The goal of Kinder Art has been and always will be, to make art lessons and educational information accessible to people around the world. In addition to the thousands of free art lesson plans, they offer printable activity pages, the art kitchen, educational links and articles, early childhood education resources and much more.
This is a question we hear a lot at KinderArt®. The answer, can be found below (and in the free downloadable guide mentioned at the bottom of this post).
PAPER. Lots of paper: every size, every shape. You can use photocopy paper, newsprint, mural paper, and butcher paper. Even paper grocery bags cut up into squares will do just fine as will old shirt and cereal boxes.
PENCILS. If nothing else, you must have pencils. Nice big fat pencils for little hands and smaller pencils for your “grown up” students.
CRAYONS. The brighter your crayons are, the better.
MARKERS. Make sure they are washable for the little ones.
MODELING MATERIALS. This can be clay, or even homemade goop—anything that can be formed. We love Crayola Model Magic.
PASTELS. Try to have both chalk and oil pastels on hand. Chalk pastels should be reserved for your older students while the oil pastels can be introduced to the younger set. Sakura makes a terrific oil pastel.
SCISSORS. Provide safety scissors and adult assistance for the tiny ones.
GLUE. Containers of glue are all you need, or you can make your own with flour and water.
PAINT AND BRUSHES. You will be most pleased with water-based paints (tempera or watercolor) and brushes from small (¼”) to large (1″). Here’s a tip: Make clean up easier by adding a few drops of dish soap to your paints.
FOUND OBJECTS. You can use buttons, beads, stamps, thread, and so on in many an art project.
You can get instant access to my 9 page Art Supply Guide by entering your name and email below.
Art and craft time in your childcare program can be fun, educational, and result in treasures that are saved (and displayed on refrigerators) for years. But some art supplies and art activities can be unsafe unless caregivers follow simple guidelines for selecting and storing materials and teach children how to use them properly. Scott G. Allen, Executive Director, Illinois Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics has provided us with some helpful tips. You can find those here.
Keeping kids busy is no easy task, sometimes you have to get creative and think out of the box. A photo scavenger hunt is a perfect activity to keep little ones entertained.
A scavenger hunt gives kids a chance to explore their surroundings, search and locate objects, and learn about the world around them. Scavenger hunts help spark curiosity and wonder in kids when learning about new objects. They will be so proud when they check off all the items from their list.
To get started, you’ll need a smartphone or camera, a pen or pencil, and a themed scavenger hunt list. Narrow down your location with the 10 creative scavenger hunts by Shutterfly below. The locations vary from your own neighborhood to the zoo, so you and the kids can search high and low pretty much anywhere.
Photo scavenger hunt rules:
Choose a location and theme.
Assign a judge.
Separate into teams. Pair kids with adults in every team.
Set boundaries within the chosen location and let the players know.
Set a timer for an hour.
Give a prize to the winner!
The kids will have a blast, learn about the world around them and stay busy and entertained for hours. When you’re done with your scavenger hunt, print out your pictures or create a fun photo book to look back on and laugh. Find your favorite scavenger hunt location below and get started.
1. Zoo Scavenger Hunt
Visiting the animals is so peaceful and fun. As you say hi to the tigers, monkeys and zebras…make sure to also snap a photo of the friendly zoo keeper!
2. Road Trip Scavenger Hunt
What can be more fun than a road trip? A road trip scavenger hunt! Adventure through gas stations, lookout points, bridges and trains. Make sure you to pay attention to your surroundings, you may zoom through one of the challenges.
3. Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt
You don’t have to travel far to adventure. You can do it right in your neighborhood. Round up the kids and their friends and have fun discovering all the ins and outs of your community.
4. Nature Scavenger Hunt
There’s nothing more relaxing than being in nature. Nature watching is always exciting especially, when surrounded by beautiful trees, leaves and sunshine—a perfect weekend activity for the whole family.
5. Home Scavenger Hunt
No need to leave your house to have fun. If you have markers, puzzles and spare change, then you’ve got the perfect scavenger hunt setup! Make sure to put everything back in its place or you’ll have a messy home.
