Category Archives: 3-D art activity

An Artsy Corgi Art Activity Based on Lighthouse Paintings

Ahoy, Matey, let’s make a seascape with a lighthouse and lots of fun details! In this Artsy Corgi art activity, you’ll discover an easy way to draw a lighthouse, learn several fun painting techniques, and finish up with some 3-D effects. We call this type of project a mixed-media activity, because we use several different art mediums.

In this post you’ll find:

  • Supply list It looks a little long, but most of it is stuff you may already have
  • Step-by-step directions
  • Helpful hints
  • Variations and/or adaptations for different ages
  • Vocabulary and art and design elements and principles children will learn
  • 4 ways this activity aids children’s mental, physical, and social development
  • Clean-up tips
  • Cute Molly Photo

Let’s Make a Seascape!


  • Sturdy light blue paper for a background (with light blue paper, you can paint clouds and water on an already sky and water colored background)
  • White foam plates make great paint palettes and can rinse off easily for reuse or be thrown away
  • Tempera paint in white, black, blue, green, and purple
  • Clean damp rags to paint with
  • White drawing paper for the lighthouse
  • Pencils, erasers, scissors
  • Colored pencils, crayons, or markers to color the lighthouse
  • Tan or white paper to spatter for sand
  • Watercolor set and 2 brushes for spattering
  • A fork or old plastic card to make sea grass
  • Small sea shells (gathered yourself, or available in craft stores)
  • White glue

Directions: (I’ve split these into sections for easier use)

Sea and Sky

  1. Lightly draw a horizon line to divide the sky and water
  2. On the palette, pour a small puddle of white and a very small puddle of black, leaving space between each puddle
  3. Scrunch up your rag or hold it over your index finger to paint
  4. After looking at clouds outside or in photos, use the rag to paint clouds. They can be fluffy or straight. You may swirl the paint to suggest movement. See the picture at #7.
  5. If you wish to add gray to clouds, put a little white in another spot on your palette and mix in a tiny bit of black to make different grays. Always mix just a little of the darker color into the lighter color. The opposite way takes way more of the lighter color to change the darker color.
  6. Add blue, green, and purple to your palette.
  7. Use these colors or mix together to make the ocean. You may make a calm sea or big swirling waves. Add white to the top of waves for foam.


  1. Sand comes in all colors, so use a sheet of white or tan paper.
  2. Swirl a wet brush into the brown pan of a watercolor set.
  3. While holding it over the paper, tap the brush against the handle of another brush to spatter paint. Use other colors if you wish—maybe some yellows and even a little green and blue for beach glass.

Lighthouse (The camera has distorted some of the lines)

  1. Look at a glass or towel tube and help children draw a cylinder’
  2. Look at a picture of a lighthouse and see that it’s a tower, which is a cylinder.
  3. Some lighthouses taper towards a narrower top, but they are still cylinders.
  4. Encourage children to look at other details, such as the rounded top or roof and the balconies with railings that often go around the outside. Keepers needed to get outside to keep the glass clean. These railings should curve.
  5. If children wish they can add some out buildings around the lighthouse tower. Don’t worry about 1-point perspective, unless they’re older and want to learn. There are lots of online tutorials for it if they do.
  6. Color the lighthouse and cut out.

Putting it all together

  1. Cut out stretches of sand and glue in place over the water.
  2. Glue the lighthouse somewhere on top of the sand.
  3. Use a fork or old plastic card to make sea grass.
  4. Glue on seashells.

And there you have it–a beautiful seascape with a lighthouse.

More Helpful Ideas and Tips for this Activity

Helpful Hints:

  • Painting with rags and spattering paint is fun and easy for all ages, but it is messy, so if the weather cooperates, you might want to do these parts outside in one session.
  • You may spatter paint with an old tooth brush and a popsicle stick, but remember to scrape towards yourself. It’s a little counterintuitive, but the other way just spatters you!
  • Paint shirts are a good idea !
  • To help prevent globs of glue, pour a small glue puddle on a plate and have children use their finger to spread the glue.
  • Place waxed paper under things as you spread glue. It keeps things from sticking in the wrong places.

