Turn open after-school time into a creative adventure in a flash

It’s a weekday afternoon between school and whatever practice is on the family calendar. Kill a few minutes with a quick and easy art activity for kids. With minimal supplies and almost zero set-up effort, we promise you won’t be holding back the urge to scream over complicated steps or time commitments. After all, when it comes to crafts, we’re all about less is more (most of the time). 

Pointillism Art with Q-Tips

We love this one because there’s no need to wash brushes when the kids are done. You can also use a pencil eraser and stamp pads for even less mess and easier cleanup!

Printable Art Activities

little girl enjoying art activities for kids

Let's face it, when it comes to quick and easy art activities for kids, sometimes it's best to print out some coloring pages and toss crayons and markers on the table. That's why we've got tons of free printables for kids like mermaid coloring pages, T-Rex coloring pages, Stegosaurus coloring pages, and one collection that has a little bit of everything.

Tie Dye Coffee Filter Art

Little Bins for Little Hands

Making tie-dye shirts is a multi-day process, so this activity from Little Bins for Little Hands incorporates all the fun of tie-dying without the hassle. Coffee filters are the perfect canvas to watch colors spread and combine, and they dry out pretty quickly too.

Frozen Chalk Paint

frozen chalk paint can be used in art activities for kids
Mini Monets and Mommies

You can make these ice cubes ahead of time and have them ready to go. This art activity for kids is ideal if you have loads of those teeny tiny chalk nubs hanging around the bottom of your art bin. Grind them up, add some water, freeze, and let your child draw her afternoon away.

Ziploc Finger Painting

plastic bag painting is a fun art activity for kids
Shelley Massey

It doesn't get any easier than this, friends. With nothing but a ziplock baggie and paint, you've set your pint-sized Picasso (and yourself) up for endless fun. Another option is to tape the bag to a window or a door so you can see light filter through the designs, or add glitter to bags for extra sparkle.

Clay Finger Paint

Mini Monets and Mommies

You want your creative kid to go wild with rainbow finger paints. Um, but you’re not into the idea of spending your Monday night cleaning Jackson Pollock-esque splatters from the walls. Swap in soft modeling clay for the actual paints. Pull it into pieces and “paint” it onto cardboard. It’s a totally low-mess art activity that lets your little one create a textured "painting."

Related: 15 Ways to Play with the Kids That Take 10 Minutes (or Less)

Recycled Texture Collage

Mini Monets and Mommies

Reuse those old worksheets, tissue paper, and anything else in a collage. Glue these onto a cardboard base, creating textures and patterns. Kids can practice scissor skills, explore through their senses and create collages that are either abstract or look like “something” real.

Plastic Wrap Process Art

process art activities for kids
Buggy and Buddy

If you've got Saran Wrap at home, you're halfway there with this art activity for kids from Buggy and Buddy. Even better, you'll need to leave the paper alone overnight to dry, so there's less chance of a wet mess. 

Paint with Nature

Hands On As We Grow

Paintbrushes, who needs them? Not your child. Get some fresh air after school and gather a few natural items. When your child has plenty of pinecones, stems, sticks and other nature-y items ready, paint like Hands On As We Grow did!

Felt Patterns

Cut shapes out of craft felt in different colors. Your child can press the shapes against a full felt sheet to create patterns. Oh, and this one is reusable too.

Foam Prints

Reuse Styrofoam plates or trays. Use a craft stick to ‘draw’ a design, add tempera and press onto a piece of construction paper. Wash the plates and reuse them, making as many prints as your child wants—in different colors. When the prints are dry, add onto them with paint, chalk or markers.

Related: 6 Fantastic Benefits of Arts & Crafts for Kids

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