Crayons, markers and colored pencils may be the most popular mediums for children's craft projects, but they're far from the only options available. The next time your child wants to spend the afternoon crafting, consider exploring a new medium. Trying something different challenges your child to think creatively about how art affects his daily life.
Watercolor Texture Painting
There are many ways to create textures when painting with watercolors. Help your child make a unique work of art by drawing a grid of four squares on a sheet of watercolor paper. Paint each square a different color. Sprinkle salt over the first square. Put a wadded up plastic grocery bag on the second square. Dab a small sponge over the third square to remove some of the paint. Spray the fourth square with a small amount of rubbing alcohol. Wait for the paint to dry completely. Brush off the salt and remove the plastic grocery bag before comparing the textures you have created.
Abstract Art with Pastels
At first glance, chalk pastels look like the chalk your child would use to write on a chalkboard. However, they include more vibrant colors and blend easily. Place strips of masking tape in a zig zag pattern on a large sheet of paper. Let your child color the paper with the pastels. Blend the different colors together using a paper towel. Carefully remove the masking tape to reveal the white pattern you created. Spray the finished artwork with hairspray or an artist's fixative.
Traditionally, batik designs are created on fabric by using a wax resist technique. Hot wax is dangerous for young children, however. You can make a similar effect using washable gel school glue. Place a square of fabric on top of a sheet of wax paper. Draw a design using the glue directly from the bottle or with a small paint brush. Let the glue dry completely. Paint over the design with a mixture of 2/3 acrylic paint to 1/3 water. Let the paint dry. Soak the fabric in warm water to remove the glue and expose the pattern. Use the fabric as a wall hanging or turn it into a pretty throw pillow.
Painted Clay Bowl
Make a simple modeling clay by heating 2 cups salt and 2/3 cup water in a saucepan for five minutes. Add 1 cup cornstarch and 1/2 cup cold water. Stir the mixture till it's smooth and thick. Remove from heat and let cool completely. Roll the clay into a large ball. Make an indentation in the middle of the ball with your fingers. Flatten the bottom of the ball and shape the sides to form a small bowl. Let the bowl air dry for about two days before painting with acrylic craft paint.