Activities for Children & Youths
At A Glance
2020 Fall Season:
We're offering an exciting group of creative activities on-line this summer and we invite you, your family, and your friends to participate!
Plus, we hope you'll send us photographs of your work and be a part of our virtual Art Exhibits for Young Artists.
Fall Season Fun with SPA!
When you're on a hike with your family and friends, be sure to collect some special stones, of various colors, textures and sizes. These will be a source of materials to get you started on some of the fun activities listed below.
We'd love to have you stop by and visit SPA during the fall season and have a chance to see the stone sculptures made by local artists in our annual "Rock Solid" exhibit. Also, maybe you'd like to know more about the stone sculptures and bike racks located around Barre City. Click on our "Art Stroll" page and you'll find a map and slideshow that will get you started.
Art’s First Challenges
Our Art's First instructor, Tina Logan, has organized a series of Art's First Challenges for young artists to do from home. Our Art's First challenges make connections with the current exhibits at SPA, such as the "Rock Solid" in our main floor gallery. Also, we're sharing projects that make connections with recent SPA exhibits (shows about science fiction and fiber art).
We invite you to imagine and create! You are welcome to participate in the Art’s First Challenges in whatever order you wish and with the timing that best fits into your family's plans. Please let us know if you don’t have all of the items that are needed to work on an Art's First Challenge; we often have spare materials and we would be glad to share! (Just call us at 479-7069.)
Young Creatives: Exhibit Your Artwork!
Starting back in April, we created a "virtual SPA Gallery" for young artists. We look forward to continuing to inspire you and your family to be more creative through a variety of Art's First Challenges that we will be posting at the SPA website. We invite you to be a part of our online Art Exhibits for Young Artists that will be shared at our website and social media pages on a regular basis.
How to be Involved: Please submit up to 5 images of artwork created by your children in response to SPA's Art's First Challenge Projects. It’s always helpful to have a title of the artwork, name of the artist (if you would like), materials used, and the date the art was made. (We'll contact you in advance of the virtual Art Exhibits so you can watch for the exhibit and share it with relatives and friends.)
Please send your photos & info to: email@example.com
Art's First Rock Challenge #1
Take your little one on a hunt for all kinds of pebbles. Collect them up and have fun sorting and categorizing them. When you are ready, make a pancake out of air dry clay or real clay and press your pebbles in to make a mosaic design. Then you can look up and read about mosaics throughout history!
Art's First Rock Challenge #2
Chalking on Rocks!
Have fun gathering up all kinds of different rocks and pebbles and draw little faces or designs on them. This is a great opportunity to explore different textures of rocks, noticing their color variations and using your imagination to see something in a rock and then bring it out with color and line. When finished put them back outside for people to come across as a happy surprise.
Art's First Rock Challenge #3
Mini Rock Towers!
Create mini towers out of stone and build a city or town with them. You could glue the towers together with tacky glue to make them permanent of you could pretend Godzilla is coming through and let them tumble down. You should use stones that are an appropriate size for your kiddo. Bigger stones for little ones and smaller for older kids.
Art's First Rock Challenge #4
Collect and gather different kinds of rocks and look at them closely with a magnifying glass. Notice the little details. Now have fun drawing what you see and try using different mediums like, pencil, pastels and watercolors.
Art's First Rock Challenge #5
Gather up a bunch of stones and paint a picture on each one. You can use these stones for storytelling, imaginary play and make up games with them.,
Art's First Rock Challenge #6
Read a story or look at books about ancient cave paintings and try to figure out what stories were being told on the cave walls based on the pictures. Take a scrap piece of wood or brown paper and use black crayon, charcoal or paint to tell your own story in pictographs.
Art's First Rock Challenge #7
Go on a scavenger hunt inside or outside to find objects that have interesting textures.
Take a piece of real clay or self hardening clay and smoosh it into a pancake then have fun pressing the objects into the clay to create a special texture stone. These could become ornaments or grounding stones.
Art's First Rock Challenge #8
Prehistoric Cave Painting!
Have fun making your mark on brown paper bags with watered down paint in spray bottles. Place your hand or any pre cut stencils of animals or symbols on the paper and spray away. Watch colors mix and create an interesting picture by overlapping and layering your images.
Art's First Rock Challenge #9
Select a rock that speaks to you and have fun painting it then decorating it. Add some google eyes and give it a name. It is now your pet. Decorate a small box inside and out to create a home for your pet.
Art's First Rock Challenge #10
Create a scene, animal or creature by gluing stones on a scrap piece of foam core or cardboard. Use markers, or paint to decorate it with patterns and lines. Make a series or scene that tells a story.
Art's First Rock Challenge #11
Rock Cairns and Inuksuks!
