Special Needs Art Project

Special NeedsI’ve been asked in the past about art lessons for those with special needs, and just recently found this idea to work pretty well. I see a class every week that has mild to severely autistic kids, and it can be a struggle to find projects that cover the range of abilities. It seems their needs are more about adding creativity to things that are already familiar to them or at least, that is the approach I am taking for now.
1. I used 9″ x 4″ strips of watercolor paper for the students to write on in crayon. They could write the letters, words or numbers if they knew them, or trace them with the help of an aid.
2. Each student got a watercolor tray and water, and were shown how to wet the tablet and then spread the paint over each letter in just a simple circular motion. Those that finished the “A B C” strip got to go on to “D E F’ and so on. Very simple, but the watercolor paper makes it very pretty.

9 Responses

  1. Helen

    You may want to check out a new book on the subject, Making Art Special – A Curriculum for Special Education Art. My book is available on Amazon and at makingartspecial.com

  2. Sylvia

    This is a great project for special needs as well as young kids! My sister has a daughter with hydrocephalus and this is a great project that she can do. Thanks for a great idea.

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  3. Sabrina

    I run an in home art program for children with special needs. It is called Envision Art. Our website is http://www.envisionart.org

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    What an accurate way to help those spacial kids!
    I love when people cares about people in need.

  5. mel

    thank you! Our son was just diagnosed as autistic…he has very little interest in any kind of art projects, but he is rather obsessed with letters and numbers. :) Maybe this will go over well!

  6. Aimee

    Here’s the link: http://web.me.com/redshoearts/Redshoearts/Blog/Entries/2010/2/22_Five_Fun_Finds!.html
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  7. Aimeé


    I teach toddler art classes, as well as having a 15 month old. Not only is this great for special needs kids, but terrific for little ones, too. I bet it would also work well with oil pastels, which are often better for kids who have a hard time pressing down on the crayons to get a strong mark and leave enough wax. Thanks for the idea, and I’ll post a link to your post in my blog (http://web.me.com/redshoearts/Redshoearts/Blog/Blog.html) later this week!


  8. Fakemidnight

    I teach art at a school for student with special needs, you should check out my blog for some more ideas. http://adventuresinartstudentswspecialneeds.blogspot.com/ And Think abstract it provides students with special needs the greatest opportunity to succeed.

  9. apples love oranges

    I teach two life skills, or special needs, classes each week. We really focus on texture and small motor control. Feel free to visit my blog for some ideas of what we have done.

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