6. Grocery Store Scavenger Hunt
Keeping the kids entertained at the grocery store can be a bit tricky. But, if you incorporate a scavenger hunt into the mix, you’ll have a happy crew and get your shopping done we well. The challenging part will be to not purchase those cookies.
7. Farmer’s Market Scavenger Hunt
Farmer’s markets are a great place to get your seasonal goods and mingle with your neighbors. The kids will have a great time finding sweet strawberries, beautiful flowers and freshly baked bread.
8. City Scavenger Hunt
Going into the city is always an adventure. The hustle and bustle, loud noises and groups of tourists keep the city exciting. Navigate your way through the streets while snapping fun pictures of taxis and bikes.
9. Beach Scavenger Hunt
A beach scavenger hunt is fun for any age. There are many common items that can be found in just about any beach and the best part of all is everyone gets to splish-splash around. Make sure not to drop your phone in the water!
10. Airport Scavenger Hunt
Traveling can be a little stressful and hectic. But once you’ve made your way through the airport security line, you’ll have to kill some time before your flight. Have fun snapping someone sleeping, suitcases and laptops.
When you think of origami, you probably think of complicated paper cranes and intricate folds. But origami can be very simple and easy for anyone, even young children! Personal Creations has created printable templates to help you and your little ones make origami bookmarks for your favorite stories! They only have 6 easy folds and have adorable themes like animals, superheroes and floral designs!
These make the perfect craft for classroom fun, rainy days at home, or to use as favors at your next celebration! Slip these into an Easter basket (check out the Easter templates) or into a gift bag to give to your kiddos and watch their faces light up when they see these cute little crafts.
Origami, which has roots in early Japanese culture, ranges from simple designs to intricate works of art. Whether you have an avid young reader, hope to become an origami master or just want something cute for your books, this origami bookmark can be made in just six easy steps!
Ready to get folding? You don’t need much to make these cute bookmarks –– that’s the great thing about origami! It may be helpful to use tape or glue during folding to ensure the creases hold. You’ll also want tape for our adorable templates and add-ons!
What You Need:
Printed bookmark template
Scissors or paper cutter
Tape or glue
What You Do:
You can use a plain square piece of paper, or one of our themed templates. Follow the instructions below to create your very own origami bookmark!
Choose your favorite template below, then print and cut it out. Start by placing the paper with the corner facing you and the design facing down. The solid colored triangle should be closest to the bottom corner.
2. Fold the bottom corner up to the center point of the square
Place your square on a table, one point facing towards you so it looks like a diamond. Bring the bottom point up to meet the top point. Crease in the middle to create a small triangle.
3. Fold upward again at the center, creating a second triangle
With the top of your triangle pointing up, bring the left point up to meet the top. Crease along the fold. Repeat on the right side to create a smaller diamond.
4. Bring the bottom two points up to meet the top
Flip your diamond over. Taking only the top layer of paper, bring the bottom point of the diamond up to meet the top. Crease, then unfold.
5. Fold the points into the pocket
Taking the same point, tuck it into the pocket created and crease at the edges. Use tape or glue to strengthen any loose edges on the back of your bookmark.
6. Glue or tape on decorative pieces
Attach the decorative pieces as shown in our previews. Have fun reading!
8 Adorable Origami Bookmark Templates
Now that you’re a pro at origami folding, try creating a bookmark using one of these fun designs! From your favorite furry friends to daring superheroes, these templates will get you excited to read and help protect your books from wear and tear.
With Easter just around the corner, these festive templates make for ‘egg-cellent’ bookmarks!
Spot and Whiskers are ‘purr-fect’ companions for animal-loving readers of all ages!
These kawaii –– Japanese for “cute” –– designs will keep you stylish with every page turn.
These superheroes protect your book corners while Rex helps you be a dino-mite reading whiz!
One of these origami bookmarks paired with a personalized book makes the perfect gift for any book lover in your life!
Whether you have a little one who always has a book in hand or you’re a self-proclaimed bibliophile, a simple-to-make origami bookmark is a great way to protect your next read.
If This Was Your House, I’d Be Embarrassed for You
There was a time when a few pretty baskets and a couple of coffee cans were enough to contain my child’s arts and crafts supplies.
That was then.
