i’m so excited to have jen from jen loves kev here today sharing some craft ideas for kids! i love browsing her blog for ideas because she is constantly coming up with and executing the best indoor activities and crafts for her little ones. these next few months of cold winter are always the toughest for me with my little ones at home because it’s too cold to get out as often as we usually do, so i’m always looking for new ideas of things to do inside together. i asked jen for a few ideas and i’m excited to share them with you here! thanks so much, jen!
“The winter is in full force up here in the Northeast. If your kids are anything like mine they’re going a bit (majorly!) stir crazy. I’ve made it a goal to do one craft/creative project a day ’til we can get back outside again. Nothing super fancy, but something that passes the time, creates fun memories and let’s us get our hands dirty. Since I used to teach art before my daughter was born, I love to incorporate art history into some of the projects. I keep it sweet and simple so she can understand, but I love adding context to what we’re creating that day.
Today I wanted to share a super fun and easy painting project you can do with your children. Before we started, I sat Rowan down and we talked about abstract expressionism. You don’t have to be an art history buff to teach your kids about art. There are hundreds of lessons online if you google them. I pulled out an old art history text book, but you could just as easily pull up some pictures from the internet. We talked about how abstract expression is art that is created with no subject matter. The artwork is made only using lines, shapes and color. Then we talked about the fact that even though there is no subject (objects or pictures), that the pictures are still trying to tell a story or emotion. I showed Rowan a few pictures of artwork by Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning, Wassily Kandinsky, and Jackson Pollock. I asked her what she thought each picture was about. Her answers were super cute and even quite insightful.
Below I have listed the materials and directions for you and your kids to make your own abstract art as well.
- paint brushes
- canvas boards
- art history book (or computer if you just want to pull up some pictures to view)
1. After you’ve talked about abstract art and looked at a few examples with your kids, ask them how they are feeling. Rowan said she was feeling very tired that morning (we had been up very late the night before). I asked what colors she thought represented those feelings. She picked out blues, greens and grey.
2. With the colors your kid chooses, let them drip dots of paint over the canvas board. Next, talk about what kind of lines or brush strokes you think would represent the emotion they are feeling. Rowan told me she thought swirls and rounded shapes because they would be like her dreams swirling around. (Isn’t it so fun to hear what they come up with?)
3. Give them a handful of paint brushes to use. Explain that they will be using the paint dripped on the canvas board to mix, swirl and blend all the colors together to create a painting of their emotion. Try to help them not mix too much in one area. (I know all kids like to mix everything until it’s that yucky brown color.) Guide them around the canvas and switch out to a new brush if one becomes to overloaded with paint.
4. Have fun with them! Talk about the picture as they are making it. Let them get paint all over. Messy is good! That’s the fun of abstract art!!
5. Rowan decided for her second painting she wanted to paint a picture of how she felt playing at a friend’s birthday party. I think she nailed it!
6. Best part… when the paintings are dried they are these gorgeous little pieces of artwork that you can use to decorate your home! Every time I look at the painting it makes me smile thinking about her trying to capture how happy she feels being at a party playing with her friends. So cute!!
p.s. This is great for younger siblings, too. They may not understand the art lesson as you talk to your older ones, but you better believe they will love to push paint around and get messy!! Yay for art!”
thanks so much, jen! see more craft ideas for kiddos here, on her blog.