Monthly Archives: May 2020

Rolling Marbles in Paint, A Fun and Easy Art Project for Creative Kids

Have fun today rolling marbles in paint to create festive designs!

This activity is fun for all ages!

Don’t miss the 2 new sections at the end of this lesson to help you extend art learning into other areas:

  • How this art lesson can help your children in other areas of learning:
  • How this art lesson can help point your children to God:


  • Paper and scissors
  • Open cardboard box or its cover with about 2 inch high sides (a large cereal box with the open end taped together works well)
  • Tape (masking tape will remove more easily)
  • Tempera or acrylic paints in various colors
  • Marbles
  • Small containers for each color and its marble
  • Plastic spoons (using these to pick up the marbles from the paint keeps this activity lots less messy)


  1. Find or make your open box
  2. Cut paper to fit and tape it to the bottom of the box. You can fold tape over so it holds the paper in place from underneath
  3. Pour a little of each desired color in a separate container and drop in a marble (having a spoon for each color helps)
  4. Pick up a marble from its color on its spoon and place in the box on the side of your paper
  5. Pick up the box and move it around to make the marble roll around your paper
  6. You can dunk the marble back in the same color another time if you didn’t get as many lines of that color as you want
  7. Return the marble to its container and repeat with another color
  8. I like to leave the wet paint from previous marbles around the edges of the box, because new marbles will pick up that paint and leave fun flecks of color here and there.


  • Try moving your box in different ways to get curves, zigzags, and other types of lines
  • Put 2 or 3 different colored marbles in at once and see what happens as they roll and click together
  • Tape all around the paper to produce a “frame” when you remove the tape
  • Drop the marble right on the paper, so you end up with interesting globs of paint before you start to roll the marble around
  • At the end use up all your colors to make a rainbow-colored design
  • While the paint is still wet, sprinkle glitter across the surface


What can you do with all these creations?

  • Try doing a large sheet with marbles (without the box) outside and use for wrapping paper
  • Cut your designs into smaller papers and attach to cardstock to make greeting cards
  • If someone you know is graduating, use their school colors to make a design for a graduation card (some added glitter and maybe a little ribbon make a very celebratory card)

How this art lesson can help your children in other areas of learning:

  1. This activity is great for improving eye-hand coordination
  2. Picking up a marble in a spoon is also great for balance and small muscle control.

How this art lesson can help point your children to God:

  1. Point out to your child that as interesting and colorful as these marble rolling designs are, the lines go in circles and cross each other in pretty random ways.
  2. Ask what it would be like to try to walk along one of these lines.
  3. Do they think any of these paths could actually take them someplace?  Or would they get confused and lost very quickly?

Together read and discuss some of these verses from the Bible about paths:

  1. Ps 16:11   You have made known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand.
  2. Psalm 23:3   He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
  3. Psalm 119:35    Direct me in the path of Your commands, for there I find delight.
  4. Psalm 119:105   Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.
  5. Deuteronomy 31:8   The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

In times like these children and adults can feel anxiety and become confused and lost about the future.

But these verses tell us the Lord will never take us on a random path that will confuse us or make us get lost. He will go before us to find just the right path for each of us. He will guide us on paths that bring us joy and blessing. He himself will be right with us on that path and His word will be a light so we never lose our way.


Molly and I walk along paths each day in our neighborhood and up in the mountains, and we love knowing God is always with us. How about you?


Molly and I also hope you’ll join us right back here for Another Fun and Easy Art Activity for Creative Kids!





Using Soft Pastels to Make Bursts of Color, Another Fun and Easy Art Activity for Creative Kids

Today’s art activity uses soft pastels (sometimes called chalk pastels) to make bursts of color inside or outside various shapes.

This is another activity that can be easily adapted for both younger and older children. Encourage older children to make more complex shapes and plan different color choices.

I’m also continuing with the 2 new sections at the end of the lesson to help you extend art learning into other areas:

  • How this art lesson can help your children’s physical and mental growth for achievement in other school subjects.
  • How this art lesson can help point your children to God.


