Got a little artist in your house? Or just want your children to reap the benefits of artistic expression? These quick, easy art projects will keep their creativity going into the new season. Not only are they great for all ages—every project takes less than 30 minutes. Bonus for those feeling a little stir-crazy with their little ones at home: Some of these projects get you outside to enjoy the fall air and find “supplies” in nature. So pull up a paint brush, get cozy, and get creative!
1. Paint a Q-Tip Tree
- Construction paper or poster board
- Acrylic (or other) paint
On a piece of construction paper or poster board, have your little ones draw a tree trunk and branches that extend about halfway or three-fourths up the paper. (Smaller children may need some help drawing their trees.) Then, squirt different color paints (we like yellow, red and orange to reflect the fall leaves—but you can use any colors you like!) onto paper or into wells. Kids can then dip Q-tips into the different colors and dot around the tree branches to create the trees “leaves.”
2. Leaf Prints
- Inky markers (multiple colors)
- Crayons (multiple colors)
Speaking of leaves, you can use real ones in your projects too! Go for a walk and check out the changing colors outside. Then gather some fallen leaves, and make prints in two ways for a textured design:
Place paper over your leaves, and color with crayons. The image of the leaf underneath will appear. Then, use inky markers (Mr. Sketch has some good options) to color the veiny side of your leaves. Flip the leaf over and press and rub firmly onto the paper. A print in the color you chose should appear. Let your little ones layer as many colors as they like using both techniques to get a beautiful finished piece!
3. "Stained Glass" Project
- At least two sheets of construction paper
- Marker for tracing
- Markers or crayons (in multiple colors)
Create a cutout of a fall-themed item like a pumpkin, a leaf, or even a turkey (smaller children may need your help with this), and then trace it on a sheet of paper multiple times so the outlines overlap. In each of the overlapping sections, your little artist can fill in with a different color marker or crayon. The design will begin to look like a fall-themed stained glass window—but you can hang it anywhere you like.
4. Create an Outdoor Sculpture
- Head outside to find natural objects!
Here’s another idea for getting creative outdoors: Have your little ones collect stones, branches or other small natural items, and then arrange them in a basic shape. You may want to start with circular shapes to get the hang of it, and create rings of different objects around a center point. Wondering what the best part about this project is? All the materials you need are outside! The possibilities are endless (and, depending on the time you have, you can let children build their design for as long as they like).
5. Make Paint Chip Faces
- Paint Chips
- Black and white cardstock
- Bonus: pom poms and googly eyes
Next time you’re at the hardware store, stock up on some orange, purple, yellow, and green paint chip cards (the ones with three shades are the best)! Kids can draw or cut shapes from black and white cardstock and glue them on to make fun faces. If you’re in the Halloween mood, make them spooky and scary! Add googly eyes or pom poms to step it up a notch.
6. Apple Stamping
- Apple, cut down the center
- Orange (or other color) Paint
- Google eyes
- Pipe Cleaners (brown & green)
If you’ve got a little more time to let the paint dry—literally—try making these cute pumpkin stamps using cut apples. Cut an apple in half and use a paint brush to apply a little bit of paint on the flat part of the half (orange paint makes a great pumpkin, but use any color you like!). Then carefully press it onto paper. When the paint is dry, use craft glue or super glue to attach googly eyes. Cut stems from your brown pipe cleaners, and twist green pipe cleaners around a pencil to create a curly leaf. Glue those onto your pumpkins too!
Whether you’re using materials found in nature, or working on projects inspired by the season, fall is a great time to get creative. The warmer colors, fall foliage, and changing season will inspire your little artists to produce works of art to proudly hang around your home.