This is a lovely craft for younger children, who will enjoy both the hand painting and printing and the sticking on of stickers! You could adapt the craft for spring by using pink "blossom" stickers.
Children of all ages love to paint, and should be given lots of opportunities to do so, even though it sometimes seems a lot of effort (especially the clearing up). We have many painting projects and ideas here for inspiration, many of which can be done outside in the garden to minimize mess!
Mirror Image Painting
Paint your design on to one half of the paper. Fold the paper in half and press down. Open out the picture and leave to dry.
Water your paint down a little to make it runny. Dip a brush in, then hold it above the paper and tap so the paint splatters over the paper. Keep adding more colours until you are happy with your picture.
Water your paint down a little to make it runny. Pour a couple of drops of paint on to your paper, then use a drinking straw to blow the paint in all directions.
Keep adding more paint and blowing until you are happy with your picture.
More Painting Projects
This interesting technique relies on art tissue paper, which "bleeds" when water is added and produces a lovely mingled effect. Children enjoy watching the colours bleed into each other and the finished result is a perfect leaf for autumn.
This was an experiment to see how the ink in our tissue paper would transfer itself to the lovely, textured watercolour paper. We ended up with some very pretty brightly-coloured paper which we cut into hearts for our home-made Valentine's Day cards.
Kids of all ages will have great fun painting these blob monsters, but of course the idea is primarily aimed at younger children, who will be delighted with the results! Why not paint lots of blob monsters then cut them out roughly and hang or display them around the room...
Here is a clever technique which will allow children to create a really effective bonfire painting for Bonfire Night (or Holi, or Fourth of July, or Diwali) or a campfire for summer...
Bubble painting is a fascinating crafty activity for kids, which produces different results every time. It can be a bit messy though. Take it outdoors and it makes a great outdoor summer activity!
Get the paints, grab some washing up liquid (dish soap) and off you go with this fun bubble painting jellyfish project! Bubble painting is always fun...
This technique is a fun way for younger children to add some textural snowflakes to their winter pictures! Our photos aren't great but hopefully you can see the effect.
Learn about mixing colours and create a pretty autumn display with this fun painting craft. We've lined up our leaves across a strip of card to make a display, but you could hang them in graduating order too.
Here's a quick technique for making some really fun, bright and original bunting, perfect for all sorts of occasions. But beware - cover your surfaces, and your children, well!
Conkers are such a part of the British autumn that we thought we'd find a slightly different use for our conker collection! Younger children will enjoy the randomness of this painting activity, and rolling the conkers around is fun!
This simple technique - of using one of our templates as a reverse stencil - has created a stunning watercolour beach scene that is a perfect activity for a creative afternoon, for children of all ages. Cut out the template in advance if you are planning to do this with younger kids.
This lovely painting project has a suitably watery theme given that the subject matter is a dolphin! Children will love how the colours blend together and enjoy watching the effect that the salt sprinkle has on the finished picture.
Once the dove template is cut out this is a simple craft that even the youngest children will enjoy. The effect is surprisingly effective and satisfying!
This is a simple technique for children to master but the resultant Eid silhouette picture is beautiful. Use for a special Eid card, or put your picture on display.
We enjoyed watching how the colours from the old felt tip pens used in this craft spread, and the resultant picture is very pretty. Make sure you use a good thick paper though, or the result might be disappointing.
Let your little ones be fire-fighters! This was a big hit with my boys and still graces our walls nearly a year after we made it. While we made a very large version, the same idea can be made smaller for a special card.
Kids will really enjoy making these glittery fireworks paintings (but please make sure that the kids, and the house, is well covered up first!)
This craft can of course be adapted for all sorts of holidays and events, but we've done it here for Valentine's Day. It produces a lovely 3d "artwork" which can be adapted to so many different uses.
A fun but extremely messy way to create your own piece of modern art, which involves rolling a golf ball around! If you have a large box lid you can contain this painting project safely - otherwise, beware!
Shelly and her kids celebrate autumn with some seasonal activities in this guest post. They have lots of fun making some colourful autumn leaves using bleeding tissue paper and try some autumn acrostic poems too.
