Category Archives: Art Activities for childre

Glittery Angel Art Project Based on Fra Angelico’s Painting of the Annunciation

Angels surrounded the coming of Immanuel. The Archangel Gabriel announced His coming birth to Mary. An angelic host appeared to the shepherds on the night of His birth. Children will enjoy making glittery angels to display on a Christmas tree or table and remind us of the angels who sang at Christ’s birth.

In this post you’ll find:

  • Supply list
  • Step-by-step directions
  • Examples of angels done by 1st graders this year
  • Helpful hints
  • Clean-up tips
  • Variations and/or adaptations for different ages
  • Molly Photo

Let’s get started!

Supplies:

 

  • Inexpensive white paper plates—the kind with rippled edges (coated or foam plates don’t work with the watercolor paints)
  • Watercolor paints
  • A fairly large paint brush
  • Tissue paper—white or light-colored
  • A copy of Hark the Herald Angels Sing music
  • Scissors, pencils, glue
  • Thin markers, colored pencils, crayons
  • Gold paper for halo
  • Glitter
  • Optional, clothespin

 

Directions:

  1. Wet paper plate all over with clear water (don’t soak it but make sure it’s wet)
  2. With a wet, but not dripping brush gather some paint and run the brush over a short section of the rippled edge. Allow the paint to run down onto the plate center.
  3. Repeat step 2 with other colors, swirling the plate a little so the colors mix in the center of the plate.
  4. Set plate aside to dry
  5. Cut an angel pattern from an extra paper plate (see photo)
  6. Use the pattern to cut an angel with its wings from the dry plate. Choose the part of the plate you like best.
  7. Cut a robe from colored paper or sheet music
  8. Cut a cape from the tissue paper.
  9. Glue the robe with the music to the angel’s body.  
  10. Glue the tissue robe on top of the music robe (Just glue both of these along the top so they look like fabric)
  11. Use colored pencils or thin markers to make the angel’s face
  12. Add a halo of gold-colored paper behind the angel’s head
  13. To add glitter, spread a thin layer of white glue wherever you want glitter. In a shallow box or over a large plate, shake the glitter over the glue areas. Allow glitter and glue to dry then shake off excess glitter into the box or waste basket

Examples of angels done by my 1st graders in art this year!

Helpful Hints:

  • It’s fun to swirl the paint on the plates, but stop before the colors become muddy.
  • You may have to experiment with several plates to learn how much water to use. (too much water and colors will be too light. Too little water and colors won’t flow and mix)
  • Rinse and partly dry your brush between colors

Variations and/or adaptations for different ages:

  • Younger children may need to watch once as an older child or adult applies the paint
  • Younger children may also need help cutting out the angel
  • Many children will enjoy experimenting and doing several plates.
  • Attach a clothespin to the back of the angel, if you wish, to hang on the tree

Clean up Hints:

  • Be sure to put a plastic table cloth or large paper under your work
  • Wax paper under items you’re putting glue on keeps them from sticking
  • When using glitter, place a clean sheet of paper or a large box to catch the glitter. It speeds cleanup and you may be able to return the unused glitter to its container.
  • Have a wastebasket handy for trash
  • Wash and lay brushes flat on paper towels to dry so they keep their shape
  • Leave paint set open until paint pans have dried.

 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 and receive a free guide about how art benefits children cognitively, physically, spiritually, and socially, along with some fun and easy art activities.

Visit my website where you’ll find free downloadable puzzles, how-to-draw pages, patterns for Christmas projects, and coloring pages for kids. You’ll also find an updated list of my hands-on workshops, chapels, and presentations for all ages. http://www.kathy-oneill.com/

___________________________________________________________

Molly the Artsy Corgi and I wish you a joyous Christmas! May your angels remind you to celebrate the birth of our Lord, just as the angels did!

Molly and I will be taking a short break for the holidays, but we hope to see you back here for more great art and art projects in the New Year!

