Artsy Thursday – 5 open-ended art ideas for young children

Children develop creativity, social skills and fine motor skills with open-ended (which focuses on the process of art rather than the product) art projects where they can make choices, use their imaginations, and create with their hands.

Did you know…?

  • Open-ended art gives children a way to express their feelings and ideas. It supports their understanding of their emotions and provides a tool for self-regulation
  • Children learn about their world (color, size, shape, and texture of objects)
  • Creating art encourages creativity, imaginative thinking, and language skills, which are skills linked with long-term success as an adult

Here are 5 open-ended art ideas for children: 

Create a collaborative collage: children choose a theme (ocean, forest, animals, food, music, etc.) and create their own masterpiece, and then they work together to create one big collage

  • Colors of the rainbow – art and nature combined! Go on a walk with your child(ren), and collect items found in nature in every color of the rainbow.  Your child(ren) can choose how to use their collection to create their artwork
  • Recycled art: use items from around the house to create a “sculpture.” Children can use paints, markers, or stickers to decorate their sculpture. Let their imaginations run wild!
  • “That’s not a paintbrush!” Use objects of a variety of shapes, textures, and sizes for children to use as a paintbrush. What a great way for children to explore the world around them!
  • Paint your feelings: encourage children to draw their feelings. You can discuss color, texture, and other features in their artwork that helps them to describe their feelings. You can also have them draw faces (happy, sad, angry, scared).  What a great way to help them express and handle their emotions

Explore these NAEYC resources and more online!

For Educators:
For Families:

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