Arts and crafts aren’t just fun ways for kids to pass the time. Getting into art at a young age can also benefit children in a number of ways. For example, research has shown participating in activities like music, dance, theater, drawing, and painting can help kids develop their social skills and better regulate their emotions, according to the National Endowment for the Arts. Exposure to the arts can also benefit children in the areas of motor skill development, decision making, visual learning, language development, cultural awareness, and more, PBS reports.
If you’d like to encourage your kids to get creative, there are plenty of child-friendly art activities to choose from. These five fun art projects for kids can help jumpstart appreciation for the arts.
1. Modigliani self-portraits. This activity offers a twist on a classic art project. Let your children experiment with proportions by taking a page from the Italian painter Amedeo Modigliani and drawing themselves in a “stretched” style, Art Projects for Kids suggests. All you need is construction paper and pastels.
2. Toothpick sculptures. Explore three-dimensional art with only toothpicks, marshmallows, and beads. Thread the beads onto the toothpicks for decoration and connect the toothpicks by sticking them into marshmallows. You can make all kinds of structures, including cubes, pyramids, and much more, according to The Artful Parent.
3. Personalized/handmade art journals. Having your children create an “art journal” or portfolio is a great way to encourage them to store and protect their work, according to Art Projects for Kids. All you need is some old boxes and a 2-hole paper punch to make the covers. Kids can also decorate their journal covers to make them unique.
4. Marbled paper. It’s easier than you think to create a colorful marbled pattern on a piece of paper, according to The Artful Parent. You’ll need shaving foam, a shallow baking dish (e.g. a pie plate), liquid watercolor paints, eyedroppers, a stirring stick, card stock, and something to scrape with (for example, a square piece of cardboard).
First, spray a layer of shaving cream into the baking dish. Then use your eyedropper to add splotches of watercolor paint to the cream. Next, take your stirring stick and swirl the paint around to create a marbled look. Once that’s done, press a piece of card stock into the cream, then scrape off the excess to finish your marbled masterpiece.
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