Now, I’ve become an unwilling expert in a new, bewildering math process known as multipladdition.
It works like this… If x is the child’s age, and y is said child’s genetic tendency to add glue to all the things, then the answer is four hundred and eleventy billion craft supplies in my office.
This is not an exaggeration. It’s just how math works.
The last thing I want to do is stifle the many creative thoughts my daughter has, and so I’ve enabled her by sometimes regularly topping up our stash of buttons, beads and baubles. Trouble is, when you place one small package of pipe cleaners next to one little bag of feathers you inevitably end up with six thousand pieces of fun felt.
And, thanks to shows like Art Attack, Artzooka and Mister Maker, I need to empty any and all food containers under cover of darkness, otherwise my child will liberate all the oatmeal bins, egg cartons and cracker boxes with plans to make robots, cars, dragon feet, and a horse stable complete with salt licks. She’s like a mini MacGyver. As in, if she ever finds herself stuck inside an elevator, I’m fairly certain she could bust her way out using nothing more than a stack of construction paper, one oil pastel, three pipe cleaners and a handful of pom-poms.
She even has friends and family saving toilet paper rolls despite my – highly ineffectual – attempts to explain that because she (alone) uses eighteen squares per wipe, we will never EVER be without paper tubes. It’s like she’s preparing for some sort of crafting apocalypse where the only way to survive will be to make penguins, owls and elephants out of cardboard.
In case you don’t believe me, I’ll now shudder as I show you the place in my house where found objects and house plants go to die.
Seriously. If this was your home, I would be embarrassed for you.
Baskets are a wonderful way to store children’s craft supplies, as long as no actual crafting takes place.
You see all those wooden letters? Put them together and they spell SHAME.
I know! Let’s put all the art supplies in a great big bin because that will make the purple crayon easy to find.
Needless to say, something had to be done.
I briefly considered selling the house – contents included. I also thought about hiring someone to break in and perform a ribbon heist at 2am. But instead, my mom and I drove to our neighbourhood home improvement store where the instant sale fairies had magically marked down the price of these…
We threw two of them into the back of the car and laughed like giddy teenagers all the way home. Once unpacked it took us less than ten minutes to assemble them, place them against the wall and rake everything else into a giant pile on the middle of the floor.
Not long after, we heard angels singing as we stood back and admired our handiwork. There may or may not have been tears.
For the first time ever, all the artistic necessities had a place – the paper, the markers, the googly eyes, the feathers… everything.
And it was beautiful.
Also, I discovered that I never need to buy another pipe cleaner, roll of masking tape or glue stick for as long as I live.
Now that all the arts and crafts supplies have a place to live, my daughter has no trouble cleaning up after herself. It’s delightful and it’s just how I picture Martha Stewart’s craft room. Only, different.
And, we have a new rule. If the bins are overflowing, to the craft store we’re not going…
I never know what will trigger the purchase. Sometimes it’s hearing a Depeche Mode song at the grocery store while I’m picking up string cheese. Other times it’s the absence of coffee cream in my refrigerator. Mostly, it’s nostalgia – or amnesia – brought on by lack of sleep. And Pinterest.
The thing about glitter is this… It looks so tempting, sitting on the shelf wedged between the fun foam and fusible beads.
I mean, it’s the darling of the dollar store. All the other craft supplies – even the googly eyes – want to be it, or be near it because, GLITTER.
Whether it’s gold or silver or red or blue or green, glitter is what makes that little voice inside my head start whispering the words, “c’mon, let’s get messy”
Yes, it’s dark and it’s disturbing, but whenever I see glitter, I want to take it home and sparkle on.
And so do you.
Don’t deny it. I know you’ve been there.
So you go to the store and you buy glitter. All the glitter.
Because let’s face it, three bottles only cost $1.00, and even though somewhere in the deep recesses of your memory you have a faint recollection of a horrifying glitter explosion, you don’t remember it being all that bad.
Sure you found tiny bits of shiny metal in your salad dressing, your bra, and in between your toddler’s toes for months after the fact, but to be fair, you hadn’t prepared your work space properly.
This time, things will be different because this time you will plan ahead. You will put out a bowl of warm soapy water and you will keep the vacuum nearby. In fact, you will do whatever it takes to make this happen.
