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Something amazing happens when you enjoy family art projects with your children. Collaborative art projects are the perfect way to connect with your kids. We’ve got everything from murals to drawing games. Activities are easy to prepare and don’t need special supplies. Click through to get your creative juices flowing!
There is growing evidence that enjoying playful and creative activities are good for us. No matter what your age, finding someway to express yourself creatively has all kinds of benefits. And let’s be honest making time to play in this way is just plain fun.
In my mind one of the best ways to connect with children is to be creative with them. I always enjoyed sitting down with my boys to create something together. Sometimes it would be as simple as coloring a picture or doodling side by side, other times it would be a more elaborate project. As we created, we would talk….or to be honest they would talk and I would listen.
Making art created a relaxed atmosphere that allowed us to enjoy each others company and perhaps talk a little deeper than we usually did.
WHAT IS COLLABORATIVE ART?
Collaborative art is any artwork that is created by a group of people. It can be as elaborate as a group mural or as simple as a drawing game that involve more than one person.
Most kids enjoy the process. I’ve had fun creating a grand sculpture out of boxes with a group of kids. But have also enjoyed times where each person does their own art and then combines them.
The best part is that each person is encouraged to contribute in some significant way to the artwork. Collaborative art offers you the opportunity to embark on a family art project that each person helps create.
THE BENEFITS OF COLLABORATIVE FAMILY ART PROJECTS
When families work on collaborative family art projects, they build community and togetherness. Working as a team with a common goal is powerful. It is perfect if you need an emergency does of connection.
I love that these projects allow each person to explore their own unique artistic style. And have the chance to appreciate differences of others at the same time.
You can easily incorporate collaborative art into your family time. It is easy, uses supplies you have on hand, and is perfect for all ages!
18 COLLABORATIVE FAMILY ART PROJECTS
Below are 16 collaborative art projects for you to enjoy with your children. Some projects take a little more preparation and others are simple and can be done at a moment’s notice. They are all fun! I hope they will spark your imagination and jump start some connection.
1. Tinkerlab has some great resources for sparking the imagination. Pop over and read this post in which Rachelle describes how she and her daughter create a collaborative sketchbook. I really appreciate the way Rachelle follows her daughter’s lead and focuses on the process rather than stressing over the end result.
2. Here’s an idea from Artful Parent. Learn how to make interactive heart mandalas. Aren’t they beautiful?
3. Professional artist Alisa Burke describes how she enjoys making art with her toddler.
LARGER PIECES OF ART
4. This art project was originally designed for use in the classroom. Still I think it’s something a family could do together. The best part about it is that it is a super easy project and no art skills are required.
5. Check out these simple heart hand paintings inspired by Andy Warhol Wouldn’t that be fun for a family to do together?
6. This Family Heart Piece is inspired by the pop artist Jim Dine. It shows how easy it is to work together on a family art project.
COLLABORATIVE DRAWING ACTIVITIES
7. This pass the picture drawing game from Creative With Kids is fun. This is something you can do anytime as it requires no preparation.
Related: Drawing easy comic strips is a fun family activity. Check out our step by step guide.
8. Another drawing game is Exquisite Corpse. It is a variation on the Funny Flips word game, and perfect for kids who like to draw. Each person draws a part of a segmented creature and the results will be hilarious.
9. These collaborative doodle drawings from Picklebums are fun and the prefect activity for a rainy day.
10. I really love these Circle Paintings with Kinders from Deep Space Sparkle. It is a good reminder of how lovely collaborative art can be!
11. This project uses bright colors and patterns to highlight the letters of words or a phrase. You could easily adapt it for a family. How about using the names of family members?
12 Kid’s Steam Lab has instructions for a simple collaborative picture made with paint. It would make a lovely gift for Mother’s Day or for grandparents.
RECYCLING MATERIALS TO MAKE ART
13. Work together to make a collaborative paper roll tree from The Craft Train.
14. Here’s a wonderfully simple art idea – painting on foil. It is a fun way to makes some lovely collaborative art. As a bonus you get some lovely sensory play on the side. Head over to The Nurture Store for the details.
15. Exclusive Bonus: Download a free activity sheet with a collaborative art project you can enjoy with your family. It is fun, creative and uses recycled material
16 I am a huge fan of process art and this easy family project from Meri Cheri is super sweet. It is perfect for very young children and doesn’t require any preparation.
17 I am very intrigued by this outdoor salt art from Buggy and Buddy. Take a picture if you want to remember the end result.
18 Kids love doing life sized portraits. I think they enjoy seeing how tall they are! Get the instructions from Mama PAPA Bubba
4 ART PROJECTS TO HELP YOU GET TO KNOW YOUR KIDS BETTER
As a bonus I’ve collected 4 open-ended art activities that will help you get to know your children a little better. You’ll get to spend some time together which is always fun. More importantly perhaps, these activities are designed to help you learn more about their hopes, dreams and the things that are important to them. Win win right?
1. Shadow Self Portraits
This was one we did at the library with our preteen group. You will need some long rolls of paper. Have each person lie on the paper, so you can trace around the outlines of their shadows. Then encourage everyone fill their outline with their thoughts, hopes, questions, dreams and the things that are important to them. You can use pictures cut from magazines, draw your own symbols, or use words. Here’s a look at what one of our tweens created. Pretty awesome and very revealing!
2. Heart maps
Have you ever made a heart map? It is a visual representation of the things we really care about. The most important things go in the middle and the less important things go in the surrounding spaces. Hop over to A Teacher’s Idea to learn how to create a heart map with children. You’ll also see some inspiring examples.
3. Inside my head
This activity is similar to shadow self-portraits, but is on a smaller scale. Trace around family members silhouettes. You can find instructions for doing that here. Invite everyone to go through magazines and cut out anything that shows what is inside their head. It could be toys they want, things they like to eat or places they want to go. Then fill the silhouettes with the pictures!
4.Making Vision Boards
A vision board is a collage of hopes and dreams. It can include the things you want to be or your goals for your life. You can use pictures cut from magazines, your own art, words, photos, or any other embellishments you like. Birute Efe from Playtivities describes how they made a family vision board, but you could also encourage each child to create their own.
TIPS FOR ENJOYING FAMILY ART PROJECTS
- Keep it simple
- Let your children take the lead
- Remember it is the process that is most important NOT the end result. It really doesn’t matter how it turns out as long as you have fun together.
- Set up your art projects so that you don’t have to worry about the mess. Use drop cloths or take it outside. It can be helpful to make sure each family member has a set of painting clothes that can get messy. Keep old towels handy for clean up.
I’d love to hear from you. What creative activities do you enjoy with your children? If you are a blogger and have some ideas to share, please leave a link in the comments below.