A cairn is a human-made pile (or stack) of stones. It is a Scottish word and Cairns are traditionally used as markers along a trail.
Inuksuks are rock structures that are found in the Arctic regions of Canada, Alaska and Greenland. They are often in the shape of a human figures and are used for navigation, as a travel marker for fishing places, camps and or hunting grounds. They can vary in size and play an important role in Inuit culture.
This activity can be done out doors or inside. You can glue your structures together for a more permanent piece of art or make it temporary and just enjoy the process of building and balancing.
Art's First Sci-Fi Challenge #1
Recycled Other Worldly Creatures!
Recycled materials (cardboard scraps, tubes, corks, buttons, caps etc..)
Embellishments like push pins, google eyes, pipe cleaners, pom poms, etc…
Poster or craft paints
Tacky glue or hot glue
Build space ships, aliens and robots out of recycled materials. Let your imagination take you to other worldly places to infinity and beyond!
Art's First Sci-Fi Challenge #2
Galaxy Fabric Prints
Acrylic craft paints (Black. Dark blues, purples, magenta and white)
Plastic table covering
Paint brushes or fingers
Scrap fabric or canvas
Embroidery hoop (optional)
Use a plastic table covering and squirt some galaxy colored (black, dark blues, purples and magenta) craft paints on the surface. Use a paint brush or your fingers to blend and swirl the colors around. Make sure the surface is covered well with paint. Be careful not to overblend your colors. Next, press your fabric onto the swirled and blended paint area and rub the back of the fabric with your hand. You can make more than one print. Allow the fabric prints to dry. Once they are dry, you can take a little white paint and press a toothbrush into the paint then splatter/spray some stars onto the dried galaxy painting. You can frame with an embroidery hoop or make a banner or pennant out of it.
Art's First Sci-Fi Challenge #3
Make Space Rocks!
Rocks. We used these black rocks and some flat rocks for our own.
Old Toothbrushes. (or cheap new ones)
Clear Acrylic Spray
Start by covering your work space. Choose your space colors. Purples, blues, and even black if you don’t have black rocks. Set aside a silver or white to use at the end. Use toothbrushes for a splattered paint look. Alternate colors and then use white or silver paint to add the stars. Once the space rocks are dry, give them a few coats of clear coat.
Click here for more tips...
Art's First Sci-Fi Challenge #4
Chalk Pastel Galaxy Pictures
Black drawing paper, chalk pastel paper, scrapbook paper or construction paper
Blending stick or q-tips (optional)
Workable fixative (optional)
First, start by getting your paper ready. We used black drawing paper but you can also use black pastel paper, scrapbook paper or even black construction paper.
Have kids decide on a shape for their galaxy, we used a simple spiral shape for this tutorial. Looking at real galaxies for this project helped to inspire the colors and shapes of our galaxy art! Take some time to really look at different galaxy photos, and have kids notice the subtle difference in colors and shapes of all the amazing space photos out there!
Use a pencil to lightly draw in your galaxy spiral.
Pick out your chalk pastel colors. We use white, blue, pink, purple and an orange-yellow color.
Color in the center of your spiral with white pastel.
Follow your spiral drawing and draw thick lines with your blue pastel. Do the same with pink and purple chalk pastel, like in the photos above.
Remind kids to leave lots of space around the edges of the paper to add in the stars at the end.
Click here for more tips...
Art's First Sci-Fi Challenge #5
Paper, (Watercolor paper is preferable)
A little salt
Paint brush and water cup.
Click here to watch a video tutorial on painting planets with watercolors...
Another variation is to make larger planet paintings using the wet on wet technique and then cut your planets out and glue them on a black background. Then you can use a white paint pen or white craft paint to make stars in the background.
Art's First Sci-Fi Challenge #6
Make Blow Paint Aliens!
Markers for details
Add a drop of paint to your paper. Use a straw to blow paint around on the surface of the paper making interesting blob shapes and textures. Decorate your "aliens" with pencil or marker to create faces, arms, and legs. Optional: add plastic googly eyes.
Art's First Sci-Fi Challenge #7
Paint Space with Acrylics
Cut a sponge into small pieces (they can be reused for art projects if washed right after painting). Use the sponge as a brush to mix colors and dab paint onto your paper.
Take white paint and dilute with water. Use a brush and your finger to flick paint splatters (little white dots) onto your paper to create stars and constellations.
Since acrylics are really versatile paints, you can try this technique on many different surfaces – cardboard, canvas, other fabric and wood! You can paint t-shirts, or sneakers, or cutting boards.
Click here for more tips...
Art's First Sci-Fi Challenge #8
Constellation String Art
Scrap wood (at least 1” thickness)
Nails or brads
Embroidery floss or white string
Paint a piece of scrap wood with the acrylic color of your choice. (Darker colors will make your constellation look brighter) and let dry.