You arrive home with your purchase sitting next to you on the front seat. You know full well that the path you are on is sketchy and it’s wrong but you haven’t felt this alive since you blasted a hairdryer across all of your kid’s crayons in an effort to make a melted wax masterpiece (that would have turned out perfectly if only you had used an industrial heat gun).
And so, you run into your house – giddy with anticipation – as you reveal the details of your plan to your family members.
It’s not your fault. It’s your cerebrum – where glitter memories go to die – the neuron-packed part of your brain which controls reasoning, and harbors improper thoughts like: Yes, you can still wear a crop top with boyfriend jeans, and of course you should quit your day job and start a tote bag business on Etsy because you are a Girl Boss.
When it comes time to craft, it’s very possible you might forget what to do, what with being completely and totally dazzle-drunk.
So to help you through, I’ve prepared a brief How to Work with Glitter tutorial that will apply regardless of which unsuspecting item you choose to make fabulous.
Step 1) Grab the glue as you begin to regret telling your child about your glitter plan.
Step 2) Chant the words, “not yet, not yet, not yet,” as your 6 year-old repeatedly asks if she can open ALL the glitter jars RIGHT NOW.
Step 3) Begin to question your own sanity.
Step 4) Hastily throw a paper plate down on your kitchen counter. Refer to Step 3.
Step 5) Realize there is no turning back.
Step 6) Encourage your kid to cover something – anything – with glue. No paper? No problem. Grab a rock.
Step 7) Open the glitter jars and take a deep breath. On second thought, don’t. Because, lungs.
Step 8) Watch as your child begins to sprinkle glitter all over the glue. Pray to the baby Jesus.
Step 9) Abandon all worries because you are having some serious fun and if feeling this way is wrong, you don’t want to be right.
Step 10) When you begin to come out of your glitter-induced haze, look around for the non-existent warm soapy water and vacuum. Curse the air and your forgetful mind. Then, rush your entire family outside before you set the house on fire because this is the ONLY way to clean up glitter.
Trust me, I’m an artist. Plus, the fire will be beautiful.
Incidentally… this is a humorous post, but what glitter does to the environment is the opposite of funny. Since I wrote this post, I’ve reeled in my glitter habit because the earth matters more than a few happy moments of sparkle.
(A version of this post originally appeared on YMC)
All you need is a permanent marker, some watercolour paint, a couple of paintbrushes, water (in a cup), and some heavy paper (watercolour paper or poster board).
First, draw some fanciful heart shapes on the paper using a black permanent pen (a Sharpie marker is great). Don’t stress too much about how the hearts look and if you find you need some extra shapes, throw in a few circles, or whatever strikes your fancy.
Then, casually invite your child to help you fill in the blanks.
Take turns dipping your brushes into bright bold watercolours as you work together to create a truly collaborative painting. Follow his or her lead and you’ll find that your “work of (he)art” will include some fabulous colour combinations.
And remember – THERE ARE NO WRONG MOVES HERE!
If the paint is hitting the paper, you’ve won. The idea is not to manage or criticize one another’s efforts, but rather to go with the flow and see what develops.
This part is hard. Especially for someone – like yours truly – who likes to be in control.
But, if you can resist the urge to direct what’s happening, you will settle into a peaceful groove with your kiddo as you dip and dab, side by side.
At the end of the process, you’ll have created much more than a work of art. And – if it works – try out some other ideas. I’d love to see what you come up with.
A young friend was visiting our house when he threw a word-bomb into the living room and waited for my then 5 year-old daughter to catch it. I cringed the moment I heard the words falling from his mouth.
“You must be bored, living here, with nothing to do.”
My daughter didn’t know the meaning of the word bored. Sure, she had experienced boredom before, but without a way to describe it, she would just instinctively come up with something interesting to do to alleviate the feeling. In fact, until that moment, the only other time she had heard the word used was when we built our own home two years before. As in, “If I see one more piece of unfinished wall board, I think I might cry.”
While I wondered whether or not the comment would simply evaporate into the air, or hang there like the stink of rotten squash, my daughter – sensing my anxiety – asked, “What’s bored?”
