Teaching art is very much a hands-on process. Distance learning and virtual classrooms make that process a bit more challenging. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can help kids explore art techniques and styles during online learning. These distance learning art projects require only basic supplies like crayons, colored pencils, scissors, and watercolors, which most kids already have on hand. It’s time to get creative!
1. Go on a color scavenger hunt
Introduce young students to the wide array of colors in the world around them. Have them scribble a colored square from a selection of crayons or markers. Then, send them off to find items that match!
Learn more: I Heart Crafty Things
2. Assemble a found objects color wheel
Older kids can take color exploration one step further by putting together their own color wheel from objects around their house. (Be sure they put everything back when they’re done!)
Learn more: The Crayon Lab
3. Experiment with grid drawing
Grid drawing is one of those distance learning art projects that can be differentiated for various ages and skill levels. Little ones can start with free printables like these to learn the process. Older kids can apply the grid method to more complicated images of their choice.
Learn more: The Three Little Pigs Story
4. Photograph a conceptual self-portrait
Ask kids to draw a self-portrait, and many will say “that’s too hard!” so try this conceptual portrait project instead. Students assemble and arrange objects to represent themselves, then take a photograph to share.
Learn more: She Teaches Art
5. Shade name art with colored pencils
Have kids grab their colored pencils while you teach an online lesson on shading. Have them outline the letters of their name, then shade and color to make graffiti-like creations.
Learn more: That Art Teacher
6. Turn shapes into art
This easy idea lets students experiment with color, texture, and creativity. Get the free printables at the link.
Learn more: A Girl and a Glue Gun
7. DIY some scratch art paper
Kids make their own scratch art paper with this cool project. First, they use crayons to color a piece of paper randomly. For the black layer, they paint over the color with black acrylic paint and allow it to dry. No paint? Black crayons will work pretty well as a substitute. To create their masterpieces, kids use a sharp object like a toothpick to scratch out patterns and pictures to see the colors underneath.
Learn more: That Artist Woman
8. Color a cubist autumn tree
Learn about cubism and play with color in this whimsical project. The tree trunk is made of a piece of black construction paper, but if students don’t have any on hand, they can simply color it black instead.
Learn more: Krokotak
9. Cut out Fibonacci circles
We love distance learning art projects that bring a little math into the mix. Delve into Fibonacci sequences and cut out circles to represent them. Everyone will start with the same circles, but each arrangement will be different.
Learn more: What We Do All Day
10. Sketch an eye self-portrait
All students need is a pencil and paper for this art lesson. First, they learn to draw a human eye. Then, they add personalizing details and patterns around it. The video at the link walks you through the project.
Learn more: That Art Teacher/YouTube
11. Add doodles to everyday objects
Whimsy is the rule of the day when kids add doodles to objects from around the house. This quick and easy idea really brings out the creativity!
Learn more: Art Ed Guru
12. Paint crayon resist art
Break out that seldom-used white crayon and use it to create resist art. Students draw a picture or write a message in crayon, then paint over it with watercolors to reveal the secret.
Learn more: Entertain Your Toddler
13. Snip paper snowflakes
One of the best things about this idea is it only requires printer paper and scissors. Instead of cutting randomly, challenge kids to plan their snowflake designs and sketch them first. They’ll be impressed by their frosty creations!
Learn more: Sweet Teal
14. Sculpt Giacometti figures from foil
Grab a sheet of aluminum foil from the kitchen and learn how to plan and sculpt figures like Giacometti’s. We love that there’s some art history tied into this project.
Learn more: NurtureStore
15. Trace toy shadows
Show kids how to set up a lamp to cast a shadow of their favorite toys. Once they’ve made their tracing, they can add details to complete the picture.
Learn more: Arts & Bricks
16. Fold and color paper birds
Origami is an ancient and often complex art, but these birds are simple enough you can show kids how to make them via Zoom. Once the folds are done, they can use markers, crayons, or other supplies to supply the personality!
Learn more: Red Ted Art
Want more distance learning art ideas? Inspire Kids’ Creativity With These 12 Online Art Resources.
Plus, 8 Art Therapy Activities to Help Kids Identify and Manage Their Feelings.