  • Scrap paper to make shapes
  • Colored paper for the actual designs
  • Soft pastels in various colors  (colored chalk will also work, but won’t have as vibrant colors
  • Pencils, scissors, tape
  • Lots of tissues

Clean up Note: Put down an old plastic table cloth or something similar because pastels are pretty dusty and messy! To cut down on the dust and make clean up easier, wipe up excess chalk particles with a dry tissue as you work. Do not blow the dust away unless outside on a nonwindy day!


  1. Draw various shapes and creatures on the scrap papers
  2. Cut the shapes out, trying to keep the outside paper together as much as possible.
  3. Keep both the cut out shape and the paper you cut it from. If necessary tape the outside shape back together. Use the tape on just one side as pastels don’t stick well to tape.            
  4. Choose a background paper, and pastel colors that will show up on that background
  5. If using the cut out shape, lay down patches of pastel colors all around the outside of the shape
  6. If using the paper you cut the shape from, lay down the pastel colors around the opening
  7. Place the pastel-colored paper in the center of your background paper
  8. Holding the pastel-colored paper in place, (or tape it) use a tissue around your finger to push the colors out onto the background paper
  9. Carefully pick up the pastel-colored paper to reveal your design. If excess dust gets on the actual picture, don’t use tissues to rub it. Tap the paper edge against your work surface. And just consider any that is left part of your design. Here are a couple of my designs done the two different ways.

Experiment with layering colors. Pastels are wonderful for achieving color blends.

Variations and Extensions:

  • Try making some smaller shapes and overlap the color bursts as you move the shapes around your background paper
  • Cut a strip of paper in a wavy line, lay down patches of color, push these off onto a background paper. Move the wavy paper down a little and repeat the process. Use this variation to create buildings, (just make rectangular shapes) the aurora borealis for a winter scene or just a cool design!!

 1.  How this art lesson can help your children’s physical and mental growth for achievement in other school subjects:

Once children have done one of these pastel creations, they’ll begin to be able visualize the shapes before they’re revealed.  This sort of art activity, therefore, helps develop visual/spatial skills and how to understand and use visual information—important in learning to interpret photos, graphs, maps, etc.  

2.  How this art lesson can help point your children to God:  Molly and I saw a double rainbow a few days ago. You could see them stretching all the way across the sky, and they lasted a good 15 minutes!

Actually I should say I saw the rainbows, because the rain came with some thunder, and Molly is terrified of thunder! She wears a thundershirt during thunderstorms, but it only helps her a little. so here she is looking out and hoping for the rain to stop. The snuggly shirt makes her ruff stand out!

But God promises you that He will always be with you and help you when you’re afraid.

  1. Together read the story of Noah, the flood, and the sign of the rainbow that God gave to Noah.
  2. Have fun thinking of all the animals that clambered two by two aboard the ark. Choose a favorite and draw and cut it out.
  3. Lay down the colors of the rainbow—red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet—around the creature.
  4. Discuss how a rainbow is such a wonderful sign that our God is always faithful to keep His promises.

Molly is recovered now and has her artist beret on, so she and I hope you will meet us back here next week for Another Fun and Easy Art Activity for Creative Kids!

Warm and Cool Color Blends, A Fun and Easy Art Project for Creative Kids

This week we’ll take making tints of the same color one step further to make warm and cool color blends. It’s lots of fun to mix a couple colors and see how many different blends you can get.

I’ve added 2 new sections at the end of this lesson to help you extend art learning into other areas. Be sure to look at:

  • How this art lesson can help your children in other areas of learning:
  • How this art lesson can help point your children to God:

I’ll also show you how you can adapt this project for older and younger children. So let’s have some fun making art!


