Doing art with my five-year-old son is our bonding time together. Lately when 6am rolls around he’s right beside my bed asking if we can do art together. I know that he may not always want to do art with his “mommy” and “best friend” so I’m taking advantage of it while I can, even if what I really want to do is close my eyes and go back to sleep. Below are some kid-friendly art drawing and coloring activities that we love to do together. They are also activities I would do on my own and can be enjoyed by all ages.
Easy Zentangle Art
If you follow along with @colormehappy on Instagram, you’ll see that Sam’s a fan of zentangle art. Zentangle is a method of art that uses repetitive zentangle patterns to creative beautiful images. She’s taught her son how to do zentangle art with this simple drawing activity.
1.Here’s what you’ll need.
- Paper. For this activity we used white cardstock. I like the heavier weight cardstock and it helps keeps wrinkles out. But you could use plain computer paper as well.
- Crayons, markers, or pencils: We used Color Appeel crayons for this activity, and they worked wonderfully. The colors were bright and they colored smoothly, but what we loved best were the patterns on the outside of the crayon paper. We used those patterns for ideas as we doodled.
2. To start, draw a non-specific doodle with intersecting lines. Sometimes Sam draws the starting doodle and sometimes her son draws it. The point is just to have fun. Let the creative juices flow!
3. Take turns filling in each section of the doodle. The sections can be filled with patterns, doodles, or just plain color. Change it up. Sometimes you can fill in your own section and other times you can add to a section that has already been filled.
4. Originally Sam’s idea was to stay inside the lines, but her son wanted to add some heart balloons outside the lines, and it really made the picture so much better. Sometimes art works better when you let go of the rules and just create.
Colorful Mandala Art Project
Since Sam was a young girl, she’s always loved drawing mandalas, and thought it was time to teach her son. She typically draws mandalas freehand, but for kids she knew it would be easier to use a compass to draw circles and then teach him to fill in the space between each circle. Before they we began, she showed him different mandala pictures and explained how mandalas have a center point with all lines and patterns forming out and around from that central point.
1.Here’s what you’ll need.
- A drawing compass: If you don’t have a compass you could also use varying circular shapes that can be traced.
- Paper: I prefer cardstock but regular drawing or computer paper works as well.
- Markers or pencils: You’ll want to use something with a medium- or fine-felt tip. Stampables Scented Double-Ended Markers are a great option because there are 18 colors, stamps and scents to choose from, and they are double-ended with one end a marker and the other a stamp. Plus, they’re washable, and come with a convenient carrying case. Can’t ask for much more than that in a marker!
2. Start by using your compass. If your child doesn’t know how to use one yet, draw circles for them. Sam started by drawing circles. There’s no magic number, and you don’t need to space them all the same.
3. Take turns drawing inside each space, starting with the center. The key with mandalas is that you want to keep the pattern repeating within the space you’re drawing.
4. With our stamp markers they were also able to incorporate stamp patterns into their mandala.
We love how Sam’s rainbow mandala turned out, and it’s clear that this is a new favorite art activity for her and her son.
If you’re looking for double the fun for mandala making, we also recommend these Seeing Double Fine Double Tip Markers. The felt tip is perfect for details, and with 2 coordinating colors on each tip they’ll give your mandalas an unexpected special effect. These unique markers will become a staple in your art box.
Doodle Wood Blocks Craft
Doodle blocks are a great way to make drawing more fun by turning it into a game. The blocks also serve as prompts so that you don’t have to think of patterns as you go.
1.Here’s what you’ll need.
- Wooden blocks: I bought mine on Craftparts.com, but you can also find them on Etsy.
- Paper: Again, I prefer heavier-weight cardstock, but you could use plain computer paper as well.
- Crayons, markers, or pencils: I used Color Luxe Gel Pens for the blocks, and we used both the gel pens and Color Appeel Crayons for the drawing to create different textures.
2. Use 3 or more wood blocks to make your doodle blocks. One block should have basic shapes or objects (e.g., rainbow, car, star, heart, square, circle), and the other blocks should have patterns.