Variations and/or adaptations for different ages:

  • Paint a sun setting over the horizon

    sunset over Higgins Beach, photo by author

  • Use gray paper and paint lots of black clouds over a stormy sea
  • Use black paper and use thick yellow tempera paint to show the lighthouse’s beam of light
  • Draw and cut out small ships to sail out in the ocean
  • older children may want to get more detailed with their lighthouse drawings.
  • Sometimes children get discouraged if their drawing efforts don’t look just as they’d like. Remind them that drawing is a skill just like playing soccer or making a cake. It takes practice and time. Encourage them to try and praise their efforts!
  • Younger children may need help cutting and gluing all the parts together.
  • You may need a glue gun to make the shells stick.

4 Vocabulary and art and design principles children will learn

  1. Seascape—a painting that has views of the ocean
  2. Color: tint=a color plus white, shade=a color plus black—in this activity children learn how to mix tints and shades for the clouds and water. They also learn how to mix just a little darker color at a time into lighter colors.
  3. Texture: how something feels to the touch, rough, soft, etc. In painting we often simulate texture by spattering, etc.—as children use this different painting technique and spatter paint, they learn about putting texture into paintings.
  4. Perspective: the ways artists create the illusion of depth in a painting, creating a foreground, middle ground, and background—without getting technical, children can discover 2 ways (differences in size and overlapping objects) to create the 3 distances in paintings.

4 Ways this activity aids children’s mental, physical, and social development

  1. Using pencils, brushes, scissors, etc. helps children develop fine motor skills.
  2. This activity helps develop visual/spatial skills as children create a picture with 3 distances.
  3. Making choices in creating art enhances problem-solving skills.
  4. Making art enhances creativity and refreshes minds and eyes tired from screens.

Clean up Hints:

  • Be sure to put a plastic table cloth or large paper under your work
  • Have paper towels handy
  • A plastic dish tup is great to hold tools you will keep and wash
  • Keep a wastebasket handy for trash
  • After washing and rinsing brushes, reshape bristles if needed, and lay them flat on paper towels to dry. Store with bristles up in a jar.

Before You Go, See Molly’s Photos and More about Lighthouses

If you’d like more activity ideas for art, history, and nature, curriculum connections, and links to more resources, be sure to sign up for my newsletter and receive a free guide to 5 Ways Art Benefits Children’s Cognitive, Physical, Spiritual, and Social Development, with a Few Fun and Easy Activities for each Benefit. You can also learn more about us and see more fun activities on our website

Photos of Molly the Artsy Corgi with a few ocean things

Molly was a little worried at first

then she decided a shell might be good to eat.

Finally she settled down for a good photo. She knows it means a treat!

Visit my website where you’ll find free downloadable puzzles, how-to-draw pages and coloring pages for kids and an updated list of my hands-on workshops, chapels, and presentations for all ages.  

Molly the Artsy Corgi hopes you enjoy making a mixed media art project of the sea and a lighthouse! If you missed them, be sure and go to earlier posts about lighthouses this month—Shipwrecks and Lighthouses and Lighthouses Tall and Small, A Kid-friendly Devotion about Lighthouses.

Next week in our newsletter you’ll discover connections to other subjects, a museum gem with activities for kids online, freebees, book reviews, and links to continue learning about lighthouses!

Molly and I hope to see you back here soon for a new Kathy the Picture Lady art series.





Scroll in a Box Art Activity Based on Christ and His Mother Reading the Scriptures by Henry O. Tanner

Let’s make a scroll in a box. This project has endless possibilities to use for school projects and special days and holidays. It will also remind us of our painting, Christ and His Mother Reading the Scriptures, by Henry O. Tanner, because of course, at that time they would be reading from a scroll.

Christ and His Mother Reading the Scriptures by Henry O. Tanner, 1909, Dallas Museum of Art, public domain

In this post you’ll find:

  • Supply list
  • Step-by-step directions  AND Variations, which are limited only imaginations!
  • Helpful hints
  • 4 Ways this activity aids children’s mental, physical, and social development
  • Clean-up tips
  • Molly Photo with a special announcement

Let’s get started!


