18 Art Activities For Kids: Age-By-Age Art Activities Guide

Art activities for kids provide a way for children to creatively communicate, while engaging their senses in open-ended play and encouraging problem-solving.

Moms Stephanie Pflucker and Katrina Suarez recognized a need to engage their children during the pandemic and developed Crafty Moms, an art activities resource for parents on social media.

The pair share art activities for kids of all ages.

“Making art is a great way for children to develop fine motor skills since they will be strengthening their hand muscles by grabbing paint brushes, crayons, markers or even scissors,” Pflucker told TODAY Parents.

Suarez added that art encourages visual analysis, improves hand-eye coordination and also helps children establish concentration.

“Kids can also explore and learn about colors or numbers, depending on the activity you are planning to do,” she said.

More fun activities for kids!

child painting on a star
Moms Stephanie Pflucker and Katrina Suarez have more than 4 million followers on their TikTok account “Craft Moms.”Courtesy Stephanie Pflucker and Katrina Suarez

18 art activities for kidsArt activities for kids ages 1-2

Pflucker and Suarez said starting art activities at a young age stimulates both sides of the brain and increases the capacity of memory and attentions.

“This is the age of exploration,” Pflucker said. “Kids around this age still put everything in their mouths, so we encourage parents to try making taste-safe activities.”

5 activities for this age include: 

  • Painting on ice molds.
  • Taste-safe finger paint using yogurt and food coloring.
  • Homemade chalk using cornstarch, water and food coloring.
  • Water and food coloring painting popsicles
  • Mess-free painting in plastic bags (if parents prefer to avoid the mess) 
child's art project with leaves
Painting inside a Ziploc bag allows children to explore texture and color without the mess.Courtesy Stephanie Pflucker and Katrina Suarez

Art activities for kids ages 3-5

Suarez told TODAY Parents this is her favorite age for art projects.

“Kids will be able to properly grasp pencils, crayons, chalk and paintbrushes,” she said. “They won ́t put things in their mouths anymore, so it ́s a great time to explore different materials and art supplies.”

Art projects for this age range can be more complex, and parents can include learning in the process.

“They will also improve your kid ́s fine motor skills, which are essential for a child ́s school readiness,” Suarez said.

4 activities for this age include: 

  • Painting butterflies using kitchen sponges.
  • Handprint and footprints creations.
  • Painting fallen leaves.
  • DIY stamps re-using a roller.
child's art project with sponges
Painted butterflies made from kitchen sponges.Courtesy Stephanie Pflucker and Katrina Suarez

Art activities for kids ages 5-8

Pflucker explained that ages 5-8 is a great time to start teaching kids how to be mindful of the environment.

“We encourage parents to teach their kid how to make art projects up-cycling materials that they would normally throw away,” she said. “Kids can use plastic containers from fruits or veggies, bubble wrap from the mail, cardboard boxes or they could even use cereal boxes instead of paper.”

4 activities for this age include: 

  • DIY reusable canvas for free style painting.
  • Painting using bubble wrap envelopes as a large stamp.
  • Free style painting over a reusable plastic container board.
  • Homemade puffy paint.
Child painting
Reusing materials such as cardboard and shipping materials make excellent canvas for painting.Courtesy Stephanie Pflucker and Katrina Suarez

Art activities for kids ages 8+

Suarez shared that art is a great way for children to reflect and manage their emotions, and it can also improve confidence and self-esteem in a multitude of ways.

“Unfortunately, most kids around this age will start losing interest on doing conventional art,” she said, adding that this age is a good time to start being more creative. “Parents can include science into their art projects to make them more interesting, including different materials and techniques.”

5 activities for this age include: 

  • DIY homemade stickers.
  • DIY earrings.
  • Chalk painting.
  • Styrofoam printing.
  • Tie-dye Ziplocs.
child drawing with chalk paint
Chalk painting is an easy outdoor art project for kids.Courtesy Stephanie Pflucker and Katrina Suarez

For some parents, trying art activities with their kids feels overwhelming for fear it will create a mess to clean up.

Pflucker recommends choosing the right activities for a child’s age, having everything ready before starting (especially clean-up materials, setting clear limits and guides before they start, choosing the right environment (inside or outside), using food or cookie trays to contain the mess and supervising every activity closely.

“Art projects will always involve some mess and that’s why some parents will try to avoid them,” she said. “However, including art activities in our kids’ daily lives is very important.”

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