Her friend was happy to provide her with the information she needed and it didn’t take long for the word – that word – to infiltrate our lives.
When I was a kid, I would complain to my parents that I was bored. My late father always had the same response. “A board is a piece of wood and you don’t look like wood to me so you can’t be bored.” Then, he’d get back to doing whatever it was that he was doing until I walked away and found something to occupy my time.
Boredom isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it can help you to become more creative. (Go ahead and Google the words boredom and creativity and you’ll be fed a long list of reasons why). The key is to help your kids learn to embrace boredom, rather than dread it.
So, what’s a parent to do?
Truthfully, I don’t have a definitive answer, but I’ll tell you what I did.
I enlisted my daughter’s help in designing a Boredom Bucket. Or rather, an Anti-Boredom Bucket.
First, we grabbed a handful of craft sticks, some markers and some stickers. As my kiddo decorated the ends of each of the sticks, I asked her to tell me some of the things she liked to do, and activities she might like to try.
As she rattled off things like “play toys”, “dance” and, “look at tadpoles”, I wrote, and eventually we ended up with a bunch of activities written on a pile of wooden tongue depressors.
Then, we found and decorated a plastic container, which we used to hold the ideas – her ideas.
And do you know what? It worked!
Until it didn’t.
For weeks, whenever I heard the words “I’m bored”, I pointed to the Boredom Bucket and shortly after, I heard the sweet sound of sticks rattling around in plastic, followed by the murmurs of a kid setting up a miniature tea party using beads, tiny dog figurines and strips of toilet paper.
But then – without warning – I watched as my child pulled every stick out of the container while saying, “no”, “no”, “no” and “no”.
I thought the jig was up until… something magical happened. She stuffed all those craft sticks away, said, “I know what to do” and skipped happily out of the room – returning with new sticks to decorate with new ideas.
Fast-forward half a year. I don’t hear the dreaded words very often, but when I do, I silently gesture towards the ever-evolving Boredom Bucket and let me tell you, that wonderful little craft project has earned its retirement.
A Zentangle is a miniature abstract work of art created by a collection of patterns.
It is typically done on a 3 ½” x 3 ½” paper “tile” using a pencil and a black pen. The small size allows for a work of art that can be completed in a relatively short period of time. The “zen” part of it is that it can be a very relaxing and meditative experience.
The creators of the Zentangle, Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas, have created a variety of patterns that you will see used by those who Zentangle. However, these are not a prerequisite as artists are invited to make whatever pattern feels right and that pleases them.
The size of the artwork actually can be any size (they just refer to it by a slightly different name) and color can be added as well.
I have just started to experiment with this process and am learning what kinds of patterns tend to work in different spaces. I invited my students to give this art a try, and oh my, did they ever take off! They are waaaaay better at this than I am, but I am learning!
Here are some “basics” to get you started…
You can use any size paper you like, but I do think a square is a good idea.
If you can, use a nice quality paper. Zentanglers use an Italian paper called Tiepolo by Fabriano; my students and I have been using the BFK Reeves 100% cotton paper.
Using a pencil, put a small dot in the each of the corners of your paper.
Connect the dots with a line, not necessarily a straight one though.
Using the pencil, sort of “scribble” in some lines, going this way and that, until you have created several spaces on the paper.
Using your black pen, create a different pattern in each one of the spaces that you have drawn with your pencil.
The four dots, connect the dots, draw spaces, fill spaces in with a variety of designs.
If you like, do some shading with a pencil.
Zentanglers create a signature of sorts, most use initials, and put these in the bottom right hand corner of their Zentangle. You can also give your work a title and date on the back.
One thing that I noticed is that when you follow a curved line with your pattern you can see how it gets bigger or smaller as you follow the curve. It gives the pattern a sense of perspective and “three-dimensionality”.
Putting two or more together in a grouping is fun too! Here are three of my Zentangles, I played around with arranging them together.
Another idea is to draw an object ~ anything ~ a flower, an animal, even your name ~ and proceed to create the spaces as described above and do the patterns within the spaces.
Your local library will most likely have books on this topic (see below for some suggestions). We all found that flipping through some of these books was helpful and gave us lots of ideas of patterns to create.
