hardened.  

 

Preschool Art Project #7: Nature Q-Tip Painting

If your kids are nature-lovers, help them create their own interpretations of flowers or trees using cotton swabs as their paintbrush

For this project, you’ll need the following materials: 

  • Washable paint in any nature-y colors
  • Paper plates
  • Package of Q-tips
  • Rubber Band or hair tie
  • Big pieces of paper or cardstock
  • A dark-colored or green marker or paint (that you can use to draw a big tree or flower stem)
  • Full tutorial

Here’s how to get started: draw a big tree trunk or flower stem on a large piece of paper or cardstock, or have your child do it. When the trunk or stem is ready to go, use a rubber band to secure a handful of cotton swabs together in a graspable chunk. 

After that, pour a little paint in several appropriate colors onto a paper plate, then show your child how to dip the ends of the cotton swab bundle into the paint, and create the leaves of a tree or petals of a flower on the big piece of paper

Once the paint dries, you can have your kids further decorate their pictures with markers, crayons, or stickers to make their picture their own! 

 

Preschool Art Project #8: Stained Glass Painting With Bottle Lids and Wax Paper

For another take on homemade stained glass, use materials found around your home to create a stained glass painting with bottle lids and wax paper. This is a good project for older preschoolers who are ready for a more involved project! 

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Washable kids paint
  • Wax paper
  • Plastic bottle lid (like from a Gatorade bottle or peanut butter jar)
  • paint brush
  • Cardstock to frame your painting (optional)

First, tear off a large piece of wax paper for your child and let them use the paint brush to cover the entire surface with different colors of paint. Next, give your child a plastic bottle lid, and let them press the lid into the paint to move it around the page. You can show them how to periodically wipe the lid off onto a paper towel to prevent the paper from becoming too soggy during this part. 

When the paint has dried, you can help your kids tape their stained glass paintings to a window so they can see the sun shine through their beautiful creation! The trick with this project is to make sure you’re not laying the paint on the paper too thick. If you do, the colors won’t be quite as vibrant. 

 

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Elementary schoolers can tackle more complex art projects, like homemade slime. (Trust us: if you make slime, your kids will think you're the coolest parent ever. (Jamie Harrington / Needpix)

 

Art Projects for Elementary Schoolers

While some of the art projects listed for toddlers would definitely interest elementary-aged kids too, we’ve also included eight fun art projects for kids that fit the elementary stages of development. Check them out below!

 

Elementary Art Project #1: Homemade Slime

Isn’t homemade slime basically a rite of passage for elementary schoolers? That ooey, gooey slime is hard to resist! 

To make your own at home, here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1/2 tablespoon of baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon of contact lens solution
  • 4 ounces of white school glue
  • Your choice of food coloring
  • Step-by-step tutorial

Pour the entire four ounces of glue into a bowl, then mix in the baking soda (you can use a spoon or spatula for this part). Next, mix in your choice of food coloring, adding drops and mixing till you get the color you want. 

After that, mix in the contact lens solution. Keep mixing until it becomes more difficult to stir the mixture and it feels pretty thick. If you’re having your kids make the slime themselves, you may have to help them with this part because the slime can get pretty firm. 

Finally, dump the mixture out onto a work surface and knead with your hands. And, voilà! Homemade slime. You’ll know it’s done when the texture feels similar to silly putty and your child can pick it up and play with it.

This recipe is simple enough that kids can do most of it on their own. Plus, once the slime is finished, it provides a tactile sensory activity that can be calming and relaxing for your kids!

 

Elementary Art Project #2: Calm Down Glitter Jars

If your kids want to get in on the glittery-homemade-substance-in-a-jar trend, it’s pretty easy to accomplish at home. For this project, we recommend setting up the workstation on a plastic drop cloth or outdoors where glitter cleanup is easier. 

  • Glass jars with securable lids (empty food jars would be great)
  • Hot water
  • Glitter glue
  • Craft glitter (optional, biodegradable glitter recommended)
  • Super glue 
  • Video tutoria

First, pour the hot water into your jar, leaving a couple inches of space at the top of the jar. (Adults will probably have to do this step.) Next, squeeze the whole bottle of glitter glue into the jar of hot water, then stir it up till dissolved. The mixture will be pretty glittery, but if your kids want more sparkle, pour in craft glitter in whatever colors you like. 

The last thing to do—which an adult in the house should definitely step in for!—is to superglue the lid onto the jar to prevent a glitter explosion. 

