The stress of tests and social dynamics can prove challenging for students, and for this reason, they need an opportunity to express themselves freely. Art provides a powerful outlet for creative expression while also proving therapeutic. Plus, a good art project can be particularly effective at getting kids to unplug from their devices. A simple art project can even fill some of downtime during the day for early finishers. Regardless of whether you teach preschool or high school, there is an art project for everyone. So gather some art supplies and try one of these easy art projects for kids!
Easy Art Projects for Pre-K Students
1. Paper Bag Jelly Fish
As far as easy art projects for kids go, this one is perfect for preschoolers since it works on their hand-eye coordination and their cutting skills in particular. In addition to paper bags and scissors or pinking shears, you will need some paints, paintbrushes, googly eyes, and glue. If you’re really feeling ambitious, you can grab some sparkles too!
Learn more: Paper Bag Jelly Fish at No Time for Flash Cards
2. Tissue Paper Apple
Since everyone associates apples with fall and the start of school, this will be the perfect craft to start the school year off on the right foot. Simply draw an apple outline on a piece of paper and have small red and green tissue paper squares ready to be crumpled and glued by tiny hands.
Learn more: Tissue Paper Apple at Burlap + Blue
3. Fork Print Tulips
This project is both cute and simple, requiring only a fork, some heavyweight paper, and some paints. This project would be especially perfect for a Mother’s Day gift.
Learn more: Fork Tulip at Toddler at Play
4. Paper Bag Monster
First, paint the bag any color you want. Once dry, cut out shapes from card stock and assemble your monster!
Learn more: Paper Bag Monster Puppets at I Heart Crafty Things
5. Paper Plate Lion
All you need to re-create this adorable lion is orange and black paint, paintbrushes, paper plates, and scissors. Grab some Popsicle sticks to glue to the back and you’ll have a ferocious puppet show on your hands in no time!
Learn more: Paper Plate Lion at My Bored Toddler
6. Popsicle Stick Rainbow
Grab some blue card stock, cotton circles, and Popsicle sticks and have your students work on their gluing skills. This craft will prove effective at teaching little ones their colors. Choose either colored Popsicle sticks or have kids color them themselves.
Learn more: Popsicle Stick Rainbow at My Bored Toddler
7. Paper Plate Octopus
Kids love octopuses, especially adorable ones like these! This craft would be perfect for little ones still learning to count since they have a whopping eight legs to make.
Learn more: Paper Plate Octopus at Simple Every Day Mom
8. Macaroni Necklace
A staple of many of our childhoods, macaroni necklaces work on the dexterity of little fingers while also making perfect gifts. Add in some large beads as well for variety.
Learn more: DIY Macaroni Necklaces at Made To Be a Mama
Easy Art Projects for Elementary School Students
9. Paper Plate Snake
Have your students paint a paper plate with watercolors and then once dry, help them cut it in a swirl shape. Finally, add some googly eyes.
Learn more: Colorful Paper Plate Snakes at Pink Stripey Socks
10. Paper Roll Koala
This super-cute koala would make an adorable desk buddy since it stands up on its own. Kids will enjoy personalizing their koala’s face!
Learn more: Paper Roll Koala at Arty Crafty Kids
11. Leaf Pattern Drawing
We just love art projects that fill the entire page, and this one certainly fits the bill. The combination of crayon and watercolor paint create this multi-dimensional leaf print.
Learn more: Leaf Pattern at Art Projects for Kids
12. Woven Rainbow Fish
This project is perfect for working on students’ hand-eye coordination while being a cursory introduction to sewing. It’s challenging enough for even upper elementary school students while still being relatively simple.
Learn more: Rainbow Fish at Crafty Morning
13. Thumbprint Bugs
These thumbprint doodles are just so sweet and would perfectly complement a science lesson all about bugs. After having students try their hand at some of the thumbprint examples, let them use their imagination to see what other ideas they can cook up. You can even have them create bug jars out of card stock to put their new friends in!
Learn more: Thumbprint Bugs via Toot’s Mom Is Tired
14. Umbrella With Rain
Another fun art project that is really affordable to create since you only need paper plates, some paints, a roll of string, and some blue beads. We just love this clever approach to creating raindrops!
Learn more: Umbrella With Rain at Easy Peasy and Fun
15. Popsicle Stick Pencil
Nothing says back to school more than a cute pencil-themed craft. Have students add their names to them and then use them to decorate a September bulletin board in your classroom.
Learn more: Popsicle Stick Pencil at Crafty Morning
16. Craft Stick Airplane
Kids will unquestionably go crazy over these clothespin-and-Popsicle-stick airplanes. Regardless of whether they choose paint or permanent markers, students will enjoy personalizing their tiny flying machines.
Learn more: Craft Stick Airplane at Making Life Blissful
17. Pom-Pom Caterpillars
Since kids love pom-poms and caterpillars, this will be the perfect craft to grab their attention. Make sure to supply them with a fun variety of pom-poms and googly eyes.
Learn more: Pom-Pom Caterpillar at Easy Peasy and Fun
Easy Art Projects for Middle School Students
18. Chalk Christmas Lights
This is the perfect easy art project to do around the holiday season. You’ll need to create a stencil from card stock so you can create your light shapes. Once that is done, you can begin creating “light” with some chalk pastels. A silver Sharpie can be used to create your light string since it will show up nicely against the black paper.