  • A box with a lid
  • Paper of all kinds
  • Glue, scissors, pencils, rulers, crayons, markers, etc
  • Craft supplies, such as ribbon, yarn, stickers, shells, etc

Directions AND Variations:

The Scroll

  1. Cut a long piece of paper to make a scroll that will fold into the size of your box (if you need to tape or glue several pieces of paper together)
  2. Fold this as you would a fan to make sections that fit the box’s length and width (make the paper a little smaller than the box so it folds in smoothly)
  3. Do not glue the scroll into the box until you have done any writing or other decoration on the scroll

Here are a few suggestions for ways to use your scroll in a box. I bet you can think of lots more:

  • Book reports
  • Favorite verses you’ve decorated
  • Stories you’ve written
  • Facts about an animal you’re studying
  • Mother’s Day “card”
  • Christmas “card”

The Box Cover

  1. Choose how you want to decorate the cover of your box
  2. I cut and glued colored paper to cover the original design first

Here are a few suggestions for cover designs:

  • Your design may be a pretty paper you once marbled or blew colored bubbles onto
  • If this is for a book report, you may draw and color a picture from the book and include its title and your name somewhere on the cover
  • If it’s a history project, you might glue on a map showing the area you studied
  • For an animal report you could glue or draw a picture of the animal for the cover
  • If it’s a story you’ve written about the beach you might glue on some shells and color waves or lighthouses
  • Try printing a leaf and then gluing on some more leaves, pinecones, etc.
  • If the box is for a special day such as Mother’s day decorate with artificial flowers, etc

When the scroll and the box cover are done, it’s time to glue the scroll into the box and hand in for a terrific grade or give as a special gift to someone in your family or a friend!

Helpful Hints

  • If you use thin paper for the scroll, liquid glue will pucker it. Try glue sticks instead
  • Some of the 3-D elements may need to be attached with a glue gun (parent oversight of this is recommended)
  • Parents or caregivers will need to make the scroll for younger children and glue it into the box. But children will enjoy decorating or writing on the scroll.

4 Ways this activity aids children’s mental, physical, and social development

  1. Using pencils, brushes, scissors, etc. helps children develop fine motor skills.
  2. This project is a wonderful way to encourage children to use their imaginations and creativity
  3. Making art refreshes minds and eyes tired from screens.
  4. This project gives children new ways to do school projects or to explore their interests and talents as they decide what to put on the scroll.

Clean up Hints:

  • Be sure to put a plastic table cloth or large paper under your work
  • Have paper towels handy
  • Wax paper under things you glue keeps them from sticking in the wrong places
  • Keep a wastebasket handy for trash

Special Announcement:

Starting next week and for the whole month of September Molly and I will be interviewing 6 great children’s author’s and the new books they have coming out, including nonfiction, picture books, and board books.

Here’s a picture of Molly with 2 earlier books by Annette Whipple, which I use in my art room all the time.Those eyes have her mesmerized!

Next week Molly and I will tell you all about Annette’s newest book and give you a sneak preview of some of its amazing illustrations!

Before You Go

Molly hopes you enjoy making a scroll in a box! On August 31st our newsletter will come with curriculum connections, a museum gem, suggestions for related research, children’s books to read, and a freebie or 2! Don’t miss it. Sign up with the button above. And also receive a free guide to 5 Ways Art Benefits Children’s Cognitive, Physical, Spiritual, and Social Development, with a Few Fun and Easy Activities for each Benefit

Visit my website where you’ll find free downloadable puzzles, how-to-draw pages and coloring pages for kids and an updated list of my hands-on workshops, chapels, and presentations for all ages. Add link





Interview with Laura Sassi about Her New Children’s Book Bunny Finds Easter

Molly the Artsy Corgi and I would like to welcome back children’s author, Laura Sassi. Bunny, the main character in Laura’s new board book, Bunny Finds Easter, has also come along to help answer some questions and show you a cute craft.

Laura, let’s let Molly and Bunny talk a little and show the craft, and then you and I can finish up the interview.

Molly:  I love your Easter hat, Bunny. Did you pick out the ribbon and flowers?

Bunny: Yes, and I wanted the ribbon to go under my chin so it would stay on. My favorite part, though, is that there are two holes for my ears.

Molly:  Oh, wow, my ears aren’t as long as yours, but I need a hat like that, too! Tell me, Bunny, do bunnies really like carrots?

Bunny: Of course! They are crunchy and colorful and full of vitamins!

Molly:  I like the crunchy part best! I’ve never been on an Easter egg hunt, Bunny, but I think I’d be really good because of my super powerful nose. Would you please tell our readers what you do on an egg hunt.

Bunny: It’s just like it sounds. An Easter egg hunt is when you go on a hunt and look for eggs! Sometimes the eggs are real eggs- but colored. Other times the eggs have surprises inside them like chocolate and jelly beans!

