Just in case there are any concerns about art not being academic enough, here are some ways to combine math and art for kids for great learning and fun.
Sorting and matching is a skill needed for both math and science. For some math and art for kids, set out a jumble of different materials, glue, and a thick paper or piece of light cardboard. Kids can glue the items to the paper in groups. Some things to use could be bread tags, seeds, cheerios, yarn, bits of paper, sequins, etc. Some kids will make pictures using all the items rather than sorting them, which is another way to create art. Big Sister is finding some buttons to use.
Shapes and patterns are part of both math and art. Let kids create patterns with blocks, lego, colored sticks, colored paper, yarn, or crayons. Younger preschoolers will make simple patterns using two items or colors. Older children can make more complex ones using three or four items or maybe pairs or a different combination. The brain loves patterns because they condense large amounts of information into much easier to remember chunks.
Geometry is part of math and art. Children can use shapes to make pictures, either with all the same shapes of combining different ones. They can use a variety of materials too. Like paper, wood, or plastic. For more shape activities, here is another blog post: Shape Activities for Kids.
Symmetry is important in math. Have a look at some pictures of butterfly wings. The colors and shapes are beautiful and one side is just like the other. Kids can make butterflies by painting on half of a paper, folding it over, and smooshing it down. They can draw or color too. When opened, the two sides will be the same.
Double doodle drawing is another way to have fun with symmetry and for this both hands get to draw at the same time. This is very tricky and quite a challenge for brains. (See Double Doodle Art Play Activity)
Every child can benefit from art play. By combining math and art for kids, we appeal to a wide array of interests. Can you suggest some other math and art activities?