Sometimes as parents and teachers we can over complicate things, and it helps to remember that the simplest activities are often the most well loved. Many days I simply leave paint and paper out for the girls, and they take the lead in creating their own art projects. Some days I set up a simple invitation with a few more materials. Whether you need quick ideas for the classroom or home, these art projects are great to remember in a pinch. They can be used as free choice activities in class, after school activities, or boredom busters during long winter days stuck inside.
And the best part? You only need watercolors, permanent markers, and paper. You probably already have those items, don’t you!? Below are affiliate links to some of our top picks available via Amazon if you need to stock up on supplies.
Art Project Ideas
So what can you do with these basic materials?
- Give kids the paper and a marker. We like to use black for this. Set a timer for 15 second and tell them to scribble until the timer beeps. Then have them paint inside of each of the spaces and around to fill the paper with color.
- Follow the same steps as activity one but this time tell kids to paint on the lines instead of inside of them. It’s a subtle change, but the finished art looks so different.
- Have kids use a black marker to draw anything they’d like. Then use watercolors to add color and finish the project.
- Try activity three in reverse. Have kids paint a picture–abstract or not. Then have them trace to outline the items in the painting.
- This one is similar to activity one. Except this time kids will close their eyes and draw a picture. They can scribble or try to draw something specific. Once they finish use watercolors to paint the picture.
- Draw shapes of different sizes and in different orientations. Then paint them. If two shapes overlap mix the two colors of paint to create new colors where they overlap. The artwork from this activity always turns out very neat, and it’s a great way to help young kids practice drawing shapes without it feeling like “work”.
- Use the marker to trace a child’s hand or foot on the paper. Then paint it. Kids can create patterns or designs on and and around the hand or foot. They can also get creative and turn the traced space into something like an animal or whatever they come up with.
- Working on a different surface or in a different location can also add novelty. Tape your paper underneath a table. Then lay on the floor to create a drawing using the markers. Remove the paper. Then paint on a flat surface.
- Use an easel or another vertical surface and try some of these activities. If you have a mirror nearby, tape the paper on or near the mirror and let kids use the marker to draw their own face as they see it in the mirror. Then paint it.
- Head outdoors or look out a window. Have kids use the marker to draw what they see. Finish by painting.
These are just a few ideas we’ve tried, but I’m sure there are many more art projects you could come up with using only watercolors and markers. Can you think of any? I’d love to hear about them in the comments.