Once the superglue is safely put away, let your kids mesmerize themselves with their glitter jars. You might even suggest that they take their jars outside to see how brilliantly they sparkle in the sunlight! 

 

Elementary Art Project #3: Magazine Collage

Repurpose that growing stack of old magazines for a fun art project for kids. This is a step up from the preschool collage project we listed above since your kids will be cutting out the images they like and gluing them onto paper. 

To create a magazine collage, you’ll need: 

  • Old magazines and/or newspaper
  • Used paperboard or poster board
  • Black or brown paper
  • Glue or tape
  • Scissors 
  • Full tutorial

Here’s how to get your kids going on their collages: first, give them a pair of scissors and pieces of dark-colored paper. Encourage them to cut a design of their choosing into the paper (they can trace or draw first if they want to). The idea is to create sizable holes throughout the paper so the collage will peek through.

When they’ve finished cutting their design into the construction paper, they can start working on the magazine collage. This part is easy: your kids should just flip through the magazines and cut or tear out words and images they like, then tape or glue them to the used paperboard or poster. 

When they’ve finished layering and arranging their collage, they can tape the dark-colored paper over it so that the collage shows through and makes the cut-out design pop. This activity gets kids thinking about positive and negative space. They’ll have to be strategic about where they place their words and pictures so that they show up! 

 

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The picture above is of Kandinsky painting called "Squares with Concentric Circles." You and your elementary schoolers can use construction paper to make art that looks like this, too. 

 

Elementary Art Project #4: Concentric Circles Collage

For a more cultured take on a collage, pull out the following materials to help your kids create an imitation of a Kandinsky concentric circles collage. You can toss in a little art history lesson with this project, too! 

Here’s what you’ll need: 

  • 60-70 sheets different colored construction paper
  • Ruler
  • Kid-friendly scissors
  • Glue sticks
  • Different-sized cups or bowls for tracing (optional)
  • Full tutorial

Here’s how you create the concentric circles collage: start by cutting or tearing 12 pieces of construction paper into nine inch squares. These squares are the bases that your kids will build their collages upon. 

When the squares are done, give each child a square and let them cut 4-5 circles of various sizes out of the remaining construction paper. Keep in mind that the largest circles should fit inside the nine inch squares you cut out. You can show them how to glue their circles onto the paper squares by placing the largest circle first, then stacking and gluing the remaining circles from largest to smallest on top (it will look kind of like a bullseye!). 

Cutting and gluing circles can be repeated for each remaining paper square. When your kids are done, help them hang their collage on the wall in their room or playroom!

 

Elementary Art Project #5: Styrofoam Printing

Styrofoam printing is another art project that you can repurpose used materials for, so if you have a stack of restaurant takeout boxes that haven’t made it out to the trash yet, get those out for this activity. 

The materials you’ll need for styrofoam printing are: 

  • Styrofoam boxes, like the kind you get restaurant takeout in
  • Scissors
  • Ballpoint pens or sharpened pencils
  • Tempera paint
  • Foam paint brushes
  • Sheets of paper (consider using old newspapers or cut up paper grocery bags)
  • A rolling pin
  • Video tutorial

To get started, make sure the styrofoam is completely flattened, including the edges. The easiest way to do this is to cut the bottoms and tops out of the takeout containers and use just the flat areas. 

Next, let your kids use the pens/pencils to draw a design or picture onto the styrofoam. Encourage them to press down hard enough that there’s a clear indentation in the styrofoam, but not so hard that they poke holes in the foam. You can go over the lines more than once if you need to!

Then get out the tempera paint and foam brushes and let your kids layer a coat of paint over the whole piece of foam that they’ve drawn their picture on. The paint doesn’t need to be thick! Finally, to make a print with your painted foam, flip the foam over onto some paper and use the rolling pin to firmly press the foam into the paper. When they’ve done that, have your kids pull the foam away from the paper to reveal a cool negative image!

The cool thing about printing is that posters, t-shirts, and some pieces of fine art are all made using this method, too. 

 

Elementary Art Project #6: Fizzy Drip Painting

For another art-science hybrid project, try out fizzy drip painting with your kids. This is a simple art project you can do using materials you already have around the house. 

You’ll need the following materials for this project: 

  • Food coloring in several colors
  • Water
  • Baking soda
  • Paint brushes
  • White Vinegar
  • Bowls, one for each color of food coloring
  • Spoons (one per paint)
  • Plastic sheeting or plastic bag to protect work surface (optional)
  • Thick white paper, such as  jumbo watercolor paper
  • Rubbing alcohol (optional)

Pour some baking soda into a bowl, then cover it with water to make a thick paint. Give each child a sheet of paper and have them paint the entire sheet using the baking soda paint. 

