36 Elementary Art Lessons for Kids – one for every week of the school year! Perfect for homeschool families, teachers, scout leaders, and parents!
Art is my favorite part of our homeschool week, so to prepare for the upcoming school year, I put together this list of 36 art lessons for kids – one for each week of the school year. This fun collection of art projects are geared for elementary aged children and are adaptable for students in grades K-6. Many of these kids art project ideas are inspired by famous artists throughout history, and all of them are sure to be a ton of educational fun!
Most of these easy art projects require only basic supplies such as tempera paint, watercolors, paint brushes, construction paper, glue, oil pastels, oil paints, and clay. They’re perfect for a single student or an entire classroom full of kids!
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36 Elementary Art Lesson Plans for Kids
These elementary art lessons for young kids will definitely give you creative inspiration for your next art project!
Wassily Kandinsky was known for his color theory, and his range of color expression was far greater than average. Kandinsky was known to associate different colors with everything, including days of the week! All that you need for this activity is a bunch of heavyweight construction paper (about 60-70 sheets; assorted colors), scissors and kid-friendly glue or glue sticks. If you’d like, you can also set out a few different sized bowls, plates, etc. for the kids to trace to create their circles.
Jackson Pollock was a great artist of the Abstract Expressionist Movement who radicalized painting with his “drip style” technique that revolutionized art for future generations. He showed the world that canvas did not need to be set upon an easel, but rather spread out in the raw where the artist could become fully immersed in his craft and approach it from all sides and angles. This activity will bring children’s art to life with motion, energy, and spontaneous fluidity. By using unconventional materials and getting into(literally!) your painting, children will feel their paintings and can translate their emotions to paper!
These Alien Name Creatures were a total blast to make! I had so much fun making them as a kid, I knew my boys would enjoy this activity just as much! This activity is great practice for demonstrating symmetry and letting your child’s creative juices flow. At the end, you’ll have tons of cute alien creatures to hang up, frame or even put on an adorable puppet show.
Dutch modern painter Piet Modrian is best known for his 1920’s famous works of art that feature only horizontal and vertical lines along with black, white and primary colors. With bold outlines, high contrast, and bright colors, Mondrian’s artwork is usually well received by children, and creating student artwork inspired by Mondrian is simple and fun!
I’ve been saving up recycled flat pieces of styrofoam from take-out containers or meat trays for Styrofoam Printing – just make sure that the edges are flat or else it makes printing difficult! You can also purchase inexpensive Printmaking Foam as well. Just draw your pictures into the flat piece of your styrofoam (press slightly hard when drawing) and then coat your styrofoam stamp with your favorite brand of paint. It’s so easy!
This creative Collaborative Watercolor Painting from Drip Drip Splatter Splash really allows children’s imaginations to run wild. Start by laying out a long sheet of paper, color in thick black lines and let kids engage in each space however they feel at the time. Provide art supplies like watercolor paints or crayons, or acrylic paint. The end result is beautiful!
Morton Wayne Thiebaud was an American painter known for his colorful works depicting commonplace objects, and these Cupcakes from Abby Schukei really nail that style. This would be a fun project for slightly older kids to work on as it does require a little patience to see this amazing project through.
This DIY Stained Glass Mosaic activity from Krokotak is super easy to recreate with even your littlest ones! Trace a basic shape(not too detailed!) onto white paper, then again onto colored paper. Cut the colored paper into smaller pieces and use your original as a guide to glue the pieces back together on a separate sheet of paper, arranging them around in a stained glass fashion. Easy, and looks amazing!
These painted cave art activities from Painted Paper Art are really fun to make with older kids! All you need are oil pastels, some animal shaped stamps, black paint and white sulphite drawing paper (torn at the edges to look worn). A perfect project for a social studies or history lesson on early prehistoric periods.
Cut Paper Art from Suzy’s Sitcom is a great way to recycle magazines and create beautiful artwork at the same time. This cut paper art idea is not only colorful, but very easy to make. So gather up your old magazines and check out how to make some of these easy crafts with your recyclables!
These Ice Cream Cones from Abby Schukei are the perfect art lesson to demonstrate how to mix colors and create new tints and shades. It’s very simple, and is a great reinforcement activity for kids of all ages to learn about color mixing. The finished result looks almost good enough to eat!
This lesson on Radial Paper Relief from Art With Mrs. Nguyen challenges students to consider what symmetry is and the difference between linear symmetry (1 line of symmetry) and radial symmetry (circular lines of symmetry) are. It also demonstrates what a sculpture is (a piece of artwork you can see from all sides – it is 3-dimensional), and what a relief “sculpture” is (a piece of artwork that has depth on the surface but is not meant to be seen from all sides). Once students can grasp the principles behind radial symmetry and sculpture; it’s easy to begin creating your very own radial paper relief sculptures!