Molly: That sounds fun and yummy. I want to have an egg hunt this Easter! What other things do you do on Easter?

Bunny: At our house, we bake Easter treats like hot cross buns and we decorate Easter eggs. We also get dressed up and hop to church!  Can you spot the church?  (HINT: It’s on the cover of the book.)

Molly:  I did see the church. It’s very pretty. I really like Ella’s illustrations. They make me want to jump into your story and go to church with you! Everything sounds like so much fun, but when did you find out that Easter is really all about Jesus and His resurrection?

Bunny: I learned about Jesus and His resurrection at church.  And do you know when I first heard the good news of Easter? It was when we were singing! Singing hymns is a great way to learn about Jesus and His gift of forgiveness and new life.

Molly:  Singing is a wonderful way to learn about Jesus. Let’s show children another super cute way to learn about Jesus and His resurrection!

Bunny: That’s sound like a hopping fun idea!

Supplies and Directions for Bunny Craft


  • small flower pot
  • pink acrylic paint
  • cardstock or art foam in pinks and flowery colors
  • Wiggly eyes
  • Pink pompom
  • Glue gun, markers

Here are the directions:

  1. Paint the flower pot pink
  2. Draw and cut out ears, flowers, and a bow
  3. Tuck ears into flower pot , add flowers to the rim, and glue in place
  4. Draw mouth with marker
  5. Glue eyes and pompom nose in place (get help from parents or grandparents to use a glue gun)
  6. Fill with plastic Easter eggs. Some of these could contain jelly beans but others may contain paper slips with written items to teach about Jesus and Easter or the items from Resurrection eggs.

Molly: Do you think it looks a little like you, Bunny?

Bunny: Yes, in PINK!

Kathy: while Molly and Bunny munch on a few jelly beans, can you tell us where you got the idea for Bunny Finds Easter, Laura?

Laura: As a young child I was confused about what we were celebrating at Easter. I loved coloring Easter eggs and hunting for jelly beans, but it wasn’t until I was a tween that I made the connection that Easter is when we celebrate Jesus’s resurrection. Inspired by that memory, I decided to write a board book for preschoolers and toddlers that would celebrate those fun Easter traditions and, at the same time, serve as an introduction to the real gift of Easter – Jesus! I decided that an engaging way to do this was through the eyes of a sweet bouncy protagonist named Bunny who wakes up Easter morning determined find out what Easter is all about.

Kathy:  What a wonderful way to help little ones learn about Easter! Molly and I love to snuggle to read cute board books and look at the pictures together. Do you have some suggestions for how parents and grandparents can use Bunny Finds Easter to tell children about Jesus and His resurrection?

Laura:  Yes. First of all just enjoy the story with your little ones. Sniff along with Bunny as she sniffs those hot cross buns and hunt for the fun things she encounters along the way – like Easter lilies and baby animals and colorful eggs and Easter candies.

  • As you are reading, after thoroughly investigating each spread, ask your child, “Are these (insert items) what Easter is all about?  The answer is no, but maybe they are a clue as to what Easter is all about.
  • When you reach that final spread, celebrate together that JESUS is what Easter is all about.  Maybe even say his name together and rejoice that He is Risen!
  • Afterwards, you can review the message of the story by re-examining the items found in the story to see how each reminds us of Easter and God’s love.  Examples: Chocolate bunnies and jelly beans are sweet – like God.  The cross on the hot-cross bun is like the Cross at Easter.  The Easter bonnet – is joyful – just the way we feel on Easter as we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection…and so forth.

Kathy:  Molly and I love those ideas! Where can our readers find Bunny Finds Easter?

Laura: The book is available at bookstores everywhere. If your local indie doesn’t yet have it, you can request it. I would also LOVE it if you recommended it for purchase at your church or preschool library, as well as your town library.  That way it can serve as an engaging introduction to Easter to even more children.

Thank you, Laura and Bunny for visiting our blog today to tell us all about your newest book, Bunny Finds Easter!

Have a joyful Easter Everyone!

