Image by Holton Rower.

I love that place where Science and Art collide.  When truly creative projects focus on the process over the product, they lend themselves to more inquiry, experimentation, and seeing things in a new way.  Children are free to wonder, “What would happen if…” and then experiment.  It’s the scientific process in action!

  I’ve been in awe of some of the art projects for young children I’ve been reading about lately.  There are just so many brilliant people out there encouraging children to really think and feel and create in amazing ways!  They’re really getting both sides of those young brains firing!

My list of projects keeps growing and will likely keep us busy all summer.  I thought I’d share a few of my favorites to inspire you as well!

Tall Painting

Have you seen this video yet?  I could sit and watch it over and over (OK, I have sat and watched it over and over).  The process is so intriguing and the motion (AKA physics) involved in creating it is mesmerizing!

When I first saw this video I wondered to myself, “How could this be adapted for kids?”  Well, someone has already figured that out.  It was Teacher Tom, of course!  Check out how he created this same art experience for the children he works with.  Also read his reflection on the activity in the Tall Painting Epilogue.  I’m thinking of adding another block layer to create a multiple waterfall effect similar to the work of the artist in the video,Holton Rower.  In fact, after giving it an initial go, it may be fun to let the children create their own wood block sculpture before you begin the pouring.  I’d be interested to see how they might anticipate the movement of the paint over different structures.

 Drawing Shadows

Experiment with the science concepts of light and shadows as well as the art concepts of composition and shape by adding props and creating dynamic shadow tracings like the one showcased at Tinker Lab(I just love the fairy wing/bicycle combination in her photo!)  You could also experiment with these designs at different times of the day and explore how shadows change as the relative position of the sun changes.

Fizz Bang!

I still can’t get this fizzing sidewalk paint from Quirky Mama out of my head.  I have all the ingredients stock-piled in my pantry and am waiting for a sunny day to head to the park. (Vinegar can damage grass, so find a large cement area with plenty of buffer for your artwork/science experiment).  Art and chemical reactions.  I challenge you to find a child who won’t be intrigued by that!

 Get Outside

If you’re looking for more outdoor art (bonus: you get some natural science in, a little extra Vitamin D, and less clean up stress) there are 20 Ways to Get Artsy Outdoors over at Childhood 101.  And, speaking of Childhood 101, for those of you who still haven’t picked upChristie Burnett’s ebook Art Not Craft, you might want to jump on it while the code “CREATE” will still get you a nice $3 discount.  The offer only lasts through April, so you’ll have to act fast!  It’s a great resource for creating limitless art activities that will emphasize inquiry and process for the children you love and teach.

Also, if you’re interested in learning more about the importance of creative thinking, be sure to follow the four-part series on creativity I’ve been writing, starting here!

Enjoy creating together!



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