How to Draw a Fossil

Learn how to draw a fossil, and use some of today’s newer art materials to make the process as fun as possible. Paint markers and brown paper do the trick. Granted, these fossils drawn with some special art room supplies (paint markers) but if you can save for them, they are just THE most fun to draw with on any … Read More

Simple Color Wheel

Use your old CDs to make a simple color wheel. It involves a bit of “eyeball” measuring, which works fine for this purpose. • View and download Divide CD Tutorial MATERIALS Old CDs Ruler Sharpie marker, black, fine tip Sharpie markers, assorted, fine or brush tip   DIRECTIONS Print tutorial for each student. Students use a ruler to divide the … Read More

Grass in a CD Case

Try growing grass in a CD case and turn them into gifts instead. Here’s an idea for a birthday or Mother’s Day. They make great little terrariums, especially with a message for special occasions. You can watch your plants grow and make a special gift at the same time. MATERIALS • CD case, the kind that is about 1/4″ thick … Read More

Easy Winter Snowflake Art

My favorite thing about this winter snowflake art is the plastic trading card sleeves that instantly make the art look laminated. Hides any imperfect gluing too. MATERIALS Watercolor paper Art Trading Cards Liquid watercolor paint Salt Card stock paper, white Snowflake punch, vintage Glue stick Scissors Plastic trading card sleeves DIRECTIONS Use liquid watercolor paints on watercolor paper cut to … Read More

Zentangle Patterns for Beginners

These snowflakes make great zentangle patterns for beginners. They may look complex, but are made from just adding lots of arrows to my star template. I tried out some new Stabilo markers for this drawing, and totally love the pointMax set. The tips are nice and firm, so it makes them a pleasure to draw with. The company makes other … Read More

Pretend Passports

Traveling soon? Make the trip more fun and educational with my pretend passport template. I started making them for students at my school, years ago, and have polished them up ever since. I saw too many bad ones online and knew they could look better. My version includes a box to draw your own self-portrait, maps to note where you … Read More

Quilt Circle Art for Kids

Quilt art for kids connects to other studies in so many ways – history, math, patterning, even teamwork. I like how this project requires little prep work and can result in one very large and beautiful quilt in about 45 minutes. MATERIALS Finger paint paper, cut into 4″ squares Protractor Large piece of butcher paper Glue sticks Markers, I used … Read More

The Best New STEAM Book

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There is a brand new STEAM book coming out full of fresh, new fun ideas that will keep your kids engaged (and learning!) all summer long. Most kids are familiar with slime, but have they tried making potions? Or volcanoes? Or circuits? This book, “Steam, Play & Learn” by my friend Ana Dziengel includes all that and more is now available for … Read More

Cardboard Craft Building

 I’ve found that if I just precut some house shapes for a corrugated cardboard craft class, students as young as kinder can easily “build” something and learn how to construct and decorate a house. This adorable house was made by a talented kinder named Audrey. I believe she is six years old but has the focus of someone twice her … Read More

Fish Tessellation

Tessellations for kids have much to teach about art and math, but need clear guide lines to keep students from jumbling up their cut out shapes. My tessellation process shown in my diagram comes from many hours of figuring out how to work with a large group (35 or more) students and have as many as possible understand that they … Read More

CD Spinners

I was looking for STEAM art projects for our school event, and was happy to find some spinning CD inspiration. Just a little prep, little expense, and lots of recycling of old CDs made this a winner. MATERIALS Old CDs Sharpie markers Imitation pearls Bamboo skewers Paper cutter or other tool to cut skewers Hot glue gun DIRECTIONS  PREP: Cut bamboo … Read More

Geometric to Organic Shapes

Start with a geometry art lesson, and then add some water to create organic shapes. The fun part is the tracing of all the little knubby shapes the water helps to create. MATERIALS Multimedia paper Cardboard templates of triangles, circles and squares Waterbase markers Cup of water and brush or eye dropper Thin permanent marker DIRECTIONS Students used cardboard templates … Read More

Paint a Terrarium

  Here’s a simple flower painting project, one that is pretty AND educational for students studying plant life. I’ve used it for years with kinders, when they study root systems in the spring. The jar makes a nice frame for the artwork, and the root technique is a nice introduction to what I call, the “white crayon trick”. Terrarium Template … Read More

Chinese New Year Snake Tutorial

Did you know Chinese New Year crafts can come from office supplies? They helped me make this project with about 400 first through fourth graders for about $45. For the advanced origami lover, my sample snake above was made with two long strips that had nine 11″ lengths glued together as shown in the photo. If you like the gradated … Read More

Skeleton Craft

My pack rat tendencies paid off when I figured out how use old watercolor trays to house this Model Magic skeleton. How many themes can this project touch on? Let’s see. Fun Halloween project? Check. STEAM approved (study of bones)? Check. Recycling old art supplies? Check. Backpack (portable) proof? Check. Not bad for one project! SUPPLIES Old watercolor tray Black … Read More

Treehouse Crafts

I’ve been experimenting with more dimensional after school classes, and am happy to report that my kids seem to love it. When my students made these tree houses, they got so involved in decorating them they worked right through the last minute of class. MATERIALS Cardboard Paper cutter (heavy duty type) Corrugated cardboard Craft sticks (narrow and long type) Match … Read More

Lady Bug Collage

With our school’s science room filled with new bugs and worms, it seemed timely to have lady bugs as the theme for some art projects. Older students drew and painted theirs, but I noticed that many first graders struggled with keeping the paint from all running together. So when it was time for the TK class, I switched to collage so … Read More

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Art Projects for Kids