For busy, working parents, coming up with ideas for bonding time with their kids can be tough. Art projects are a great way of doing that, whilst giving kids an opportunity to exercise their free will and build something artsy on their own. Collaborating with kids on art projects is a way to share that experience with them, and encourage their growth and individuality – with an output at the end that you can save!
Here are a couple of ideas for fun art projects to build memories together.
Magazine collages is a great place to start
For many people, ‘art’ means painting or using markers. That’s great, but magazine collages can be easier to make, faster to complete, and (often) better to look at! The first step to making a stunning collage is to snip out glossy portions from old magazines and newspapers and sort them out according to color. Then you can help your kids to paste the pieces together to make easy and common illustrations like landscapes, skylines, sunsets, oceans, and just about anything else. The great thing about this project is that the kids can contribute equally, and perhaps more than they’re used to; helping them build their creativity.
All the paraphernalia lying around the house is actually art
Common things like ice-cream sticks, old CDs, spare buttons, and even cotton balls can make for great raw materials for the next big art project. Parents and kids can work together to dip them in oil paints and hang them by beaded strings or make cute little fences and wall hangings using ice-cream sticks (after coloring them, of course). The best part of using random things lying around the house is that it offers ample opportunities for both parents and kids to think of the most creative ways to use them. Someday, as the years go by, those pieces of art will make for great stories and memories.
Papier-mache is the next big thing
Once the simple art projects have been successfully completed, it’s time to move on to papier-mache – paper that, with a little molding, takes on the shape of anything you use to set it around. Making papier-mache is easy (although a little time-consuming). Here’s what’s needed –
- Emulsion paint
- Some Vaseline
- A paintbrush
And here’s how the papier-mache glue is made –
- Mix one part water with one part flour and blend them together using a wooden spoon (to prevent the formation of lumps) until it becomes consistently thick. Then, add some salt to the mix.
- Tear the newspaper into long strips (preferably five inches or longer).
- Apply the blended mix on both sides of the paper strips using the paintbrush.
- Then, take the object that you wish to use as a mold (say, for instance, a bowl), and place the glue-soaked strips over it using the brush. Remember to release any air bubble that may form as you apply the strips over the object.
- The sides of the strips that are on the side of the object require a thin film of Vaseline (this helps to remove the newspaper layer easily when dry)
- Once three to four layers of paper have been applied, leave the entire unit to dry.
- Once the initial layers are dry, more layers can be added if necessary.
- After taking the paper layer off the mold, paint it in the desired color or pattern.
Papier-mache can be used to make coasters, bowls, lamp shades, disco balls, and so much more. There’s really no limit to creativity, and all parents need to do is to sit down with the little ones, bounce ideas off each other, and get to work on an original masterpiece.