After-School ARt


Want your kids to talk to you about their day at school? Try ART.

Some children (and adults) speak more freely when their hands are busy and they are sitting side-by-side instead of face-to-face. The art process makes it acceptable to have their eyes focused down on the paper--which makes it easier to talk!

Get out a sketchbook, a spiral notebook, or some loose leaf computer paper. Find some crayons or markers or pencils. It's doesn't have to be fancy.

Just sit down and start doodling. Or painting. Or any of the easy art ideas listed below!


Try pipe cleaners as a fun and colorful building material.
Toothpicks and marshmallows (or grapes) work together like tinker toys!
Cut some paper squares and check out a library book on origami, the Japanese art of paper folding

Watercolor trays are inexpensive and easy to clean up.  Experiment with different technique, like wet-on-wet painting or adding salt to the wet paint.
Make a super-shiny, home-made paint from sweetened condensed milk and food coloring
Make microwaved puffy paint [recipe here]

Use old magazines and scissors to create a picture.  Henri Matisse called this "painting with scissors."
Print photos from a special trip or season and collage them onto a canvas
Cut words from junk mail, magazines, and newspapers to write a special message

Play a game of "Simon Says" Drawing.  Each person can take turn being "Simon."
Explore Zentangles and mandala drawings.  
Increase the novelty of drawing by using different papers...newspapers, phone book pages, or even aluminum foil.  
Fold a stack index cards in half and staple along the fold to create a mini drawing book.
Pre-draw a simple frame onto the drawing paper and let your child fill in the frame.
Pick fall leaves and doodle on them with silver paint pens

It's important to note that you should make art WITH them. And, your kids don't care if you can draw. As a matter of fact, they probably think that you draw really well. (Please, don't tell them otherwise!)


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