I have always loved the effect of stained glass windows and when my kids were younger we often tried to create our own stained glass window effect with paintings. The idea is very simple but a lot of fun and I think you end up with some stunning p
Do your children love dinosaurs? There are lots of fun dinosaur-themed activities on Activity Village, like the ones Shelly and her children try out in this guest blog post...
Are you looking for a painting activity with a difference? Why not try some "dotty art" like Shelly and her kids...
I have always enjoyed using butterflies in art activities. They are the perfect subject because you get them in so many different colours and patterns and you really can do almost anything with them.
Sharpies and watercolour paints are a fabulous combination for creating artwork! Shelly has written about some ideas to get you started in this blog post.
When my son was little (about 5 or 6) he would get a bit frustarted with his paintings. He always wanted to paint animals, but the animals that he painted were never realistic.
This is a simple technique for making prints which children of all ages will be able to have a go at, and it is a good "quiet" activity for a Halloween party (although we wouldn't advise trying it with a large group of kids as things can get messy!) The finished Halloween prints loo
It is always fun to watch the paint pull away from your wax drawings when doing wax resist paintings, and the effect with a wash of black paint for Halloween is suitably gruesome and spooky!
Quick, easy and fun for little kids, this handprint goldfish nevertheless looks effective on display! Of course you could make a whole school of fish this way for an underwater scene, too.
We've used a paint drizzling technique to make this Happy Holi card, and then glued on some craft foam letters. Of course you could make a card like this for any occasions - I think it would make a great birthday card.
Create a washed background with watery paint and then make your harvest moon stand out against it with this homemade "puffy paint" technique. The result is a lovely, textural piece of art!
The owl sillouetted against an orange harvest moon is a very effective use of a stencil, and a fun craft for the kids to try. Younger children will need help cutting out the fiddly owl template, or you can do it for them in advance.
This is an interesting way to create a truly stunning picture of the harvest moon against a sunset sky, using tissue paper strips. Even the youngest children will enjoy doing this, or you could have a younger child make the moon while an older child creates the background.
This simple idea is great fun for the kids, and of course can be adapated using all sorts of templates. How about a Christmas tree, a flower, a simple butterfly or a summer sun?
We've always been a bit nervous about hot glue, but as long as you supervise very carefully - and for younger children do all the gluey bits yourself - this is a great craft to tie into different themes and holidays, or just experiment with.
Turn your room into a winter wonderland with the help of this shivery cold icicle bunting! Children will enjoy splodging on the runny paint and watching the colours merge.
Lacquerware painting has been traditional in Russia for centuries. Papier mache boxes and panels were lacquered and painted with intricate designs and scenes from folk tales.
This lion craft is a great way to use different tools to paint with instead of using a paintbrush. And it can be quite messy which is always great fun for the kids!
Real marbling takes quite a bit of effort and requires oil paints, tray, water and mess! Here is an easier version for younger children which still produces a very pretty effect.
The finished card is so pretty, I wish our photos did it justice! Swirling the paints around on the paper plate to make the marble effect on this Valentine's Day card is great fun, and it does mean that the paint is relatively easily contained.
This simple craft idea resulted from an experiment, with Sam dropping watered food colouring onto kitchen towel to see how the colours intermingled. We turned the result into some cloud "suncatchers" and put them on display on our window.
Marbled Eggs are fun for kids to make - and pretty to display at Easter, too. You will need marbling inks, which are available in most craft stores. We've used bright colours but pastel colours would make pretty Easter eggs.
Sam enjoyed watching the paint colours run together when we were doing this Valentines craft. It was a bonus when we discovered the heart looked pretty in the window as a suncatcher!
We've tried an unusual technique for this plate which made the design rather exciting! Of course you could adapt this for all sorts of events and use different shapes and pictures. A butterfly would look pretty! Remember, this plate is FOR DISPLAY only.
Children enjoy watching the different colours used on the plate merge into one another and create an unexpected design - although they can end up a bit murky! This plate is for display purposes only.
Sarah has come up with another idea for an Olympics craft, using recycled polystyrene, finger painting and your felt tip pens. It looks great for an Olympics display...
This Olympic craft idea can be adapted to suit the age of your kids. We've used an old painting technique to create the dramatic background, and cut out a fairly detailed silhouette of athletes carrying their country's flag.
