Discover: 50+ Projects to Help Kids Explore New Art Mediums

Looking for easy ways to add some imagination and experimentation to your kids’ play routine? Recently we shared a free printable mixed media art challenge and as a companion activity, wanted to provide a reference list with some of our most beloved kids’ projects you can use to help them explore all different kinds of art mediums! 

Almost all of these activities use materials you probably already have at home and can be modified to entertain kids of all ages, skills, and interests. You can even use this idea list to create your own at-home art camp! Grab the art challenge, pick a project from each medium group, and prepare to grow kids who can think flexibly, come up with out-of-the-box creative solutions, and develop a healthy imagination and love of unique art processes!

Kids Art Medium Project Categories

Looking for ideas to fit a specific supply? Use these quick links below to jump directly to a section:

In addition to the visual learning benefits, using a variety of art mediums like torn paper, textured fabrics, or smooth paints are great sensory stimuli, helping to develop fine motor skills and providing open-ended play and process opportunities. It’s also a fun way for kids to embrace risk-taking, find new ways to express themselves, and learn a variety of processes.

For some extra inspiration: we put together a collection of over 100 art-themed picture books for kids that you can use to find companion books to fit any art project!

Fabric or Yarn Kids Art Projects

A collection of fabric and yarn kids art projects to help them explore new art mediums. | from barley & birch
  • Wet Felting With Kids from Meri Cherry – this is an amazingly fun process and beautiful, sensory-filled process for kids to explore.
  • Fabric Flowers from Purple Twig – Ooooooh how I love these gorgeous large-scale fabric flowers! This whimsical project is a great way to create BIG, bold blooms and experiment with graphic patterns while recycling a bit of fabric.
  • Glue Batik from Artful Parent – While batik art is typically a long process and involves the use of hot wax, this kid-friendlier process substitutes glue with stunning results!
A collection of fabric and yarn kids art projects to help them explore new art mediums. | from barley & birch
  • Yarn Painting from Picklebums – Your kids will love experimenting with this fun and unique way of “drawing” with yarn.
  • String Art from Cassie Stephens (video here) – Create vibrant rounds of striking line art with string with this project from art educator extraordinaire, Mrs. Stephens!
  • Fabric Dyeing with Kids from The Long Thread – As beautiful as the end results are, the perfected low-mess fabric dyeing method used to create them is the REAL star of this amazing project!
  • String Art Installation from Small Hands Big Art – Get EVERYONE involved in this open-ended collaborative string art project!

Kids Art Projects Using Nature Materials

A collection of kids art projects using natural materials to help them explore new art mediums. | from barley & birch
  • Sunprints on Fabric from TinkerLab – I have always loved sunprints, and Rachelle shares some great tips and ideas to help your kids get the most out of their fabric versions.
  • Nature Collage on Cardboard from Art Camp – Talk about natural beauties! Forage for supplies then watch your kiddos turn the simplest of supplies into stunners that celebrate the wonder of the outdoors!
  • Painting with Nature from Kids Craft Room – This engaging process art activity has something for kids of all ages, with room for endless discovery and self-initiated learning.
  • Hammered Nature Process Art from barley & birch – This invitation to get out the hammer and see what happens when you smash your favorite flowers is a new fan favorite over here!
A collection of kids art projects using natural materials to help them explore new art mediums. | from barley & birch
  • Flower Petal Stained Glass from Artful Parent Brighten up your boring old windows with a colorful grid of kid-made “stained glass” courtsey of naturally lovely finds straight from the garden.
  • Self-Portraits with Found Nature Items from Happy Hooligans One of my favorite kinds of kids art invitaitons, the prep for these self-portraits is minimal, but the possibilities and opportunities for learning are endless.
  • Nature Weaving Looms from Housing a Forest Why stick to the typical fibers when you can head out to garden and weave with fresh plant finds!
  • Leaf Rubbing Collage from Momma.Poppa.Bubba Leaf rubbings are a classic that I remember finding so enchanting as a kid myself. It felt like instant art magic, and is a wonderful way to explore texture creation.

Collaged Kids Art Projects

A collection of kids collage projects to help them explore new art mediums. | from barley & birch
  • Mini Rothko on Cardboard from Art Camp I fell in love with this Rothko recycled cardboard project the moment I saw it. Grab a palette of your favorite colors and level up your art game.
  • Process Art Play Tiles from barley & birch Here’s a new one that we made to help kids collage without needing to get out all the art supplies. These reuseuable tiles can be arranged and rearranged endlessly!
  • Paul Klee Castle Collages from Art is Basic Castle-building is always fun, and these colorful 2D collages are no exception – its a lesson packed with good tips!
  • Eric Carle-inspired Collages from Oh Creative Day My friend Shannon has turned Eric Carle inspiration into a fantastic new technique your kids will love trying with these beautiful tissue paper collaged stars.

Kids Sculpture Projects

A collection of kids sculpture projects to help them explore new art mediums. | from barley & birch

Recycled or Found Materials

A collection of kids found object art projects to help them explore new art mediums. | from barley & birch

Kids Art Projects Using Chalk or Pastels

A collection of kids chalk art projects to help them explore new art mediums. | from barley & birch

Pencil or Charcoal Kids Art Projects

A collection of kids charcoal projects to help them explore new art mediums. | from barley & birch

Kids Printmaking Projects

A collection of kids printmaking projects to help them explore new art mediums. | from barley & birch
A collection of kids printmaking projects to help them explore new art mediums. | from barley & birch

Paint or Watercolor Kids Art Projects

A collection of kids watercolor projects to help them explore new art mediums. | from barley & birch
  • Watercolors and Oil from Babble Dabble Do – watercolor is one of my favorite art mediums for kids and this fun project utilizes its best qualities for a process and final piece that’s sure to amaze and delight!
A collection of kids paint and watercolor art projects to help them explore new art mediums. | from barley & birch

For more unique ways to use art mediums and kids’ mixed media projects, visit our detailed tutorial on creating stunning mixed media art pieces with kids, find a project to make from our collection of 40+ kids functional art ideas, or try a storybook-style collaged card (one of our most popular projects!).

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Amanda E.
With a passion for cultivating imagination, Amanda aims to help kids and families discover their creative potential through art, play, adventure, activism, conservancy, and community. Amanda has a background in graphic design, environmental design, and art curation. When not playing with ideas and designs for barley & birch, she enjoys working in freelance design, art, and illustration.

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2 Comments

    • Jess! We made some of our own during a recent beach trip and they were SO much fun (and really look like jellyfish!) Thanks for sharing such a creative way to experiment with watercolors! – Amanda

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