These are the basics, so, just go ahead and give it a go. Let us know how it goes and send some examples if you have time.
Again, here is what we have been doing so far in my studio. Students are doing them at home on their own as well!
Lauren Zentangling in her journal
Lauren’s journal Zentangle. Lauren loves patterns and like to make up her own!
Oliviana’a butterfly Zentangle, work in progress. Check out her symmetry!
Oliviana’s valentine heart (we actually worked on ours together in the studio) work in progress. We both like working on more than one Zentangle at a time!
Lucas’ Hand Zentangle work in progress
Lucas – Black and white Zentangle
Lucas – Same as black and white, color added
Are YOU ready to Zentangle?!
Anitra Redlefsen is a Teaching Artist who develops and delivers curriculum for students and teachers that integrates the visual arts with other academic subjects and that address the Ohio Academic Content Standards. Visit her at ArtIsJoy.com
“I do not want ART for a few any more than education for a few, or freedom for a few.”
“Every good painter paints what he is.”
“The big artist…keeps an eye on nature and steals her tools.”
“An artist is not paid for his labor but for his vision.”
-James McNeill Whistler
“Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.”
“A man paints with his brains and not with his hands.”
“I try to apply colors like words that shape poems, like notes that shape music.”
“There are more valid facts and details in works of art than there are in history books.”
“Art doesn’t transform. It just plain forms.”
“There are painters who transform the sun into a yellow spot, but there are others who,thanks to their art and intelligence, transform a yellow spot into the sun.”
“The position of the artist if humble. He is essentially a channel.”
“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.”
“What moves men of genius, or rather what inspires their work, is not new ideas, but their obsession with the idea that what has already been said is still not enough.”
“The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery.”
“Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.”
“Art evokes the mystery without which the world would not exist.”
“There is no must in art because art is free.”
“To become truly immortal, a work of art must escape all human limits: logic and commonsense will only interfere. But once these barriers are broken, it will enter the realms ofchildhood visions and dreams.”
“I shut my eyes in order to see.”
“The painting has a life of its own.”
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”
“Painting is just another way of keeping a diary.”
“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.”
“I begin with an idea and then it becomes something else.”
“Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing.”
“It takes a very long time to become young.”
“I just feel that I’m in tune with the right vibrations in the universe when I’m in the process of working.”
“As music is the poetry of sound, so is painting the poetry of sight and the subject-matter has nothing to do with harmony of sound or of color.”
-James Mcneill Whistler
“When my daughter was about seven years old, she asked me one day what I did at work. I told her I worked at the college- that my job was to teach people how to draw. She stared back at me, incredulous, and said, “You mean they forget?””
“It has bothered me all my life that I do not paint like everybody else.”
“Art is everywhere, except it has to pass through a creative mind.”
“I do not literally paint that table, but the emotion it produces upon me.”
“Beauty is the purgation of superfluities.”
“The beautiful is in nature, and it is encountered under the most diverse forms of reality. Once it is found it belongs to art, or rather to the artist who discovers it.”
“Poor is the pupil who does not surpass his master.”
– Leonardo da Vinci
“As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so a life well spent brings happy death.”
– Leonardo da Vinci
“Fantasy, abandoned by reason, produces impossible monsters; united with it, she is the mother of the arts and the origin of marvels.”
“The source of genius is imagination alone, the refinement of the senses that sees what others do not see, or sees them differently.”
“Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing.”
“When I feel a little confused the only thing to do is to turn back to the study of nature before launching once again into the subjects closest to heart.”
“Lord, grant that I may always desire more than I can accomplish.”
“A beautiful thing never gives so much pain as does failing to hear and see it.”
“The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection.”
“Art is contemplation. It is the pleasure of the mind which searches into nature and which there divines the spirit of which Nature herself is animated.”
“Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely.”
“It is not the language of painters but the language of nature which one should listen to, the feeling for the things themselves, for reality, is more important than the feeling for pictures.”
-Vincent Van Gogh
“In our time there are many artists who do something because it is new; they see their value and their justification in this newness. They are deceiving themselves; novelty is seldom the essential. This has to do with one thing only; making a subject better from its intrinsic nature.”
-Henri de Toulouse Lautrec