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5 Low-Cost Art Projects Ideas for All Kids

In our increasingly digital world it is often difficult to drag youth away from screens and connect on a personal level. If you find yourself yearning for a hands-on connection with your child, consider an art project. Need an excuse? March is “Youth Art Month”, which celebrates art education for children of all ages. Ready to get started? Here are some ideas to inspire you and your family.

Jackson Pollock for Tots

The first project is perfect for toddlers and preschoolers, but fun for everyone. You will need tempera paint (washable), squeeze bottles (these can be new or repurposed ketchup bottles), and a roll of white craft paper. Fill the bottles with paint, you may use however many colors you have or desire. Place the paper on a flat surface, preferably your lawn, and turn your artist loose! This Jackson Pollock style is perfect since you don’t have to worry about staying within the lines. Some variations to try would be using the paint to make footprints and handprints on the paper. Another alternative to try, use your child’s monster trucks and doll’s feet to make tracks.

Book Marks for Young Readers

Encourage your child to become excited about reading by making personalized bookmarks. You will need paper, scissors, markers and/or crayons, and anything else you want. Remember, the bookmarks should be flat. Bookmarks do not have to be a boring rectangle, the bookmark’s shape can correspond with your child’s favorite book. For example, think of making a dragon for a child reading The Hobbit, or any other fun shapes that correspond with the plot or theme of the book. Using whatever craft supplies you have on hand, your child can be expressive and create a bookmark that will get them excited about reading and art at the same time.

Self-portrait for Older Kids

This project can be used for any age group, but especially older kids. You will need a roll of craft paper and drawing supplies such as markers or colored pencils. Have your child lay on the craft paper. Using a pencil, trace around your child’s body. Next have your child fill in the space by drawing things they love. Maybe it’s Darth Vader, the family dog, or pizza. Whatever it is, encourage your child to feature the things he or she loves, meanwhile creating a unique self-portrait.

Word Art for Middle School Kids

For this activity you will need smooth rocks (either store bought or hand selected from your yard is fine), paint, and permanent markers. Begin by painting each rock a solid color. Once the paint has dried write a single word on each rock with a permanent marker. Now the fun begins, use the rocks to write a poem or tell a story. Break the family into teams and see who can come up with the best poem in five minutes.

Cool Art for Cool Teens

It is nearly impossible to get a teen to part with their beloved phones, so why not use their phones to create art? For this you will need a cell phone or digital camera, glue, cardboard, and a printer. Have your teen walk around your house or neighborhood. When they find an everyday object that makes a letter have them snap a picture. Some examples would be a streetlight that makes a lower-case “r” or a table leg that makes a “P”, or a fork that makes an “m.” When they have enough letters to spell a word, their name for instance, print the photos. The pictures can be in black and white, sepia, or color. Glue the letter photos onto the cardboard. This project will encourage your teen to look at the world around them differently, and be creative.

Remember the purpose of these projects is to spend time together as a family and be creative. Carve out some space in your home to display the family’s masterpieces. As you do more projects, you can switch out the display(s) the way a museum would an exhibit. Whatever projects you participate in, be sure to celebrate Youth Art Month at home with your toddlers and teens, and enjoy the family time together. The information for this article was provided by professionals who offer an art education degree online.

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