  • White construction paper, larger sheets for backgrounds as well as scraps
  • Pencils, scissors, crayons
  • Tempera paints
  • Various sizes of brushes, Q tips
  • glue or tape

Directions for the Warm Fish:

Older children

  1.      Draw a fish or 2 on paper scraps
  2.      Draw interior designs on the fish. If you wish, outline lines in crayon to help paint stay in spaces.
  3.      Gradually mix yellow and red, paint the fish with these blends. I painted one fish in blends from yellow at its nose through oranges to red at its tail. On the other fish I just spaced the different blends around the fish.
  4.      Let dry and flatten, then cut out your fish

Younger children

  1.      Allow them to enjoy mixing warm blends and painting these on a paper
  2.      Let dry and draw a fish on these later to cut out


Directions for Cool Water:

Older children

  1.      Draw wavy lines to make spaces on your larger background paper
  2.      Mix blues and greens and purples to paint inside these spaces. Space your blends around the paper to create a pleasing pattern of lights and darks.   (If you paint around the edges of a space first, you can fill it in quickly and more smoothly)
  3.      Let dry and flatten

Younger children

  1.      Allow children to enjoy mixing blends of cool colors and painting these all over the background paper


  1. Glue or tape your warm fish to the cool background and enjoy the resulting contrast!!
  2. Add some bubbles with white paint and Q tips if you wish

How this art lesson can help your children in other areas of learning:

  1. For many children mixing the paints to see how many different blends they can get is as much fun as the actual painting!! Mixing paint and discovering these fosters better observation skills! Have lots of scrap paper and paper towels, and enjoy the process!!
  2. Using the tools of art such as paint brushes and pencils and scissors helps develop fine motor skills.
  3. Cutting with scissors is often an especially hard skill for children to master, but so helpful for when they go to school. If your child is really struggling with this skill, try the loop scissors pictured here. One pair works for either right-handed or left-handed children and they are available in blunt or sharp points. In my art room, they’re a favorite with all my students, younger and older!!


How this art lesson can help point your children to God:

  1. On walks or in your yard, have children find all the different greens, from light yellow greens of new leaves and grass to darker bluish greens of pines and older leaves!
  2. Get up close with flowers and see how God often blends darker colors and lighter colors on the flower.
  3. Look at how colors change from sunlight to shade.
  4. Look up at the sky and see how the blues change from day to day, depending on clouds and time of day.
  5. Look closely at a pond or lake or the ocean and name all the colors you see.
  6. Pause and thank God for providing such a colorful world for us to enjoy!

Molly and I hope you have fun mixing paint and observing all the color variations God has created out in nature!

Be sure to come back next week for another Fun and Easy Art Project for Creative Kids!

Ice Cream Cone Tints: a Fun and Easy Art Project for Creative Kids

Who doesn’t like ice cream? Here’s a Fun and Easy Art Project that helps children learn to make tints with paint.

We make tints by adding white to a color—the more white, the lighter the tint.  In this project children will mix several different tints of one color and paint each tint on a square of paper. After the squares dry, children will draw the shape of a scoop of ice cream on each square and cut these out to make their ice cream cones.


Note: even quite young children can do this project with only a little help with the drawing and cutting. Their painting doesn’t have to be exact since they can just enjoy painting the squares.


  • Any color tempera paint and white tempera paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Small containers or plastic covers for mixing tints
  • Sturdy white paper cut in squares
  • Background papers of any color and scraps for cone and cherry
  • Pencils, scissors, crayons or markers
  • Glue

Painting Directions:

  1. Put your “flavor” of paint—red for strawberry, green for mint chocolate chip, etc on a lid
  2. Put some white paint on that lid or another (don’t mix them until step 4)
  3. Paint one square with the pure color
  4. Mix a very little of the color into the white to make your lightest tint (mix the color into the white, not the other way round, as that would take way more white to lighten the color. It still always amazes me how little color it takes to make a tint!)
  5. Paint another square with this tint
  6. Keep mixing more of your color into the white to make darker and darker tints that you paint on squares (I did just 3 tints for each color, but you can do more, if you like)
  7. Let the squares dry (you may need to flatten them under some books once they’re dry)

Assembly Directions:

  1. While your squares are drying, you can make an ice cream cone and a cherry for the top of your scoops. The cherry is a circle shape, and the cone is a long triangle shape with 2 straight lines that come to a point). (use white paper scraps and color or use scraps of colored paper for these)
  2. Cut these out
  3. Also while you wait, draw a paper pattern for cutting out your ice cream scoops (it has a circular top and a puffy cloud shape along the bottom)
  4. Trace around this pattern on the back of each of your squares and cut these scoops out
  5. Assemble your ice cream cone on the background as if you worked in an ice cream shop (Start by gluing down the cone then add each scoop of ice cream so it overlaps the one below it)
  6. Last of all glue the cherry at the top
  7. With marker or crayon you may add chocolate chips to the mint ice cream

Voila, enjoy your ice cream cones!!

