Welcome to another Wacky Workshops project – this week I’m offering ideas for group art projects.
If you read my post, How Group Art Projects Can Make Children Better Adults, you will know the benefits of getting kids to work together to make something.
You can do this with family members, or have a friend play day and make it crafty.
GROUP ART PROJECTS – FAMILY TREE
A great place to start is with the family.
When the Goddesses started arriving into the world I decided to record their growth with a family tree – just for them.
I painted a tree on a large canvass and each year I have the Goddesses cover their hands and feet with paint and decorate the tree with their prints.
It’s a fun way to record their growth and a great way for them to collaborate for an artwork.
2. GROUP ART PROJECTS – WELCOME TREE
Of course, the welcome tree is a favourite with many centres and schools. Again, the tree is the base that holds the artwork.
You can do this on a large canvas, as I did with my students with disabilities, or make a cardboard tree, as I have for the Wacky Workshops studio.
- Tree base
- Thin cardboard
- Colourful markers or paints
The sturdiness of the cardboard helps to keep the hands from curling.
The colours of paint are so vibrant, but markers are often easier for little ones to create patterns.
- Get each student to trace around their hand – some may need help with this.
- Cut out the hand shapes and have the students decorate them with colourful patterns. This is such a great way to encourage colour expression – so many kids, and those with disabilities, have a preference for black and brown and it can sometimes be a push to have them use bright colours in their work.
- Glue the hands to the tree branches to represent leaves.
- New hands can be added to this all the time.
GROUP ART PROJECTS – SHAPES
The Goddesses are prolific painters. I have so many of their abstract artworks and am always looking for ways to use them. I really hate waste.
In my post, Save With 8 Awesome Kid Art to Great Gifts Projects, I offer some great ways to use their art.
Another fun thing to do with their paintings is to cut out shapes and create a new picture.
If your child is too young to manipulate scissors, have them help glue the shapes onto the canvas.
This will require them to negotiate about where their individual shapes will go to create the best possible picture. All those wonderful skills being learned early and with a fun project.
CIRCLE GROUP ART PROJECT
I taught a group of students who had major physical disabilities.
Some of them could only create hand over hand art – when you guide their hand with the paintbrush towards the paper.
Obviously, painting was the most popular activity, as everyone could get involved in some way.
As a result, we had dozens and dozens of beautiful paintings.
I cut circles from their artwork to make a large picture to go on their art room wall. While they didn’t actually collaborate on this one, many of them were aware their art made up part of the bigger picture, and this gave them pride.
HEART GROUP ART PROJECT
I have a thing for hearts so really love doing this.
- Coloured paper
- Heart shaped cookie cutter
- Colourful markers
- Get each child to trace a heart, using the cookie cutter.
- Have them decorate the heart with patterns.
- Meanwhile, cut out square shapes, slightly larger than the hearts.
- Cut out the heart shape and glue it onto the centre of a square sheet of paper.
- Have another child make patterns around the heart, on the square. This is such a good exercise to teach sharing. It also helps teach children to show respect for others’ work. The second artist, painting on the square sheet, must not cover the heart artwork in any way. The child who decorated the heart should be encouraged to be positive and generous about how their original artwork is being transformed.
- Glue the paper squares to a large piece of cardboard.
FISH GROUP ART PROJECT
- Paper – can be coloured or white
- Cardboard with aquarium drawing on it
- Colourful markers
- Glue sticks
- Cut fish shapes from the paper and have the children decorate their own fish.
- When you have several fish, have the children glue them into position in the drawn aquarium.
- This encourages negotiation (they may all want to put their fish in the same spot).
- They can also collaborate on what else to add to their aquarium – should they draw some plants and gravel?
GROUP ART PROJECTS – STREET SCENE
- A large piece of thin board – cardboard may not be strong enough to hold the cardboard houses.
- Cardboard – I used cardboard from old boxes/cartons.
- Colourful paper
- Decorations such as buttons/beads (optional)
- Paint the wood to show a background, such as a sky.
- Have the children cut out house shapes from the cardboard. You may want to do this step for younger children, just ensure the houses are all slightly different sizes.
- Get the children to decorate the houses, adding windows, doors, colourful roofs etc with paint and/or markers.
- The optional decorations can be used as door handles and extra embellishments.
- When the houses are complete it’s time for the children to plan the layout. The taller houses should be glued to the board first. The short houses can be glued on top of them.
- Have the children collaborate on what else to add to the street scene.
- Perhaps they could place star stickers across the night sky, or butterfly stickers for a daytime scene.
I hope you enjoyed these projects. Please be sure to share if you did.
Are you time poor and stressed by mess? The Wacky Workshops Arts and Craft School, operating out of the Lower Blue Mountains, could just be the thing for your children. Check out The Wacky Workshops Page to learn more.
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Happy crafting and have a gleeful week, Tamuria.