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5 Sun-sational Summer Art Activities for the Primary Class

written by: Melissa Matters • edited by: Wendy Finn • updated: 7/30/2015

Unleash the inner artist with these summer primary art activities. Students will be using paint, sponges, sand, different types of paper, magazines, glue and basic art supplies to create fun and "bright" masterpieces.

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    While these activities do come with guidelines, they will require creativity and an imaginative spirit. In other words, there is not one right way to make or create them. Kids will participate in sponge paint butterflies, sensory beach art, symmetric magazine art using summer themes, a summer necessity collage and stained glass sun art.

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    Flutter Flutter: Butterfly Sponge Art

    butterfly For this art activity, one will need shallow plastic or other non-breakable bowls, washable, water-based paint, square cubes of sponges, butterfly templates on card stock and construction paper. Smocks are also helpful. Each color should have a separate sponge.

    Before starting, put up plenty of pictures of butterflies so children have examples.

    Next, pass out butterfly templates and have children lightly trace an outline of the butterfly onto their paper.

    Before sponge painting onto the butterfly, students should practice correct sponge painting technique. For this reason, kids should have an extra piece of paper to practice gingerly dipping their sponge into the paint, tapping the excess off on their extra paper, and then onto their butterfly paper. Allow ample time to dry.

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    Let's Go to the Beach: Texture Art

    Materials needed for this project include card stock, various squares of felt fabric, glue, glitter, sand, plastic tablecloths, markers, yarn and any other creative material that can easily glue to paper.

    Tell students they will be creating a beach scene. Give students suggestions on how to use the materials. Felt can be used to make beach towels, swim suits and blankets. Glitter could be used to make a golden sun or emphasize a sparkling ocean. Sand will be used to make the beach. To use the sand and glitter, students will need to put a light layer of glue over the area of the paper where they want sand or glitter. An adult should put the sand on and then turn the paper vertically over a trash can so that the excess materials fall off. Students can really use their imaginations with this art project.

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    Make it Symmetrical: Magazine Art

    Cut out various magazine pictures that are symmetrical in nature. For instance, beach balls, sand buckets, umbrellas, frisbees, swim shorts, swimsuits and sunscreen bottles are all good choices. Show students the original picture and then cut each one in half. Tell students these images are symmetric because both halves look the same. Now, they will be recreating the second half of the picture. Give students plenty of markers, colored pencils and crayons. The magazine picture needs to be glued on a piece of white paper and then students can begin drawing. It's really fun to see the results.

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    Beat the Heat: Summertime Collage

    collage The day before doing this collage, have students write down ten things that they like to do in the summer. The next day, bring in plenty of kid-friendly magazines. Students can go through the magazines and cut out pictures that remind them of summer. Tell students they will be making a collage or a mixture of images stuck to paper. Pictures can overlap and there should not be any white paper showing. This is a good way for English language learners to practice new vocabulary as well.

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    Sunshine Day: Stained Glass Sun

    For this art activity, black construction paper, glue sticks and tissue paper in orange, yellow and red tones are needed. Students will make cutouts on the back of the paper. Then, they will paste various colors of tissue paper behind the cutouts. Cutouts can be in the shape of circles, stripes or even one big square or circle. When all the cutouts are covered, these can be put up in a window. The sun can shine through and the colors look gorgeous, like stained glass.

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    Connect these summer art activities to descriptive writing paragraphs, symmetry lessons and vocabulary building activities. Primary students will enjoy the diversity and creativity these projects have to offer.

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    Sources and Photo Credits

    Author's classroom experience

    Photos taken by author