When the baking soda paint dries on the paper, pour some vinegar into several bowls, and add food coloring of your choice to each bowl. If you’d like, you can show your kids how to mix colors in a single bowl to create another color. (Think of this like a mini-lesson in color mixing.)

After the bowls of colors are ready, help your child prop their piece of paper up against something so that the paper sits at an angle, then watch as they use the spoons to drip colors from the bowls onto their paper. If they listen closely, they’ll be able to hear the chemical reaction of the baking soda and vinegar bubbling and sizzling on their paper!

You can help your child rotate their paper and make drips of color that run in different directions to add layers to their fizzy art. As an optional final step to this activity, your kids can add drips of rubbing alcohol to their painted sheets, which will cause the paper to become translucent. 

For a variation of this art project that younger kids can do as well, check out this video.

 

Elementary Art Project #7: Egg Carton Tree

Instead of throwing away your used egg cartons, wash them out and repurpose them for this art project. Your kids will love making a three-dimensional piece of art. 

To make egg carton trees, you’ll need these materials: 

  • Empty, clean egg carton 
  • Large blank white paper, poster, or canvas
  • Green craft paint
  • Brown craft paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Full tutorial

Get started on this project by trimming each section of the bottom of the egg carton into individual pieces. You’re only going to use the egg “cups” for this project. 

Next, let your child paint the outside of the egg carton pieces green (you can also use other colors if you have them, like if you want to do fall foliage). While the “leaves” sit out to dry completely, let your child paint the tree trunk onto a large piece of paper. 

When everything is painted, hot glue the egg carton pieces to the paper to add leaves to the tree. While your little ones can’t use the hot glue gun, they can (carefully!) press each foam piece onto the paper. If you don’t have hot glue or prefer to use other materials, double-sided tape may work as well. 

Your kids can add any embellishments they’d like as well. If you have red paint, for example, they could also paint on apples. They could also use stickers or other trinkets to decorate their trees. 

 

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You can empower your teens to make art that helps them interpret their emotions and the world around them. These projects are challenging enough to stretch teens' artistic abilities...but cool enough that they'll want to Instagram their creations. (And trust us: that's a win!) 

 

Art Projects For Teens

Easy art projects for kids happen to have benefits for older kids too (they can help relieve stress and anxiety!), so have these eight art projects for teens on deck for days when they need a distraction or a pick-me-up. 

 

Teen Art Project #1: Painted Paper Pinwheels

Your teen might enjoy doing an art project that would make trendy decor for their bedroom, and these painted paper pinwheels totally apply. 

To make them, here are the materials you’ll need:

  • Watercolor paper or white construction paper
  • Rubber cement
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch
  • Liquid watercolor paints 
  • String or twine of any kind 
  • Beads (optional)
  • Full tutorial

To create the pinwheels, you start by cutting out four 9 x 6 inch pieces of paper for each teen, then folding each one like an accordion. The folding process may feel a bit complicated, so referring to the pictures in the tutorial above can help your teens get this part down.

When each teens has four accordion-folded pieces of paper, they should brush rubber cement along the edges of each folded paper and stick them together to form the pinwheel. Feel free to add additional rubber cement in spaces and folds as needed so the paper really sticks together.

Now comes the easy part: painting! Just give your teens paint brushes and paints and let them paint both sides of the pinwheels to their liking. Once the pinwheels are dry, if they’re interested, your teens can punch a hole in the back of the pinwheel near the top edge, string some twine or yarn through, add beads, and hang the finished product from their ceiling or in front of their window.

 

Teen Art Project #2: Melted Crayon Creations

This art project is an Instagram favorite. (Even the most disinterested teens will perk up when you tell them they should do it for the gram.) 

To make art with melted crayons, you’ll need the following materials: 

  • A package of crayons, preferably 70 count
  • A large canvas or thick poster board
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Hair dryer or hot air gun (optional)
  • Full tutorial

Now, some variations of this project call for a heat gun, but it’s even better if you can send your teens outside to make use of the sun’s heat instead. Here’s how you set the project up: place the canvas/poster on a flat surface. Get out the box of crayons and arrange them in a straight line along the top edge of the canvas. People often arrange the crayons like the order of the colors in the rainbow, but your kids can think about what they want the finished product of melded colors to look like and arrange the crayons accordingly too.