Perspective is part magic and part math and for creative types like me, there are specific rules that really work! This One-Point Perspective Art Lesson from Deep Space Sparkle teaches young learners how to create landscapes using the easy, 1 point perspective technique. It’s really fun to see students’ wheels turning once they grasp the simple concept behind these creations!
This Mexican Cacti Art project from Jamestown Elementary Art Blog is so inspiring; their 5th graders thought about their vocab word genre and considered the multiple genres that are used in art history. They then created their own still lifes with real cacti and drew them, making sure to think about the art element of space and overlapping! I just love the unique patterned pots!
I love this Wycinanki Polish Folk Art for Kids from Kid World Citizen! “Wycinanki” pronounced Vee-chee-non-kee is the Polish word for ‘paper-cut design,’ a Polish folk art that dates back at least 150 years. No one is exactly sure how or why this Polish folk art started, but some say it goes back to the time when few farm houses had glass windows. The legend says that peasant farmers would hang sheep skins over the window openings, snipping small openings to let some light in. Soon these became decorative, as well as functional!
I absolutely have to try this City Skyline & Reflection Printmaking from Painted Paper Art. Printmaking can be magical for young children and advanced artists, as well! The process of creating an image then transferring that image to another piece of paper is so exciting! There are so many different ways to print; this project focuses on using a foam printing plate and then transferring the image to paper. The end result is totally frame-worthy!
These Mary Cassatt-Inspired Self Portraits from Jamestown Elementary Art Blog are just too cool! Little artists used their own photos to cut in half, so one side of the artwork is their photo, and the other is the side they drew! AMAZING! A great way to practice your skills of proportions and shading.
We’re definitely going to make our own Calder-Inspired Paper Sculptures from Pink Stripey Socks! So whimsical and colorful! It’s a very simple paper sculpture project inspired by Calder’s large scale metal ones. They take only minutes to whip up and certainly would also make for fun scissor practice with younger kids as well!
This Rain & Rainbow Watercolor Resist project from Elementary Art Fun uses a white crayon for mapping out horizon lines and water droplets; then gets a splash of liquid watercolor after wetting the paper. The result is fantastic and makes me wish for a fun rainy day to recreate this neat activity!
Clay Leaves from It Is Art Day uses a slab of clay and rubber leaf stamps(or artificial leaves!) to give the perfect autumn leaf shape to your project. Then, using a pin tool; cut around the shape and attach a foot to your leaf with a coil of clay. All that’s left to do is to slump your leaf in a small bowl covered with a zip lock bag. Allow them to dry, and voila! A beautiful, perfect autumn leaf to add to your fall décor or table settings.
Making these Matisse Cut Outs from Drip Drip Splatter Splatter really challenges young kids to use their cutting skills. You can really get a feel for your students motor skills and hand-eye coordination when doing this creative project. It’s easy to incorporate some of the types of cutouts Matisse did, like the starburst, splash, spirals, zigzags and wavy lines. Students can keep both positive and negative cutouts and use both parts of each of their different shapes as part of the final arrangement. So cool!
This Life-Sized Keith Haring Art from Greenbay Art Room mimic his giant posters of figures using none other than ourselves as the template! Kiddos can get on the floor and trace their bodies(so much fun!), and then collaboratively finish decorating each poster. A great group activity!
Gelatin Leaf Prints from Cassie Stephens just uses gelatin (that’s classic, plain Knox gelatin, not Jell-o!), cookie sheets, printmaking brayer (sold at most craft stores), printing ink, a variety of leaves and paper. Once the leaves start falling, you’ll definitely want to try this easy to make craft project.
These Sumi-e Brushstroke Mini Books from Experiments In Art Education are absolutely adorable! This project is a great example of how making art can relax you, and is about making mistakes and trying again(very Zen!). Pair this with some deep breathing exercises and children will embrace the calmness of creativity easily.
I LOVE these Georgia O’Keefe Flowers from Art Bar Blog! This art activity challenges children to paint incomplete images (that span off the canvas!) and really can be tricky for those little completionists on your hands! The final result looks simply darling! A great afternoon activity for any homeschool parent.
These fun projects for kids are sure to bring a ton of creative joy to your home or school room!
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Heidi Kundin has captivated the hearts of millions with her colorful and inspiring approach to crafting, celebrations, and family fun. With over 15 years of experience, Happiness is Homemade has become a must-visit destination for those seeking quick and easy creative ideas and last-minute solutions. Heidi’s warm personality shines through her posts, inviting readers to join her on a creative journey that’s fun, rewarding, and achievable. Heidi is also the author of Homemade Bath Bombs & More and DIY Tie-Dye.