Fun and Unusual Art Materials for Kids

How Kids Can Play and Make Art with Stuff

Think art materials for kids are too expensive? Just like there are a variety of ways to create art, there are many different materials kids can use. Some are very inexpensive and others you already have at home. Following are some pictures of child-created art and other suggestions to inspire art play for you and your child.

This has to be one of the easiest materials for cleanup! Set out a container of water and let kids paint with water. For painting on paper, give kids a small brush and small container, for painting on the sidewalk or fence, let kids dip wall brushes into a pail or bucket.
Little Sister ‘drew’ pictures using strings of colorful beads. She shaped the beads over and over until she got her masterpiece.

Recycle bits of wrapping paper and tissue paper with lots of glue to make an abstract collage. Just a little bit of paper can make dozens of pictures. Torn bits of paper add lots of interest and texture to drawings.

Do you have a button box at home? Let kids sort thru the buttons and find some treasures to use in their art work play. Seeds are available for very low cost in bulk bins at grocery stories. This also uses copious amounts of glue.

Kids pick up rocks, sticks, leaves, and other bits of nature. They can use these items to make art on paper on right on the ground. Sticks make giant pencils for drawing in the dirt or sand. Driftwood and shells have designs and textures already. Maybe they are Mother Nature’s art.

Although we often tell kids not to play with their food, food can look like a work of art. Aren’t the colors of fruits and vegetables as vibrant and attractive as a picture? Adults decorate cakes and carve amazing sculptures with food. For kids, a slice of bread can be the ‘paper’ and they can use sandwich fixings to make the picture. Orange sections and apple slices look like petals of a flower.

These are only a few ideas. I hope your child has never heard you say “I hate art.” Art seems to set-up either a love-hate relationship. If you never liked art as a child, you may only been exposed to art work and never have been given the opportunity for art play. Might these unusual art materials for kids inspire an art play-of-the-day for your child? Do you have any other suggestions?

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