Learn more: Christmas Light Chalk Stencil Art at Buggy and Buddy
19. Gratitude Journal
This project doubles as an art and writing activity since students can use their finished journals for writing prompts. These personalized journals beat store-bought ones any day!
Learn more: Handmade Gratitude Journal at Kids Activities Blog
20. Textured Hot-Air Balloon
This project is the perfect excuse to use up all your crafty odds and ends like feathers, glitter, and sequins. We love how unique each creation will be once they’re done.
Learn more: Textured Hot-Air Balloon at Artsy Momma
21. Layer Cakes
Regardless of students’ experience with oil pastels, this project will be a good introduction to the medium. Have students follow a step-by-step tutorial for drawing the outline of the layer cake, then let them use the pastels to bring their drawings to life.
Learn more: Cakes at Little Yeti
22. Chalk Planets
This is an inexpensive way to enhance a science unit on space while still getting creative. It’s inexpensive too since all you will need is some black paper and chalk.
Learn more: 18 Awesome Art Projects for Your Classroom at Teach Junkie
23. Back-to-School Rocks
Kids love painting rocks so why not make it school-themed? Show students some of these examples to copy or let them come up with some of their own, then spread them around the school’s grounds.
Learn more: Painted Rock Ideas at Color Made Happy
24. Dictionary Page Drawing
Easy art projects for kids that also double as vocabulary lessons? Yes, please! This project will prove especially educational as students are tasked with illustrating a word on an old dictionary page.
25. Paper Collage Painting
Students will enjoy creating their collages from a variety of materials. Even better—this project is a great way to encourage recycling since old cereal boxes and other food labels can be ripped into strips and repurposed.
Learn more: Painting With Paper at Megan Coyle Artist & Illustrator
26. Crayon Resist Art
This simple project can be done without a lot of instruction and will work for students of any age. This project runs on the same idea as some Easter egg–decorating kits in that the paint or dye sticks to the areas not covered in wax, or in this case, crayon.
Learn more: Fun Watercolor Resist Art at Kids Activities Blog
27. Number Art
If you have some math whizzes in your class, they will likely enjoy this number-themed art project. Grab some large number stencils and paints and you’ll be ready for this low-setup project.
Learn more: 5th Grade Number Project at Art Room Blog
28. Woven Baby Turtle
Select three mini Popsicle sticks, paint them, and then glue them together to form your turtle’s body. Finally, select your yarn and weave it around your turtle. Be sure to have a lot of fun colors to choose from!
Learn more: Weaving Cute Baby Turtles at Pink Stripey Socks
Easy Art Projects for High School Students
29. Yarn-Wrapped Letter
All you will need to create this craft is some leftover cardboard, a bunch of different yarns, and some scissors. Teens especially will enjoy this project as the end result can be used as decoration in their bedrooms and eventually their dorm rooms!
Learn more: 14 Crafts for Teens and Tweens at Art Bar Blog
30. Elevated Macaroni Necklace
Some easy art projects for kids and teens can even double as fashion! Despite their association with preschool, these are definitely not your little brother’s or sister’s macaroni necklaces. Swapping out twine with an actual chain makes these necklaces look surprisingly high-end.
Learn more: 12 Pasta Necklaces We Need Right Now at Mum’s Grapevine
31. Neuro Doodle Design
This is a simple and mindful art project that can be enjoyed by students regardless of their art experience. This art process was invented by Russian psychologist and architect Pavel Piskarev in 2014.
Learn more: Simple Mindful Art Project at Inside Out Art Teacher
32. Crepe Paper Flowers
This is the perfect project for early finishers to do since each flower only takes 5 minutes to create. In addition to being a fun project, these flowers would also make for beautiful classroom decor.
Learn more: Easy Crepe Paper Flowers at DIY Candy
33. CD Fish
Easy art projects for kids that utilize outdated technology? Why not? Although this project could work for any age group, older kids will be able to personalize their fish using a variety of add-on materials. Be prepared to explain to your students what CDs are since they were born long after their demise!
Learn more: Make Your Own Fish Aquarium at Super Simple
34. Pencil Sculpture
While this project can get complicated, simpler structures can be completed using fewer pencils. The preparation is minimal, requiring just a bunch of pencils and elastics, but the reward will be big when you see what your students create!
Learn more: Geometric Sculpture From 72 Pencils at Instructables
35. Ribbon Garland
This project is another good time-filler since it can be worked on and then picked up again later and continued. It’s also a good lesson in recycling since you can ask students to bring in any fabric or ribbons that may be sitting around their houses unused.
Learn more: Easy DIY Fabric Garland at Project Nursery
Origami paper is inexpensive and can be bought in bulk, making this an affordable and low-preparation art project. Additionally, it is perfect for high school students who are better equipped to follow along with an instructional video.
Learn more: 12 Origami Projects for Kids at Mom Loves Best
37. Layered Landscape
Keep those cereal boxes and old magazines since they’re perfect for ripping up to create layered art! We especially love how much room there is in this project for individual creativity.
Learn more: Layered Landscape at Art Camp Studio