Once they’ve arranged the crayons, they should use the hot glue gun to glue the crayons to the canvas. Now it’s time to melt the crayons! Your teens can opt to prop the poster board up outside and let the sun do the melting, or they use a hair dryer to have more control over how the crayons melt and melt. As the crayons heat up, they’ll start dripping down the canvas! 

If you’re doing this project indoors, be sure to use a drop cloth or disposable paper beneath the poster so there’s not wax all over the floor when the project’s done. Once the wax solidifies again, you can hang the project up on the wall. 

 

Teen Art Project #3: Recycled Word Garland

Word Garlands are a great option if your teen needs to express their feelings or make a statement. 

To create these word garlands, get out the following materials:

  • Stack of used printer paper
  • Old magazines
  • Used cardboard (like an old pizza or Amazon box)
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch 
  • Yarn or twine
  • Glue or rubber cement
  • Beads, feathers, or other decorative items that can hang on string (optional)
  • Full tutorial

To get started, your teen can pick a phrase or word that is meaningful to them to place on their word garland. When they’ve chosen a word or phrase, they can write out the letters they’ll need in big, block letters on the pieces of printer paper, cut the letter out, then use them to trace the word/phrase onto the cardboard.

Next, they should cut each letter out of the cardboard, then get out some magazines. While flipping through the magazines, they can look for images that speak to them. Once they find them, they should lay cardboard a letter over a page of the magazine, trace it, then cut it out. Do this for each cardboard letter until you have one set of cardboard letters, and one set of magazine letters. 

The last step is to glue the magazine cutouts on top of the correct letters, punch a hole at the top of each letter, and string them onto yarn or twine in the correct order! They can also string baubles between the letters to add more character or enhance their design, if they want to. From there, they can hang their word garland wherever they want. 

 

Teen Art Project #4: XOXO Watercolor

An XOXO watercolor project is another contender for hang-up-in-your-room status. It’s also a bit simpler than some of the other projects on our teen art project list. 

To get going on this art project, your teen will need the following:

  • Blank, white paper (8 x 10 in. or 11 x 15 in.)
  • Watercolor paints
  • Masking or painters tape
  • Ruler
  • Small, circular container (like a tube of lip balm)
  • Full tutorial

For the first step, line the edges of your paper with pieces of tape, then apply one piece of tape all the way across the middle of the page, horizontally and vertically. Make sure to check out this tutorial to get a sense for what this should look like. 

Next, use the ruler to very lightly trace an X across the upper-left and lower-right rectangles on the page. In the other two rectangles, place the circular container in the center and lightly trace around it to make the O shape. 

Once you have your outlines ready, start painting! You can alternate colors as you paint outward from the middle of each rectangle, repeating the circles and Xs until each rectangle is full. The finished product will have a 70s vibe, and the repetitive painting process will make you feel pretty groovy, too.

 

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Fashion crafts are great for teens. The washer necklace tutorial below will help teens make art that's beautiful and wearable. 

 

Teen Art Project #5: Painted Washer Necklaces

This art project is super simple and you get some homemade jewelry out of the deal. 

You’ll need the following materials to create painted washer necklaces:

  • Scissors
  • Metal washers (available at hardware stores) 
  • Nail polish 
  • Twine or other sort of chain to create the necklace string
  • Toothpicks (optional)
  • Full tutorial

To make these necklaces, all you need to do is get out some metal washers and use the nail polish to paint them in colors and designs of your choosing. If you want, you can use toothpicks to swirl the colors, or you can use smaller artists brushes to make other designs. Just make sure you let the first side dry completely before flipping the washer and painting the other side.

When the paint has dried on both sides, simply string a long piece of twine or cording through the washer hole, tie it up, and wear your necklace. If you want the paint to last even longer, use a clear nail polish to seal each washer before you start sporting your art. 

 

Teen Art Project #6: Zentangles

A zentangle is a geometric doodling project that allows you to freehand designs in designated spaces, kind of like a doodle version of a stained glass window. Luckily, zentangles are one of the most hassle-free art projects out there.

 All you need are the following materials:

  • A black felt-tip marker
  • A white piece of white cardstock 
  • Something round (a jar, a roll of masking tape)
  • Full tutorial

When you’ve gathered the materials, trace overlapping circles across the entire surface area of the cardstock. The goal is to have these circles overlap like venn diagrams. Also, these don’t have to be precise--as long as the circles overlap somewhat, you’re good to go! 