This is a super idea for Mother's Day, or all year round! You'll end up with a one-of-a-kind painting to treasure, and your child will remember the real Whistler's Mother forever!
This is a handprint painting idea for slightly older children. Rather than using one colour of paint on your hand and manipulating the stamp to form shapes on the paper, this time Sam painted a design on his hand first. The result wasn't perfect, but it was fun.
Make the most of your outdoor time by collecting some materials together for a painting session later - using paints that you make yourselves with nature's offerings!
This is a simple technique which involves a paper plate (one of our favourite crafting ingredients!) and lots of colourful paint. You will need some patience while the "tree" dries!
Reading Jack in the Beanstalk? Using a potato to print the leaves is a fun way for younger children to paint their own beanstalk - and make it as tall as they like!
You can see that Sam really enjoyed using this puffy paint technique to paint his ghost - and the finished picture is fun, too! There is something very satisfying about a textural painting project!
Puffy paint is always a fun activity, especially when you mix it up yourself! And a heart is a simple shape for all children to manage. Of course you can use this technique to make all sorts of paintings...
Splattering paint, mixing up shaving foam, puffy painting - what's not to love! And the picture at the end of it is spectacular too, and will go proudly up on display.
Making your own puffy paint and painting a puffy paint picture is fun for kids of all ages and uses basic supplies only. Have a go and see what the kids can create!
Puffy paint is fun to work with, and kids love watching it expand in the microwave. Here's a Halloween craft idea with some orange coloured puffy paint...
Create some pretty, textural snowflakes with our puffy paint recipe, made from kitchen ingredients. Watching the paint puff up in the microwave is always exciting!
There is something so satisfying about crafting with shaving foam - and the kids love it! This puffy paint snowman makes a perfect winter activity, and the 3d finished result is lovely on display.
This beautiful silhouette picture will look stunning on display at any time - but of course it is particularly appropriate for a study of Russia. The silhouette draws its inspiration from the outlines of St Basil's Cathedral, in Moscow.
Here's a quick and fun snowflake activity - and you almost certainly have everything you need easily to hand! The finished snowflakes are really lovely so the kids will feel they have made something special.
This lovely craft idea can be undertaken in one go as a project on the seasons - or in four parts over the year as each season arrives. However you choose to do it, the canvases make an eye-catching display.
Traditional marbling is fun but, with the oil paints involved, not at all suitable for younger children. Marbling with shaving foam is a great alternative - and so much fun!
Sam really enjoyed our shaving foam painting experiement. The method means that there's always a certain amount of excitment about how the painting will turn out!
Shaving foam has a soft soapy texture and kids love to play with it straight as it comes out of the can - but stirring in powder paint adds an extra element of fun! Make sure to cover the work surface and the child before you start!
This is definitely an outdoor project! Protect the kids' clothes well (or take them off on a summer day!) and be prepared to hose the children down well afterwards.
Use a lovely leaf and some twigs collected when out walking and turn them into a picture of an autumn tree with this fun stamping craft. Scroll down to see what the leaf looks like when it is ready to make the print - such fun!
This was a fantastic project. Sam really enjoyed it and the finished self portrait looked spectacular in the window. You will need a good photo to work from and a large collection of coloured permanent markers, though!
Celebrate the summer with this gorgeous sunflower handprint painting, which is fun and simple for kids to make as a summer painting project. Imagine a whole "field" of these on display!
Children will be thrilled to use their own artwork to make a height chart to display on the wall - and the sunflower is a usefully tall flower, so perfect for making this height chart!
Here is a fun outdoor painting project where the results are unpredictable but effective! Even the youngest children can create some great results with this idea.
We all love to display our child's best school work and art work, but sometimes the fridge will only hold so much! A "washing line" is an original way to display work and can be used flat against a wall or across a room.
Sam had a lot of fun creating the mottled watercolour paper that we used for this leaf bunting, watching how the colours mixed together. Make sure you put down plenty of plastic sheeting before you start this craft!
Wax resist painting is always a fun techinique to try with the kids and you can get some great results. It helps to have a topic to start with and in our case we were looking at Paul Klee's "The Goldfish" and decided to have a go at our own version.
Although our photo doing do this craft justice, it's worth having a go at these wax resist snowflakes.