Engaging a child with art helps them look at materials in a new way while keeping them entertained for hours on end. When they see that they’re capable of making something new with their own two hands, a whole new world will open up for them—a creative world where they have the ability to do anything they set their mind to.
Children don’t need to be inside a classroom in order to express their creativity. They can do so at home, on the playground, or even in the car. That’s the beauty of a child’s mind—it never stops running, thinking, or creating. All that mind needs is a little nourishment, and that’s what this article is here to provide.
Read on to discover nine unique art projects that will engage your little one’s mind.
1. Ice Dyeing
Learning colors is one of the first stages that many children go through, which cultivates a love for experimenting with colors. Ice dyeing allows kids to do just that—experiment. Kids can create unique tie-dye patterns while testing watercolors. All you need is a solid cotton surface in order for this to work.
2. Creating an Acorn Family
This activity works for kids who love to forage for things in the backyard. If your little one is always coming back with a new stick or pinecone, then this is a perfect choice for them. These cute little toys can be made from acorns—with the tops of the acorns acting as hair or hats. To add to the acorn family, your child can adorn their “home” with branches, dirt, and leaves.
3. Homemade Play-Dough
Play-dough has been around for decades, and it’s one of the most well-loved playthings for children. You can make your own version of the beloved store-bought material with flour, food coloring, salt, vegetable oil, and cream of tartar. The kids can help you create it, then roll it, shape it, or mold it into anything that they please—all the while knowing that they’re the ones who brought it to “life.”
4. Painted Sneakers
If your kids have old pairs of shoes lying around—or even new ones that they want to use to show off their art skills—then painting sneakers is a great idea. Tape off sections of the sneaker that you want to remain white, and let your kids paint the exposed areas. The seams of the sneakers can act as a guide, and the final product will be something that they’ll be proud to wear.
5. Iron-On Tote Bag
There’s no better canvas for a young artist than a cloth bag. You can use iron-on clip art from the internet—having your child choose whatever design suits their fancy—and use transfer paper to iron it onto the bag. All you need to do is set the bag on an ironing board or pillowcase, then iron the design right on. Your children will have something to carry their books in that they created themselves!
6. Wooden Bead Keychain
This is like having summer camp in your very own backyard. Your children can turn a handful of wooden beads into a keychain, and it’ll get them working with their hands and focused on something that takes precise movements. It will engage fine motor movements and their creativity at the same time.
7. Using Natural Ink
Put away the colored pencils and acrylics for a day and try to paint with something that’s found in nature. Doing this will teach your children about resources in the world around us and what sorts of pigments they create. From leaves to berries, along with bark and moss, there are thousands of different colors to be found in your very own backyard.
8. Giant Coloring Page
This project is perfect for a rainy day—and there are two ways to do this. If you want something a bit more involved, you can have your child draw a detailed picture on a piece of white paper and take it to a print shop to get enlarged, and then color it in from there. Or, if you have butcher paper at your disposal, you can unroll a large portion of it and span it across the entire living room (or room of your choice) so your child can draw and color a landscape that fills an entire afternoon.
9. Painting Rocks
Here’s yet another example of using nature for its art forms. Rocks are a great canvas, and they also make cute yard decorations for when your little artist is finished painting. They can be transformed into anything—toy cars, little animals, or even an entire town.
What Will They Create?
Children are naturally curious and creative beings. All you need to do is get them started, and you’ll be amazed at how projects like these will engage their mind and showcase what they’re capable of.