A Fun and Easy Art Activity for Creative Kids: Design a Roller Coaster

Roller coasters are designed for thrills, and now you can design and make your very own 3-D roller coaster in this Fun and Easy art activity. You can even put you and your friends or family in the very first car! In this post you’ll find:

  • Supply list
  • Step-by-step directions
  • Clean-up tips
  • Variations and Adaptations to Include and Challenge Various Ages
  • 2 Ways this Activity Aids Mental, Physical, and Social Development
  • A Kid-friendly Devotion

Let’s get started!

Supply List

  • Cardboard for a base
  • Paper in all colors (use colorful papers left from other projects)
  • White glue (glue sticks may not hold)
  • Scissors
  • Markers or crayons

Step-by-Step Directions

  1. Glue a plain colored paper on top of the cardboard base
  2. Cut other papers into strips of various colors and sizes (these can have straight, wavy, or even spiky edges)
  3. On plain strips you may wish to make designs with markers or crayons
  4. Put glue on ends of strips and start arranging these in loops all over the cardboard base (see photos)
  5. Make a small rectangular box or boxes for roller coaster cars (see photos)
  6. Cut small strips of paper the width of the car and draw people on these (give them different facial expressions and hair dos)
  7. Fold the bottom end of these strips under, add glue, and glue into the car (see photo)
  8. Glue the car to the top of a loop or on the way down a loop

Clean-up Tips

  • Wax paper under the strips as you add glue keeps the strips from sticking, AND makes clean up quick and easy.
  • A plastic dish tub for scraps also aids quick clean up

Variations and Adaptations to Include and Challenge Various Ages

  • Younger children may need strips cut for them and a short demo of how to make the loops.
  • Young children will need more help with the box car and people, but be sure to let them draw the people!
  • All children may need a reminder to hold each piece in place for a moment until the glue sets a little
  • For more challenge, use a larger base and make your roller coaster much larger
  • Use cardstock for stiffer loops
  • Connect the loops as if a roller coaster car could really travel on it
  • Make multiple cars
  • Use actual photographs of you and family or friends in the cars

2 Ways this Activity Aids Mental, Physical, and Social Development

  1. Learning to use scissors is an important skill for young children
  2. Making color and design choices helps enhance creativity and encourages children of all ages to learn to problem solve

A Kid-friendly Devotion

Higher and higher the roller coaster climbs. As it teeters on the top, people hold their breath. Then wooosh, down it rushes, and everyone raises their arms and screams!  

Have you ever been on a roller coaster?

How did you feel?  Excited? Scared?

Sometimes life is like a roller coaster ride. Everything is going along smoothly, and then woosh, your family moves, a new baby arrives, or your best friend gets angry with you.

Was there a time you felt as if you were on a roller coaster?

Were those rushing changes scary?  Did you feel sad or lonely?

Sometimes Jesus felt sad and rushed. In Mark 6:29-46 we learn that when His cousin, John the Baptist, was killed, Jesus and the disciples were sad and tired. But people still crowded around. Jesus and the disciples didn’t even have time to eat!

When they tried to get away, crowds followed them. Finally, that night Jesus sent the crowd away. He even told His disciples to leave in the boat.

Wow, Jesus was all alone. But was He?

No, He knew His Father was there. So Jesus climbed up the mountainside to talk to Him. He trusted His Father to give Him comfort and strength to continue the rush of His earthly ministry.

When changes rush at you and you’re scared, Jesus promises you can talk to Him just like that. Jesus is with you and will never leave you (Deuteronomy 31:8), and He will comfort and strengthen you.

And when you are sad or lonely, remember Jesus will give you rest (Matthew 11:28).

Prayer: Dear Jesus, we know you sometimes felt sad and tired, so you understand just how we feel. Thank you that we can come and talk to You about these things, and You will comfort and strengthen us. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Before You Go

If you’d like more activity ideas for art, history, and nature, curriculum connections, and links to more resources, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. Just click the sign-up  button above on the right. You’ll receive a free guide to making art museum visits a fun masterpiece for your whole family. Even if your family isn’t into museums, the quarterly issues have lots of fun stuff for kiddos!

Visit my website where you’ll find free downloadable puzzles, how-to-draw pages, and coloring pages. There’s also an updated list of my hands-on workshops, chapels, and presentations for all ages.

Our last post used zigzag and curved lines for ocean waves, and so does the roller coaster, so on  a recent walk, Molly posed with zigzag shadows! Molly and I hope you enjoyed making a roller coaster. Sign up to receive our posts by email, and don’t miss a fun and easy, AND  squishy paint activity!