Molly’s Suggestion:

Nothing says love like a handmade card, and these make wonderful birthday cards for family and friends! Just make everything a little smaller so the cone fits on the front of a folded card. You may decorate your card first with confetti, streamers, or balloons, then glue the ice cream cone on top of these. Write a message inside and mail!

Note: If you do decide to make several of these, just paint larger squares so you can cut out more scoops from each square.

Molly and I hope to see you right back here next week for another Fun and Easy Art Project for Creative Kids!

Sunday is Mother’s Day. Be sure to tell Mom you love her!


Painting with Straws to Make Crazy Critters and Much More! Another Fun and Easy Art Project for Kids

This week we’re going to use straws to make Crazy Critters and so much more–combining a little drawing with straw painting to make:

Fuzzy hair for a Happy Clown, Fabulous Feathers for a Peacock, a Lion’s Colorful Mane


  • Construction-type paper, pencils, scissors, etc.
  • Runny paint, either watercolors (add lots of pigment) or add some water to tempera paints
  • Containers, brushes, spoons, paper towels, etc.

Let’s get started with Crazy Critters

  1. Use a spoon or loaded brush to put a puddle of paint on your paper
  2. Use your straw to blow the paint in different directions  Note: It works best if you get down and blow ACROSS the paint puddles
  3. Add more paint as needed
  4. You can add different colors and let them blend
  5. Let dry and add details to make creatures

Now draw a Happy Clown and give him or her Fuzzy Hair!

  1. Draw a circle for the clown’s face
  2. Use smaller circles and curvy lines to finish his face
  3. Use straight lines and another circle shape to draw his hat
  4. Apply paint puddles around the sides of the clown’s head  Note: it’s best to apply the paint on just one side at a time as paint dries quickly. This applies to the peacock and lion, too. Apply the paint and blow it outward in  small sections at a time.
  5. Use a straw to blow the paint outward to create Fuzzy Hair for your Happy Clown!
  6. Let dry and color the clown’s face and hat


Now draw a Peacock and add Fabulous Feathers

  1. Draw a small circle for the peacock’s head
  2. A little below the head draw a larger circle for its body
  3. Connect the head and body with curvy lines for a skinny neck
  4. Use curvy lines to make small wings on each side of the body
  5. Use straight lines to draw long legs and some toes
  6. Working gradually around the body and head, and sometimes changing colors, apply paint puddles and blow these outward to create the Peacock’s Fabulous Tail!
  7. Let dry and color your peacock’s body


Now draw a Lion’s head and give him a Colorful Mane

  1. Draw a longish, curvy circle for the lion’s head
  2. Draw 2 small circles and dots for eyes
  3. For its nose draw 2 straight lines down from the eyes
  4. A ways below the eyes connect these 2 lines with a roundish nose
  5. On each side of the nose draw a circle for the lion’s cheeks
  6. Finish the lion off with curvy eyebrows and ears
  7. Working gradually around the body and head, and sometimes changing colors, apply paint puddles and blow these outward to create the Lion’s Colorful Mane!
  8. Let dry and color your lion

For this last picture I went back and added more yellow paint to the lion’s mane and only blew it out a little to create a fuller mane than the original one.

Molly and I are sure you can think of other creatures to draw and add paint to with your straw. How about the blowing mane of a running horse, or wings for a butterfly?

It’s lots of fun to experiment with Straw Painting!  And you can use any left over paint to make more crazy critters!

Molly and I hope to see you right back here next Friday for Another Fun and Easy Art Project for Kids!

Meanwhile, go back and try this Mother’s Day project from a post on May 11, 2019, for a great Mother’s Day project titled Children’s Art Project for Mother’s Day, Inspired by Monet’s Love of Flowers