painting activities

How to Steal a March #7: Art Play Boosts Brain Power

We often don’t think of it as serious or important as academics, but art play boosts brain power. Art play helps develop the important skills of visualization and creativity.pre-printing activities for young children

Brains think in words, but we also think in images. When we hear the words in a story, we create the images in our mind. When we describe an event to someone else, we use words to help them picture what happened too. Reading books and telling stories is word play; art activities are image and sensory play.

painting for kids

Usually, when we think of art activities for kids we think of drawing. Art tools for drawing aren’t limited to crayons. They can include chalk, paint, sticks, rocks, buttons, and recycled and nature items of many kinds. Besides paper, kids can create on sidewalks, driveways, dirt, decks, cardboard boxes and sometimes, walls. That’s not such a great choice, however. Kids can make pictures with a stick in the dirt, or rocks on a beach. The recycling basket often has treasures for art play.fun with school tools

When it comes to painting, food colors, fruits and vegetables, and even clear water are more choices. Brushes can range from fingers to old toothbrushes to marbles rolling around on a tray.
In addition to drawing, hands love to play with play dough. Whether you make your own at home or purchase it at a store, kids of various ages can play with it over and over. There are ­countless variations of play dough with different textures to appeal to the sense of touch. Another part of it’s appeal is that kids can create whatever they want. The possibilities are unlimited.

art play with rocks

We might think of creativity as a talent we are born with. It is also a skill that we can help kids develop by letting them explore and create. Businesses are finding the value of creativity as they look for innovative ideas and solutions. Have you heard the saying to “steal a march” on someone? This refers to having an advantage over somebody. Art play boosts brain power and can do just that–give kids an advantage. What kind of art play might happen today for your child?

Kids Chinese New Year Painting Craft – (X Marks the Spot)

Did you know this is the most celebrated holiday in the world? Here’s a kids Chinese New Year painting craft that breathes fire. Well, not fire, but fun. We adapted this from a thumbprint painting activity at Fun Handprint Art.

kids Chinese new year painting craft

At this time of year, you may be fortunate enough to get up close to a Chinese Dragon parade. There will be bright colors, lots of drums and cymbals, and waves of movement as the dragon dances along. Either before or after, kids can make their own dragon with the colors and movement. If you have any little bells, drums, shakers, or other noise makers from the holidays, then they recreate that part too.

kids Chinese new year painting craft

This is a wonderfully easy craft using paint dabbers. Just like the spot that an X marks (for this series of posts using the letters of the alphabet, these spots mark a dragon. To start, about the middle on one side of the paper, kids paint a spot with two more just below like a triangle. This makes the head of the dragon. Continuing on down, they add a few sports to be a neck. Little Sister slid the dabber to be a line for the neck of her dragon. The next part is to paint lots of spots in the dragon’s middle, like a hump or mountain shape. After that, kids dab a long line to be the tail.

kids Chinese new year painting craft

Little Sister’s tail curved along the edge of the paper, back across the top, and curved over to meet the top of the hump. She was really into the activity. Big Sister only dabbed a small tail and then wanted to do all the colors of the rainbow. She doesn’t have the roy-g-biv order or the indigo but has the other colors. Once dry, kids can draw on some legs and add an eye or they might want to leave their kids Chinese New Year painting craft just as it is.

kids Chinese new year painting craft

Sometimes, there is a lion dance, with a large and colorfully decorated head of a lion and only the legs of the 2 dancers showing. The dragon is lifted high off the ground with many dancers carrying it on poles. Will your family watch, participate or celebrate Chinese New Year? What will you do?

 

 

Olympic Art Activities for Kids: Olympic Games #12 – Art Wins Medal Too

Olympic art activities for kids aren’t just crafts. Nor are the Olympics just about sports. Did you know at one time, there were Olympic medals for art?

Olympic art for kids

From 1912 to 1948, art competitions were part of the Olympics. Medals were awarded in five categories for art inspired by sport. Sports and art do not contradict each other. In a way, the Olympic Games showcase them together. Think of the colors and designs that create a background for the sporting events.