Once that’s done, it’s time to get creative: use the felt-tipped marker to draw and color different patterns and designs within each circle. You can stick with a single colored felt tipped marker, or you can alternate colors to create more intricate designs. If you don’t have felt tipped markers, don’t worry: colored pencils, colored pens, and paint can all work for this project. 

This activity can take several hours if you want to dedicate the time, and teens tend to get really zoned in while doing it! This project can also be helpful for teens that struggle with anxiety or depression. By focusing on the zentangle, kids can find themselves more relaxed and present. 

 

Teen Art Project #7: Recycled Wind Chimes

If your teen needs some fresh air and a creative outlet, have them create a recycled wind chime. This is also a great way to teach teens about the importance of sustainability!

For this project, you’ll need the following materials: 

  • Contact paper
  • Scissors
  • Marker or pen
  • Rings from mason jar lids 
  • String or yarn
  • A sturdy stick
  • Full tutorial

To get started on this activity, send your kids out for a nature walk to gather plants and flowers for the wind chime. When they’ve finished foraging, have them cut off a piece of contact paper and trace the mason jar lids onto the contact paper side. When they’ve traced as many circles as there are jar lids, peel off the non-sticky side of the contact paper and discard it, then secure the contact paper to the work surface with some tape. 

Now it’s time to get out the gathered flowers and plants! Your teens can arrange them across the traced circles however they like. When they’re done designing their chimes, have them press another piece of contact paper smoothly over the top of the sheet with the flowers. (This step takes patience, but it will pay off!) Next, cut out each circle along the traced lines so that you have a set of circles ready to go. 

When the circles are all cut out, your kids can press the cut-out circles into the inside of the mason jar rings so their flower designs are displayed, like a picture in a frame. They can use a little tape to secure the circles to the rings if they won’t stay in. 

Finally, get out the sturdy stick and, using pieces of yarn of slightly different lengths, tie one end around each mason jar ring and the other ends around the stick so that each mason jar lid hangs down when the stick is hung up horizontally. You can let your kids attach some leftover yarn to the stick to hang it from the front porch or a tree and listen to the chimes in the breeze!

 

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3 Tips for At-Home Art Projects for Kids

Planning fun art projects for kids and teens doesn’t have to be stressful. Our three tips for at-home art projects can help you keep things calm, cool, and clean.

 

Tip 1: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

If you’ve been stressing about how you’re going to find the time to bus your recycling down to your local recycling center, stress no more: those number two plastics and flattened paperboard boxes are art projects waiting to happen.

In other words, look around your home for trash, recyclables, or materials that can be repurposed to complete these art projects. For many projects, you can pick up one or two speciality materials at a local grocery store or market, and save some cash by cobbling together the rest of the materials from things you have lying around the house. 

 

Tip 2: Make Clean Up Easy

Something else you probably want to reduce if you’re implementing art projects at home is the mess at the end. Make cleanup easy by spreading a drop cloth or old sheet under or over the work surface, dressing your little ones in old clothes, and having wet wipes at the ready. 

Better yet, whenever possible, set up the art station outside, including a trash can, storage box for art supplies, and a wash station. While it might feel like a lot of effort to move everything outside on the front end, you’ll be glad to be spraying paint off the sidewalk with a water hose instead of scrubbing it off of the furniture. 

 

Tip 3: Substitute Mess-Free Materials

Since we don’t all have the option to set up art projects outside, another mess-reducing tactic involves subbing in less messy materials for messier ones. When you’re reading instructions for a project, take a second to think about what the materials are being used for. Could you sub in double-sided tape for white glue? Could you use water instead of paint? Oftentimes, you can implement an art project in the same way using alternative materials, and your kids probably won’t know the difference. 

If you don’t have the time or energy to clean up a huge mess but still want your kids to stretch their minds through art, it’s totally okay to make some adjustments to art projects so you can take good care of your kids and yourself at the same time. And if your kids are old enough, you can rope them into the cleanup process, too!   

 

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What’s Next? 

If you’re looking for more activities to do at home, why not try some Minute to Win It Games? These activities are fast, simple to set up, and fun.

Another quick, fun, and easy game to play is This or That. Here’s a huge list of This or That questions that will keep you entertained and laughing for hours!

If you want more of a party game, you’ve got to try our at-home version of Family Feud. Setting up the game is pretty simple, and we’ve put together a huge list of questions for you to use so you can start playing right away. 

 

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Ashley Robinson
About the Author

Ashley Sufflé Robinson has a Ph.D. in 19th Century English Literature. As a content writer for PrepScholar, Ashley is passionate about giving college-bound students the in-depth information they need to get into the school of their dreams.



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