A collection of art activity ideas for Pre-K and Preschool children.
Find more art ideas on the Art Resource Page
A list of art books for Pre-K children: Books
Children chose one tempera paint color to mix with black and white paint to create dark and light hues.
More Ideas for Mixing Colors:
Mix the 8 basic colors with white.
Mix the primaries (red, blue, yellow) with each other.
Mix the primaries with white.
Mix the 8 basic colors with a little brown or black.
Mix a primary color with a secondary color.
Children paint a representation of a tree with tempera paint.
Children paint a representation of a flower with tempera paint.
Children had real gourds to use as models for their painting. They first drew outlines and details of their gourds with black ink pens, and then painted them with tempera paint. We had a variety of hues of paint, and the children matched the hues of paint to the hues of color on the gourds.
Children drew pictures with oil pastels and painted over the paper with liquid watercolor. The first picture has night animals washed over with black paint and the second picture has ocean animals washed over with blue-green paint.
Children mix the salt paint themselves, and the paint is used for open-ended art.
Salt Paint Recipe:
2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Liquid starch
A few drops of tempera paint
Mix ingredients together.
Children place a piece of paper in a pie pan, dip a marble in paint and roll it around the pan.
Wrap a piece of art paper around a nut can or drink mix can for children to paint.
Children dropped liquid watercolor onto coffee filters with medicine droppers.
Black Ink & Colored Pencil
Children drew a representation of a snake with a fine point black ink pen, drawing the outline and adding details. They had small models of snakes to look at while they drew. Later, these were colored in with colored pencils.
Observational Drawing: Children sat outside with clipboard and paper to draw a tree in each season.
We first went on a leaf hunt around the school grounds to collect leaves. Children studied the leaves with magnifying glasses, and drew pictures of different leaves with a fine-point black ink pen. I chose one leaf drawing from each child, scanned it, enlarged it on the computer, and printed them out on white art paper. I printed several copies for each child. The children decorated the leaf copies with different materials: watercolor paints, tempera paints, fine point colored pens, markers, and colored pencils.
Children drew a pen and ink self-portrait while looking at a photograph of themselves.
Children glue different kinds of seeds on paper.
Children first draw an outline of their picture with a black ink pen, then fill it in with sand. They use a glue brush (inexpensive dollar store brush) to paint glue in the area they want a particular color of sand, then sprinkle that color of sand over the glue using their fingertips to pinch the sand. They shake off the excess sand onto a paper plate. Then they can paint on more glue for the next color.
Colored paper was pre-cut into one-inch strips. Children cut the strips into pieces to glue onto a piece of black construction paper to make a mosaic.
Paint Card Mosaic
Paint sample cards were pre-cut into different sizes of squares, rectangles, and triangles for the mosaic pieces. The paint sample cards are free from hardware stores. Children glued the mosaic pieces onto a square of white construction paper to make the mosaic (I recommend a small square, about 6×6 inches). Each child chose a cup of mosaic pieces that were all one color, but of different hues.
Children used several collage materials of their choice from our art center to create a monster mask on a paper plate.
Children used three sizes of wooden craft sticks and other wooden pieces to create airplanes. We started out using glue, but the children decided the colored masking tape would work better.
Children used Model Magic to form snakes. After they dried they were painted with acrylic paint. We made these during a three-week long project on snakes, and the children knew just how to form the bodies of the snakes and paint patterns on them.
Children work with clay and clay tools to make their own creations. A small bowl with only a little water is used for dipping fingertips to make “slip”. Slip is clay and water mixed together and used as glue for connecting pieces of clay. Read more about using clay with children at K Play.
Children string pony beads on a pipe cleaner, then bend the pipe cleaner to make bead and wire sculpture.
Children used Model Magic to make cakes, cookies, cupcakes, and cinnamon rolls. They rolled out the “dough” and shaped it with their hands or with cookie cutters. They added birthday candles and cake decorations to the cakes. After they dried, they were painted with acrylic paint.
Children made trees with paper towel rolls and construction paper.
Children sewed yarn through a styrofoam plate. Yarn pieces were tied to plastic needles.
Children sewed yarn through burlap squares. Yarn pieces were tied to plastic needles.
Children strung pieces of cut straws onto yarn. Yarn pieces were tied to plastic needles.