 

 

 

 

 

Set Your Thanksgiving Table with a Devotion and Art Activity Based on Saying Grace by Jean-Simeon Chardin

Let’s set our Thanksgiving table with a cute children’s art activity and devotion that will encourage your family to thank God for all their blessings. 

As always, there’s a cute Molly the Artsy Corgi picture at the end with more things you can do.

The Devotion

Let’s look again at Chardin’s painting, Saying Grace, the moment when the children are thanking God for their meal.

Saying Grace, Jean-Simeon Chardin, 1744, The Hermitage, public domain

Do you think this is a special day or a normal one when the mother has called the children from their play for lunch or supper?

What food has the mother cooked?

That’s right–just a normal day with a simple meal of soup, but the mother and children are taking time to fold their hands and thank God for providing for their daily needs, as Jesus teaches us to do in the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:11).

You may need to explain that in the Lord’s Prayer, “our daily bread” symbolizes all our daily needs.

Read James 1:17 and ask children to list some of the daily needs and blessings God provides for them.

Read Luke 18:15-17 and point out that, like the people in the Bible, the mother in the painting is teaching her children that they can go to Jesus to talk with Him and thank Him for His care. They don’t have to wait until they’re older.

Invite your children to tell about a time they went to Jesus with a prayer.

Chardin could have shown the mother saying grace before the meal, but his focus is on the children, perhaps to emphasize that we are all like children, dependent on God, who made us. We are His people, the sheep of His pasture, and we must come humbly into His presence with thanksgiving and praise for His loving care.

Read Psalm 100 together.

We know we don’t need to fold our hands or close our eyes to talk to God, but the mother has taught her children to sometimes fold their hands like this for prayer.

We see this same position in the iconic Praying Hands by Albrecht Durer. It’s as if our hands become a church steeple pointing to God, which may just remind us that we can always look up to our heavenly Father who is good and whose love endures forever (Psalm 100:5).

Praying Hands by Albrecht Durer, public domain

Prayer: We praise you, Lord, that we are the sheep of your pasture. Thank you that we can bring every need to you, and you love and provide for us each day. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

The Art Project, Praying Hands

Praying hands for thanksgiving table

This simple project will remind your children that their praying hands can be like a steeple pointing to God as we bring our praises and requests to Him.

It can be done with crayons in about 15 minutes, so could be a simple project to engage children as they wait for dinner on Thanksgiving Day. But I’ll also explain an extra step you can do if you have time and don’t mind a little mess.

 At the Thanksgiving table guests may write prayer requests or praises on slips of paper and put these in the bottom of the bag under the praying hands.

Supplies:

  • brown, white, or Thanksgiving-motif paper lunch bags
  • scissors
  • pencils
  • glue
  • crayons or markers
  • Tempera paint, a largish brush, and paper towels if you want to do the extra step

Directions

  1. Place a folded paper bag flat on the table with the folded bottom of the bag facing up
  2. Have child place his or her hand flat on the bag with finger tips pointed toward the top of the bag and their wrist at the upper edge of the folded bag bottom
  3. With a pencil, trace around the child’s hand
  4. Keeping the bag folded, cut in from the sides of the bag (just above the folded bag bottom) to the child’s wrist line. Then cut up and around the traced hand (through both thicknesses of the bag) and out to the bag’s other edge on the other side of the hand
  5. The child may then decorate or color the hands. Most want to add rings, fingernails, watches, etc.
  6. Open the bag
  7. To form the praying hands, glue the tips of the fingers together. (just a little glue so you can still put things into the bottom of the bag)

The extra step:

  1. Before opening the bag, fold the two hands away from each other and the bag bottom
  2. Spread a thin layer of paint on the child’s hands and help them make hand prints on what will be the inside or palm of their praying hands
  3. They need to hold their hand still, fingers together, and just press down gently
  4. They will also need to do each hand separately so thumbs and fingers match

