Simple Art Activities for the Kindergarten Classroom: From Color Mixing to Clay Tiles

Kindergarten art should give students the opportunity to experience the joy of discovering materials, developing skills, and inventing new ways to create art while they are engaged in activities including drawing, painting, sculpture and ceramics. Color, shape, pattern, texture, and line are examples of some of the major concepts that students could explore as well as learning about basic composition.

Lesson Plan Ideas

Basic Color Mixing – Students will learn about color mixing and primary/secondary colors. Students are given a palette with a blob of two primary colors. They are also given paper with three circles on the page. They paint one color in the first circle, the second color in the second circle, and then they mix the two colors on their palette and paint it into the third circle. This project can also be done with student’s hands. They paint and print one hand on a sheet of paper, paint the other hand with the second color, and then rub their hands together and put a third handprint on the paper when the colors are mixed.

Van Gogh Sunflower Paintings – Students will learn about Vincent Van Gogh through exploration of reproductions of his work and a brief art history lesson. Demonstrate how to paint sunflowers using basic shapes and varied brush strokes. Materials: paint, brushes, paper. This lesson could also be done with oil pastels.

Mondrian Masterpieces – Review geometric shapes (rectangles and squares), straight, angular lines, and color with students. After seeing and learning about Piet Mondrian students will create their own abstract works of art. Using construction paper, pre-cut squares and rectangles and allow students to glue their own designs on white paper.

Mexican Pots – After looking at samples and pictures of ancient and contemporary Mexican pottery, have students describe what type of shapes and designs they see. Discuss what modeling techniques might have been used to construct the pottery and how these pots have been used. Students will use coil building and other handbuilding techniques to create their own Mexican pot. This lesson can be done with clay, Model Magic, or sculpey clay.

Texture Tiles – Begin the lesson by having students explore different textures and describing what they see and feel. You could make a feeling bag. Children reach into the closed bag and select an object. See if they can identify it by texture and shape. Students will make a texture tile adding texture by pressing textured surfaces (mesh, bark, fabric, etc) against the tile surface, by using tools (utensils, clay tools) to make patterns on the surface, or by adding texture with found objects or their hands and fingers. They can also use additional clay to build up the surface of their tiles. Students will need to learn clay/hand building techniques. Tiles may be painted after firing or colored with markers.

Additional Ideas

Here are some Kindergarten appropriate lesson plans from Bright Hub Education!

Rainbow Fish – Students will utilize the elements of design by drawing a fish based on the story. The elements of design are in almost everything students come into contact with and exist in all forms of art. This lesson has English Language Arts ties, in that students must listen, respond and use information gained from a story to create their artwork. The lesson can also be tied to science depending on the intensity of discussion about fish.

Learning with the Rainbow – This Kindergarten art lesson plan focuses on learning the colors with the rainbow. Students play games and color in a fun and interactive art lesson.

Art in the Life of a Young Child – Here is a great article with tips on how to nourish your Kindergarten students abilities for growth, creativity and exploration.