Olympic art

Flags, fireworks and displays welcome crowds of people. Logos, team uniforms and costumes are crafted by professional artists. The gymnastics and synchronized swimming would be less visually rich and sensory if all the athletes wore just black.

Olympic art

For a change of pace and events, how about some Olympic art activities for kids? Get out some art materials and supplies as an invitation to play.

  • Olympic art for kidsSidewalks are like arenas for chalk art. Kids can draw in a much larger scale than with paper. When playing with chalk in driveways, be very careful of cars.
  • painting activities with kidsOutside or indoors, kids can paint. Did you see how artistically the walls are painted in Olympic facilities? A backyard fence makes a good wall and the paint can be plain water. Fill a bucket, give kids a wide brush and let them wash paint the fence.
  • shape art activities for kidsBesides paper, kids may enjoy painting on a large box. Several paper towel and tissue rolls dipped into different colors make an entire page of Olympic rings.

Crayons and makers are useful for more than walls. Got any old paperplates? They are an unusual alternative to sheets of paper.

teaching art to kids textureArt happens in 2-d and 3-d. The recycling basket often holds some great items for re-created art. So do kitchen cupboards. The wheels and the bottle cap on this picture are round like Olympic medals and make great art.

Sport and art share many aspects. Both include rhythm and form. One Olympic athlete won a medal in each. What kind of Olympic art might your child create?

Olympic Games #3: Make A Flag Craft for Kids

The Opening Ceremonies for the Olympic Games, where each country’s team will have a flag and flag bearer, inspires this make a flag craft for kids. Last month, both the United States and Canada celebrated their major holiday. For each of these, we made flags. To make a sort of US flag, use a rectangle … Continue reading Olympic Games #3: Make A Flag Craft for Kids

Bubble Play and Learn #21: Bubble Art Activity

Bubble packaging is not just fun to pop. Along with a few other recycled items, it can be used to create some amazing bubble art for a play-of-the-day. If you’ve ever done any wall painting, you’ve likely used a paint roller. You can make one for kids by rolling bubble wrap around a cardboard tube. … Continue reading Bubble Play and Learn #21: Bubble Art Activity

Paint Fireworks Craft for New Year’s Eve

Staying up for fireworks can be hard for kids—and adults. Instead, kids can enjoy this paint fireworks craft in all their favorite colors before bedtime. Besides paint, use a couple of toilet paper rolls. Because the rolls are harder to cut than thin paper, adult hands need to do the scissor part. Cut many narrow … Continue reading Paint Fireworks Craft for New Year’s Eve

Kindergarten Readiness: Painting for Fun and Learning

Just in case your fridge isn’t totally covered with art work, today’s play-of-the-day that starts with a p, like A pril, for some kindergarten readiness fun and learning, is a painting activity. Kids can paint with anything: brushes, hands, feet, fingers, marbles, wheeled toys, q-tips, rollers, dabbers, and salad spinners. Paint can be practically anything … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness: Painting for Fun and Learning

Some Handy Ideas for Kindergarten Readiness: Painting

Kids love using their hands to paint and painting is definitely a kindergarten readiness learning and fun activity. Adults think of paints and crayons as tools for creating art. For kids, paints and crayons are more than that. They are tools for discovering and learning through play. What are some of these learning and kindergarten … Continue reading Some Handy Ideas for Kindergarten Readiness: Painting

Kindergarten Readiness– June Bugs For Fun and Learning #10

Did you know that paint dabbers are both a kindergarten readiness tool and fun toy? There’s just so many ways to play with them plus they when they drop they don’t spill gray paint water that overshoots the protective newspaper. Who invented these, anyway? Little hands are painting all over a big piece of paper that will be cut-out … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness– June Bugs For Fun and Learning #10

Kindergarten Readiness – Spring Fun/Learning Activities #10

Q. What tree goes Meow in the spring? A. The willow tree with catkins. Catkins is another name for pussy willows and pussy willows is another way to explore some kindergarten readiness and learning fun. If possible, find some pussy willows that you can show your little one and share a tickle with the soft … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Spring Fun/Learning Activities #10