Do you want some fun, interactive, and artistic ideas to entertain children? Then join us below for some low-cost to free ideas!
Artistic Activities for Children:
No matter the reason, when you have kids at home—be it for a weekend or days on end—it’s easy for them to become bored or run out of things to do. Yes, watching a movie or playing a video game can keep them occupied for a while, but there are times when it’s good put down the devices, refocus and create a new activity to improve the mind.
Here’s a few ideas for children that are fun and artistic…
1. Create Your Own “Light Box” for Tracing!
This is especially fun for younger children, but even your tweens and teens will get on board and enjoy it just as much!
All you need to create your own light box is:
- A clear container—a glass baking pan, a storage container, or anything else large and clear enough to allow light through works well for this project.
- A light source—a smart phone with a flashlight option, a flashlight, or a lamp that fits underneath your container are some suggested light sources for the box.
- Something to trace—a picture from a magazine, a photo, a coloring page, or anything else flat and thin enough with an interesting image or pattern.
- Blank paper—preferably white or another light color as this allows the most light through.
- Something to trace with—pens, markers, crayons, pencils or whatever you have on hand. (Note: paints may not be ideal unless you have paper specifically made for the type of paint.)
This is a great idea for children who have grown bored of regular coloring or want to learn how to draw more complex images. Additionally, it’s free to low-cost depending on what you already have in your house. This idea works as a fun, educational tool—not only teaching your children how to create their own light box but promoting individually creative artwork as well!
2. Film a Movie!
If you have a smart phone, video-taking camera, or even a computer with a built-in camera, your kids can have hours of fun making movies! Older children—tweens and teens included—may even enjoy writing out a script beforehand. All you need is a video-taking device and creativity!
While older kids will likely need no prompting for plot ideas, younger children may benefit from a starting point—so, try giving them a location, a character, or even an easy plot. No matter the age, children love to play, create, and be the center of attention, and what better way to get them up off the couch than creating their own ‘masterpiece!’
3. Paint Empty Containers!
Did you just finish using the contents of a can, carton, or small food-tub in your kitchen? Do you have any paint* in your home? Then that’s all you need to entertain your kids!
Set your kids down in a ‘safe for painting’ area of your home, lawn, garage, etc., give them the cleaned containers and paints, and let their creativity soar! The only limits are their imagination and your supply of empty containers and paint.
Depending on the container they may even be able to use the finished product as a fun storage container or room decoration, giving them further entertainment and a happy sense of accomplishment!
*Note: You can also search online for how-to’s on making your own paint with a little flour, salt, water and food-coloring! (Tinkerlab.com/salt-and-flour-paint/ is a good place to start.)
4.. Create Your Own Game!
While creating a full board game might be daunting, you can easily create your own tic-tac-toe or memory match game* using nothing but paper and a pen or printer!
If you decide to print… You can utilize any compatible program on your computer to create fun tic-tac-toe or memory match images. Or you can go online to a free, easy to use design site like canva.com**. Involve your kids to see what sort of images they want—older children may be able to create what you print with little to no supervision. After printing, simply cut the designs to any size you desire and you’re ready to play your new game! *
If you decide to draw… All you need to do is to cut the paper pieces to your desired size, give them* to your kids along with some pens, crayons, paints, etc., and let them go to town!
*Note: for tic-tac-toe you will need five of each design—or color—for each player. For memory match you will need, at minimum, two sets of two, however, the more sets of two you create the longer the game can last—and the more challenging it becomes.
**Note: a base level canva.com account—which would allow you to easily create what you need for these games—is indeed free, however, be aware that certain images and features within the site may have a cost. Any charges at this site are clearly marked and you are warned before downloading anything with a cost feature.
5. Paint Pictures in Fun Shapes!
Drawing and painting can get boring, so why not make it fun again?! There are two ways you can do this depending on what supplies you have. Yet, whatever method you choose, it will add variety to an everyday craft and help promote your child’s creativity!
The first option requires painter’s tape (or masking tape): Take a regular sheet of cardstock, cardboard, or paper made for paints—printer paper is too thin here—and then cover any areas you don’t want the art to spill over on. You can do a basic square or rectangular boarder to create a clean, professional looking piece of art, or you can go beyond this by creating triangles, octagons, or any other shapes you could want! If you desire, place some taped areas within the art itself—before drawing or painting—to leave uncolored squares, lines, etc.
The second option is to: take any paper you want and turn it into the desired shape with a pair of scissors*. Your child can do this before or after creating their artwork and with virtually any paper type. In the end, no matter if cut before or after they are through, they will come away with a fun, playful piece of art to be proud of!
* For younger children, you may need to cut the paper. However, older children should be able to handle this—though they may still need assistance if they want a more complicated shape.
6. Make Your Own “Paintbrushes!”
If you have access to grass, small branches, leaves, etc., try creating your own stamps or paintbrushes for fun art!
All you need is a bit of nature, possibly some string, and some paint, and you’re in business!
Leaves and other small plant parts used alone as decorative stamps will provide some interesting artwork. Small branches with foliage used as paintbrushes will create interesting textures! You can even take small bundles of grass, leaves, etc., and tie them to the end of a twig to create the appearance and use of a paintbrush. These make for added fun and a sense of accomplishment in having created their own tools. It’s a great way to not only further your child’s artistic creativity but inspire resourcefulness as well!
7. Create Artwork from Dots!
All you need is something with a rounded end*, some paint and a piece of paper, and your child is all set to create artwork from dots!
It’s easy to fall into a rut when it comes to paint crafts but creating a work of art from dots is one way to help promote imagination and creativity! Just grab something with a rounded end* such as a pencil eraser, the end of a large paintbrush, a round spoon handle, etc.
Once you have the tools, all your kids need to do is dip the end of whatever they choose into the paint, press it on the paper, and let their imagination lead them from there!
*Note: some paints are harder to remove from surfaces than others, while some materials are more challenging to remove paint from than others. Know your materials and ideally choose only something you do not mind stained, or thrown away.
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