It’s cold out. Too cold to play outside. But, your kiddo sees the snow and wants her chance with it. Now what? If you just can’t imagine bundling your child up and taking her out into the freezing temps, try a snowy art activity indoors.
Before beginning this art exploration, talk to your child about what she sees outside. If you don’t live in a cold climate, take a look at a snow-filled picture, a photograph or a video online.
- Ask your child how what she sees is different from other seasons.
- What does the winter have that the spring, summer and fall don’t (snow)?
- What colors are different?
- How do you dress differently?
- Why do you need to dress differently?
- You can also come up with your own open-ended questions (questions that don’t have “yes” or “no” answers) about winter.
- If it’s possible, bring a bucket of snow inside - use a magnifying glass to examine the flakes, touch the snow and watch it melt!
Van Gogh Inspired Texture Art Project for Kids
Okay, so we’re still not ready for the art-making. At least, not yet. It’s time to talk about texture and the artists who use it. Use the word “texture,” giving your child a new vocab word. Ask your child to touch different objects (such as the floor, a carpet, a towel, a plate) and tell you how they feel. Younger children may have difficulty differentiating between “feel” as in texture and “feel” as in emotions. If your child says that the towel feels happy, rephrase the question as, “What texture does the towel have when you touch it?” (and giggle at the adorable answer).
You can connect the idea of texture to real works of art. It’s time for some art-viewing! Take a look at a reproduction (in a book, a poster or online) of a highly textured artwork. Van Gogh, Renoir and Monet all have examples of works where you can see the texture. Ask your child how she thinks
an artist can create textures using paint? If she’s not sure, talk about making the paint thicker, layering it on and using shorter brush strokes.
Now it’s your child’s turn to create a textures painting (with a snowflake theme).
Here’s what you’ll need:
- White tempera paint
- Cotton balls
- Blue card stock paper
- Silver, blue or opal glitter
- Optional: Other glitter colors or craft sand
Pour the tempera onto a piece of wax paper or a paper plate (as a palette). Dip a cotton ball into the paint.Press the paint-covered cotton ball onto the blue paper (it’s the winter sky!) over and over again.
Your child can make one big snowflake or several smaller ones. She’ll need to dip the cotton ball into the paint several times.
If the ball starts to fall apart, give her a new one.
Optional: Add a rainbow of glitter or mix craft sand in with more paint and layer it on top (this creates a deeper texture).
Famous Artist Projects for Kids
Erica Loop is a mom, parenting writer and educator with an MS in child development. When she's not teaching, she's busy writing kids' activities for her blog Mini Monets and Mommies. You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, and Instagram.