Helpful Hints

  • When tracing the child’s hand, have them keep their fingers mostly together, although you’ll want to draw the lines between their fingers.
  • If you’re not sure how much paint to use for the hand prints, have some scrap paper handy and do a couple trial prints

Cleanup tips

If you decide to do the hand prints, as you finish printing with each of the child’s hands, fold a paper towel into their hand to hold until you get them to wherever you’ll wash up

Before You Go

Are you looking for a kid’s devotion for fall that’s all about God’s care for butterflies and us? Visit Devokids for a children’s devotion I wrote. It’s called, Get Ready, Butterflies! Winter’s Coming!.

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 making art museum visits a fun masterpiece for you whole family!

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 and I hope this devotion and activity based on Saying Grace has been a blessing as you prepare for Thanksgiving. We put them together so you and your children would have plenty of time to go through the devotion and make the craft before Thanksgiving.  

We hope you’ll come back next time for an interview with Nancy Sanders about her new children’s book, Bedtime with Mommy.

Art Activity for Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflower Paintings

This paint activity based on Vincent van Gogh’s sunflower paintings is all about experimenting with color.

When van Gogh began painting he used dark colors. But when he moved to Paris and saw the colorful, light-filled paintings of the Impressionists, he began to lighten his palette (the paints he used). Some of his sunflower paintings were painted during this time, and they were experiments in using lighter colors.

Have fun mixing different colors with yellow. Think of your papers as pages from an art sketchbook, and label the mixtures. Make notes of what you like and what didn’t work.

In this post you’ll find:

  • Supply list
  • Step-by-step directions
  • Helpful hints
  • Clean-up tips
  • 5 Variations and/or adaptations for different ages
  • 6 Ways this activity aids children’s mental, physical, and social development
  • Vocabulary
  • Molly photo

Let’s get started!

Supplies:

  • Sturdy paper
  • Tempera paints work best for mixing
  • Brushes in a variety of sizes
  • pencil
  • White paper plate for mixing tempera paints

Directions:

Paper preparations

  • Draw a big sunflower, or part of one in one part of the paper, leaving space for the color mixes
  • Draw separate petals or boxes for trying the color mixes

Tempera Paint Experiments

  1. Pour several small puddles of yellow on your paper plate.
  2. Add just tiny drops of red to one yellow puddle, tiny drops of brown to another yellow puddle. Mix before adding any more of the darker color.
  3. If you want a lighter yellow, (a tint) pour a small puddle of white paint and add just a few drops of yellow. Mix.
  4. Label your color swatches with what you did.
  5. Paint your sunflower with the mixtures you like best.
  6. Use lots of paint and let your brush strokes show like van Gogh.

Hints for Tempera Paints

  • Always add just a little of the darker color at a time to the lighter color and mix in between each addition. You may be surprised how little of the darker color is needed.
  • Don’t wet your paper before painting.
  • Tempera paints dry quickly, so if you want to blend different colors, you’ll need to work fairly quickly. Experiment.
  • To create a textured center, use a small piece of sponge or round-tipped brush to paint the center of the sunflower. Go up and down with the brush or sponge.
  • Don’t have any brown paint? No problem. Just mix a little yellow, red, and blue (the primaries) to create brown. Experiment with different amounts of the 3 colors to make different browns!

Clean up Hints:

  • Be sure to put a plastic table cloth or large paper under your work
  • Have lots of paper towels handy
  • Have a wastebasket close for paper plates and paper towels
  • A dish washing tub is great for gathering all supplies for washing
  • Lay brushes flat on paper towels to dry so they keep their shape

5 Variations and/or adaptations for different ages:

  1. Some children may prefer to just paint swatches of their color mixtures all around their papers, without drawing boxes. Many artists do that as they experiment.
  2. Older children may really enjoy seeing how many different color mixtures they can create.
  3. Paint a sunflower on another paper  and make it into a card or poster.
  4. Paint the background around your sunflower a bright blue.
  5. Children may want to experiment with mixing other colors, too.

