Art is a whole-child experience that offers an engaging way for children to hone their fine motor skills, work on problem-solving, learn about science, and more. Here are some intriguing art projects you can try with your kids to promote development across several areas with one fun activity.

Three red leaves in fall being used for a kids art project.

Natural Collage

You can implement the whole-child approach by combining your little artist’s curiosity about the natural world with a mixed-media collage. Begin by encouraging your child to collect various items to use in their art projects. You can take a walk down the street or go for a hike in the park. Explore the shape and texture of various objects to assess their usefulness in this project. This is a wonderfully tactile activity that encourages children to immerse themselves in the feel of soft grass, crunchy leaves, velvety flower petals, crisp pine needles, and smooth pebbles.

Once they’ve gathered their natural items, provide a piece of cardboard or sturdy cardstock and some glue so they can begin assembling the collage. If you want to add a personalized touch, you might include a photo of your child in the park and encourage them to glue leaves, flowers, bits of bark, and other items around it.  

Salty Watercolor Paintings

Salt and watercolor paints have an intriguing interaction when they come into contact with one another. This project incorporates a bit of science into your art time. Multifaceted activities such as this incorporate the strong educational principles that we use at Crème de la Crème, seamlessly combining STEM learning and the arts for whole-child development.  

Begin by making a colorful watercolor painting. An abstract design is great for this type of project, so they shouldn’t fret over details. Thanks to the salt effect, artists of all ages can create stunning pieces with this approach. While the watercolor paint is still wet, ask them to sprinkle some salt on top. The grains of salt will absorb some of the standing water, along with the color that’s mixed into it. This creates a gorgeous marbled design. Wait for the project to dry completely, and then help them gently shake or brush off the salt.

They can also experiment with sprinkling salt onto the paper once it’s dried a little. Though the art should be damp, you’ll see that the salt has a different effect depending on the amount of water that’s still on the piece.  

Shaving Cream Marbled Art

Shaving cream is a fascinating medium for transferring color to paper. Begin by asking your child to spray a layer of shaving cream into a casserole dish or cookie tray, and then add drops of food coloring or liquid watercolor paint. They should swirl the color around in the shaving cream to distribute it in interesting patterns. They can do this delicately with a toothpick or indulge in the sensory delights of using their fingers.

Next, take a piece of cardstock or watercolor paper and gently lay it on the colored shaving cream. Support them in pressing lightly so the shaving cream makes even contact with the paper. They can then carefully flip the paper over on a flat surface covered with newspaper or cardboard to contain the mess. At this point, you can encourage your child to use their reasoning skills to guess what colors and patterns will appear on the paper. Finally, they can use a ruler to scrape the shaving cream off the paper. They’ll be left with a beautiful design.

Blow Painting

Blow painting allows kids to explore their fine motor skills in a whole new way. You’ll want to do this project on a tray, large piece of cardboard, or other protective surface because the paint can go in some unexpected directions and make a bit of a mess. Use heavy cardstock or tag board to make sure your surface can stand up to the added moisture from this method of painting.

To create a blow painting, have your child drop liquid watercolor paint onto the surface of the project using a pipette or dropper. Next, encourage them to spread the paint across the surface by blowing on it with a straw.  

They’ll get to experiment with how the directionality of their air affects the movement of the paint. Ask them to see what happens if they blow straight down or how the paint reacts when they shake their head back and forth. Draw on some of your child’s intrapersonal intelligence by asking them to consider how their emotions and breathing are connected. How would they release their breath if they felt angry rather than happy and calm, and what would it do to the design on their paper?

Several facets of the child come into play with this project. Use it as a tool to explore emotions or play with it as a science experiment. However you approach the piece, you’ll find that it serves as a functional tool for connecting with your child in a fun and nurturing way.

Watercolor Resist Art

One fascinating fact about paint, and watercolor in particular, is that it won’t adhere to just anything. The paint needs something to sink into or it won’t transfer its color to the surface. You can help children employ this principle in their art by covering portions of their paper with substances that the watercolor doesn’t work on.

Wax crayons are one of the most traditional options for this. Readily accessible for parents and teachers, crayons are a familiar medium that kids can use to color portions of their artwork before applying watercolor paint to the other areas. Rubber cement is another option that’s a bit more innovative. Older kids will especially enjoy this technique. 

They can use rubber cement to define the borders of their design, such as the outline of leaves or flower petals, and then let it dry completely before filling in the center with watercolor. Once the watercolor has dried, they can gently rub away the rubber cement.

Are You Ready To Expand Your Child’s Artistic Horizons?

Crème de la Crème promotes whole-child development with an art curriculum that incorporates similar projects and learning experiences. Contact us today to learn more or schedule a tour at your nearest facility and see the Crème de la Crème difference for yourself.