You can splatter/spray paint some white stars using a toothbrush and acrylic paint on top of the dry background color.
Use a pencil to mark dots for your constellation on your dried wood board. You can even make up your own constellation!
Hammer nails on board but only halfway in. Now you can start at one end and tie the string to a nail and wrap around the other nails like a dot to dot painting. You can backtrack with the string to make your line show up more. (Contrast) Finish by tying off the string on one of the end nails.
Learn about constellations here
More about constellations
Art's First Sci-Fi Challenge #9
Make Origami Rockets & Robots!
Art's First Sci-Fi Challenge #10
Create a Futuristic City!
Start by drawing the skyscrapers along the bottom of the paper. These “first” buildings should touch the bottom of the paper. Fill in the details now or leave until later.
Next, draw a highway behind the skyscrapers and then more skyscrapers and buildings behind the raised highway.
The amount of detail is completely up to the individual child. For many kids, I really have to push them by giving them ideas or tips. Offer permission to think outside the box and let their imaginations go wild.
Coloring takes a LONG time, so make sure the kids know that not everything needs to be colored. Black and white can be just as effective.
Click here for more directions...
Art's First Sci-Fi Challenge #11
Create a surrealist collage of a strange new world!
Magazines or old photos
Colored pencils, paints, oil pastels
Scissors and a glue stick
Click here: Learn about Surrealism
Click here: Lesson on how to make a surreal collage
Art's First Textiles Challenge #1
Tiny Loom Weaving
Small pieces of cardboard or a small box (Matchbox or a box from jewelry)
Scrap yarns and embroidery threads
Plastic or metal tapestry needle (with a larger eye and not too sharp)
Try your hand at tiny or mini loom weaving. You can make a collection of them to display as is, or remove your mini weavings from the looms and stitch them together for a mini patchwork quilt. You could also create one of a kind necklaces or earrings with your mini creations!
Try a weaving variation by making a loom from sticks. You can weave found objects from nature or recycled materials like plastic bags or old clothing cut into strips.
Click here to learn more about making a mini loom weaving...
Art's First Textiles Challenge #2
Hand Sewing and Embroidery
Scrap fabric or burlap
Embroidery hoop (optional)
Scrap yarns and embroidery thread
Large eyed yarn or tapestry needle
Make a beautiful wall hanging or panel for a pillow by trying some basic sewing and embroidery techniques. You can lightly draw an outline to follow on your fabric or just experiment with different stitches as you go along to see where your work takes you!
Art's First Textiles Challenge #3
Ojos de Dios (Mexican God’s Eyes)
Scrap yarns in many colors
Popcicle sticks, sticks from tree branches, wooden dowels
Hot glue (optional)
God's eyes were originally made by the Huichol, the indigenous people from western Mexico who are also well known for their exquisite yarn paintings.
Create your own variation of an Ojos de Dios! You can create multiples and turn them into a mobile or attach them together to create a unique wall hanging. Experiment with your own wrapping techniques!
Art's First Textiles Challenge #4
Make a Stick Family!
Sticks - Y shape stick for the body and a shorter straight one for the arms
Collect some Y shape sticks and some smaller straight sticks. You can cut them to size using a small saw or pruning tool.
Place your straight stick across the Y shaped stick to make the arms and begin wrapping yarn to hold it in place.
Wrap different colored yarns around the sticks to make their 'clothes'. To make the hair wrap yarn around your hand or a piece of cardboard, remove the bundle of yarn and tie a knot around the middle. Trim the looped ends of the yarn to make the hair. Cut a mouth with a saw or craft knife and glue on eyes and hair using a hot glue gun.
Click here for a tutorial...
Art's First Textiles Challenge #5
Little Tin Pocket Pals
Small boxes or recycled tin boxes
Thread and needle
Sculpey clay or model magic (optional)
Put your sewing skills and creativity to action by creating little mini homes or rooms for your imaginary friends. You can make little friends with fabric scraps, model magic or sculpey. Take them along in your pocket or bag for new adventures or leave them behind for others to find.
Our Summertime Activities have been curated by Tina Logan.
Tina Logan is an educator and artist who received her BFA in art education in 1987 from Syracuse University, and has been teaching ever since. She currently teaches at Albert D. Lawton Intermediate School in Essex Junction Vt. but also has 20 years of experience teaching elementary aged artists as well. Tina has served as past president and secretary for Vermont Art Teachers Association and participates on many boards and committees that promote the arts and help bring the arts into the community. As an artist, she draws inspiration from her family, students, garden and community.
The following ideas and images were sourced and gathered from the following sites ……
Pinterest and the following links:
(for fall/winter classes):
Send us an email with the participant's name, address and phone number.