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

  1. This activity will give children lots of ways to experiment with color and show them why artists do these experiments to decide which mixtures best fits their projects.
  2. Children will also develop fine motor skills as they mix and paint.
  3. Discussing the colors they choose and why builds vocabulary and social skills.
  4. When children make choices in creating art, it enhances problem-solving skills, and helps them see that trying different colors and paints can be fun.
  5. Art gives children opportunities to explore their interests and talents.
  6. Making art enhances creativity and refreshes minds and eyes tired from screens.

Vocabulary

  • Palette—what we mix paints on—such as a paintbox cover or a paper or plastic plate
  • Palette can also mean the colors that an artist uses for a painting. We might speak of a light palette for many Impressionists, but a darker palette for an artist like Rembrandt.
  • Hue—an undiluted color
  • Tint—a hue plus white

Before You Go

Molly and I would love to know if you enjoyed this art activity and any variations or other ideas you came up with!

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 making art museum visits a fun masterpiece for your whole family!

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

Molly hopes you enjoy mixing color combinations and painting a large sunflower! We hope you’ll come back next time for the beginning of a new series on a great artist!

Molly thought you’d like the gold rabbit brush against the dark green cedars in this photo taken today.

 

Art Activity for Winslow Homer’s Painting The Country School

What better art activity to go with Winslow Homer’s painting, The Country School, than APPLES? Here’s a fun print project that can be made into a cute card to thank a special teacher or a poster for the fridge!

In this post you’ll find:

  • Supply list
  • Step-by-step directions
  • Helpful hints
  • Clean-up tips
  • Variations and/or adaptations for different ages
  • Ways this activity aids children’s mental, physical, and social development

Let’s get started!

Supplies:

  • Apples, 3 or 4 should be enough (no need to buy expensive ones; they won’t be edible afterwards)
  • Red, yellow, and green tempera paint
  • Wide, flat paint brushes and a few round ones, if you wish to fill in spaces (the toothbrush is in the photo in case I decided to spatter paint)
  • Paper plate or plastic container for paint puddles
  • Scrap paper to practice on
  • Sturdy paper to print on
  • Card stock in various colors for card or poster backing

Directions:

  1. Have an adult cut the apples in half
  2. Cut the paper for printing into various sizes, such as for a card (smaller sizes are easier to work with)
  3. Choose a color and paint it on an apple half with a flat brush
  4. Practice making prints on the scrap paper
  5. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different papers and techniques
  6. When apple prints are dry, add leaves and stems with crayon or marker
  7. Cut apart to make posters and cards

 

Helpful Hints:

  • you’ll get more complete prints if you place the apple half on the paper, then carefully pick up the apple with the paper stuck to it. Turn it over so you can first pat to be sure the paper is stuck, then smooth the paper against the apple. (Be prepared for smears as the paper may slip)
  • It often works best to have an apple half and a brush for each color
  • But you can wipe the paint off a used apple and change colors that way
  • If you want more complete prints, use a round brush dipped in the same color and pounce up and down in the places you want filled in. You want it to still look like a print.
  • If you plan to cut the prints apart for cards, etc, leave plenty of space between the prints

Clean up Hints:

  • Acrylic paints will work fine, but take more cleanup and don’t come off clothes as well)
  • Be sure to put a plastic table cloth or large paper under your work
  • Have lots of paper towels handy
  • Have a wastebasket close for paper plates, apples, and paper towels
  • A dish washing tub is great for washing brushes
  • Lay brushes flat on paper towels to dry so they keep their shape

Variations and/or adaptations for different ages:

  • Younger children will enjoy choosing and painting the apples, but may need help turning the apple and paper over and learning to pat the paper against the apple
  • Try painting red and green or red and yellow on the same apple half and see if you like the combinations
  • Try printing apples of various colors all over a larger paper
  • Cut leaf shapes from sponge or bring in some real leaves and print these with the apples (look up what shape leaves apple trees have and find or make an appropriate shape)
  • Add wiggly eyes to your printed apples

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

  1. Using paint brushes and other art tools helps children develop fine motor skills.
  2. This art activity helps develop visual/spatial skills as children decide where to place their prints
  3. When children make choices with colors and the ways they want to finish and display their prints, it enhances problem-solving skills.
  4. Art gives children opportunities to explore their interests and talents.
  5. Making art enhances creativity and refreshes minds and eyes tired from screens.