3. Roll the shape block first, and use the shape as your basic outline.
4. Draw intersecting lines within the shape outline.
5. Take turns rolling one pattern block or both. Use the patterns rolled to fill in each empty space. You can also mix in rolling the shape block. The shapes should be added to the open spaces as well. Keep rolling and drawing until every space is filled. Remember, there’s no right or wrong way to play this game. In the end, you’ll have a beautiful mosaic of coloring, patterns, and doodles.
For more art ideas and activities like these, follow along with Sam on Instagram @colormadehappy.
Drawing Activity Kits for Kids
While lifestyle blogger, Shakira Patterson was at home with her family this past year, she found creative ways to keep kiddos engaged. She put together a magical mermaids activity kit for her girls to pull at home activities from. So, even though they couldn’t visit any beaches or islands, they could use their imaginations to create an underwater world of their own—right at home!
Shakira also explored more of our fun activity kits with themes ranging from monsters to unicorns. And for the all-in-one craft kit lovers, there’s the adorable Happy Packs, that you can get delivered right to your door.
Like so many parents, Shakira works to create balance when searching for activities for her girls to do at home, while also fostering independent play. Time together at home is precious for creating memories and dreaming up your own fun.
Diving into More Fun at Home Activities for Kids
Shakira bought an inexpensive tub to keep all of her activity kits and supplies for her family’s fun home activities. Unlike other playroom toys, she thought these items needed a special place and should be put away after every use.
By doing this, Shakira’s girls are just as excited as the first time she pulled them down. She also breaks out the special supplies tub at the same time every day to offer a smorgasbord of fun art supplies. Her youngest daughter loves to color with Yummy Yummy scented twist-up crayons and Outrageous Ocean Coloring Book from the Magical Mermaids Bonus Box while her older sister is doing virtual schoolwork. Coloring is such a stress buster, and many times Shakira pulled up a chair to color alongside Zarie during these creative mornings. It is amazing how much magic is found in crayons and a coloring book, even for adults.
Shakira says “you can’t go wrong with [OOLY] products. I love the high quality and attention to every detail. Their whimsical designs are exemplary when it comes to diverse representation. It’s not easy to find mermaid products with various hair textures and skin tones. I loved that my girls get to be creative with characters that look like they do!”
Build a Mermaid At Home Activity Kit
- Your favorite OOLY Crayons (check out these crayons for left-handers!))
- Mermaid Magic 6 Click Multi Color Pen (Raegan’s FAVORITE kind of pen)
- Ocean Life Scratch and Scribble Scratch Art Kit
- Unicorns and Mermaids Happy Pack
- Outrageous Ocean Coloring Book
HOW-TO: MERMAID AT-HOME ACTIVITY
Shakira loves the On-The-Go Stationery Kits. They are the perfect sets to have on hand for kiddos when they’re missing their teachers, friends, and family. The Unicorns and Mermaids Happy Pack comes in the cutest little starfish plastic tote, and feature: a notebook, postcards, letter sheets, envelopes, mechanical pencil, eraser, pen, and stickers.
HOW CREATIVITY HELPS
Shakira’s family is a military family, so they are used to finding creative ways to send their love all over the country. Her girls are able to write and color special notes to the people who they love most. Her girls get so excited to walk their letters to their grandparents or cousins to the mailbox, and hear back from loved ones near and far.
If you’re considering curating an at-home activity kit for kids of your own, here are Shakira’s tips and tricks:
- Choose a variety of options. We want to make sure there are several items to keep the kit novel and fun.
- Consider a theme that you know your kiddo can really get excited about i.e. mermaids, monsters, girl power, etc.
- Decide on a special time during the day (or every other day) that you can bring your activity kit into play. Put it away when you’re done so it’s a treat every time you bring it around.
- Enjoy spending intentional time together, making memories and using plenty of imagination with at home activities. These fun ideas will allow you to be more intentional, and afford us a bit more creativity during the days to come.
Shakira Patterson is the motherhood lifestyle blogger behind Occasions by Shakira. As a serial holiday celebrator, and party styling enthusiast, she loves sharing mom hacks and ways to spend intentional time with family and friends. Connect with Shakira on Instagram @occasions.byshakira.