Molly prefers to eat apples, but she hopes you enjoy printing apples for cards and posters! And we hope to see you back next week for another Kathy the Picture Lady post.

I’m trying to be good

Maybe I’ll just try a lick

Oh, okay, I’ll wait!

But Don’t You Wait!

  • 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 making art museum visits a fun masterpiece for your whole family!
  • 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. http://www.kathy-oneill.com/

Butterfly Creations, A Fun and Easy Art Activity for Creative Kids

Butterflies are colorful creations, that we like to draw or paint in our own pictures. But it’s hard to make their wings exactly the same on each side of their body. In this project you’ll have fun making a butterfly that’s colorful and also exactly the same on each side!

In this post you’ll find:

  • A supply list
  • Directions to make the butterflies
  • Clean up hints
  • Variations and extensions
  • How this activity helps children develop mentally, physically, and socially
  • A related and kid-friendly devotion

Supplies

  • Sturdy paper
  • Paint in different colors
  • Markers or crayons

Directions

  1. Fold the paper in half and then reopen it.
  2. On one side of the paper only, squeeze out drops of paint where an upper wing and a lower wing would be. You may use more than one color, but don’t mix them yet.
  3. Refold your paper to cover the drops of paint.
  4. Use your fingers on top of the paper to move the paint around, swirling colors together and creating an upper and lower wing. You may need to help children move the paint outward to make wings.
  5. Open up your paper to see your colorful butterfly with identical wings on each side.
  6. Notice that this process creates veins like on a real butterfly’s wings.
  7. When dry, use crayons or markers to draw the butterfly’s body.

Variations and Extensions

  • Make smaller butterflies and use them as cards for friends and family
  • Make smaller butterflies all over large sheets of paper and use as book covers or wrapping paper
  • Cut out some smaller butterflies and use as gift tags

How this activity helps children develop mentally, physically, and socially

  • Mixing colors is fun and relaxing and teaches children to be better observers
  • Choosing colors aids problem solving skills
  • Making cards or other things to send to friends and family fosters kindness and thoughtfulness for others

Clean up hints

Use a large sheet of wax paper under your painting, because the paint often squishes out as you move it around.

Devotion

Bible Verse:  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV).

Butterfly caterpillars aren’t very pretty. They crawl along plants chomping leaves, and they can’t see well at all. But when it’s time, they form a chrysalis, and God creates a beautiful new creature. He gives them new eyes to see all around, new straw-like mouths to sip nectar from flowers, and beautiful wings to soar through the sky!

Sometimes we do things we shouldn’t. We may say unkind things to friends or disobey our parents. The Bible call those things sins, and they aren’t very pretty. But God loves us so much He gave us His Son Jesus, who died so we can be forgiven for our sins. When we believe that Jesus died for us, and that God loves and watches over us, we don’t get new eyes or wings, we get something much better. God gives us a new heart that loves and wants to please Him.

If you would like to become God’s child, you just have to ask Jesus to come into your heart and forgive your sins. When you do that, you receive a new heart to follow Jesus. Like a butterfly you become a new creation, and God helps you soar to be all He has planned for you.

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, thank You for giving us Your Son to die for our sins, so we can become part of Your family. How wonderful that You make us a new creation to love You and live with You forever. 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.

Molly and I hope you enjoy making colorful butterflies! Our August posts will be favorite summer paintings and funny vacation photos.