Second grade art students are learning to express themselves through their creativity. At this age, they love to try out new materials and ideas and enjoy the chance to see themselves reflected in the art they create. These second grade art projects use a wide variety of media to produce results kids will love to take home and display. Choose some to try with your own class soon!
1. See yourself in the abstract
Kids start by painting an abstract background. Then they add a photo of themselves with a collage of text strips about their favorite things, dreams, and wishes.
Learn more: Abstract Self-Portraits/Art With Mrs. Fillmore
2. Assemble 3-D paper robots
Kids love robots! These 3-D paper creations are so fun to create, and kids can use a variety of materials to make them.
Learn more: Paper Robots/Art With Mr. Giannetto
3. Illustrate an underground world
Dream up an imaginary world deep beneath the soil. Kids can take inspiration from illustrators like Beatrix Potter and Garth Williams.
Learn more: Underground World/Mrs. Knight’s Smartest Artists
4. Mix up a color wheel umbrella
Mixing and contrasting colors are key concepts for young art students to learn. These cute umbrellas are a fun way to see the color wheel in action.
Learn more: Leah Newton Art
5. Plant spring flower boxes
Start by having second grade art students paint an oblong cardboard box with terra cotta paint and fill it with paper shreds for soil. Then, craft paper flowers and plant a fresh display of color!
Learn more: Planter Boxes/Use Your Colored Pencils
6. Trace and color circle art
Take inspiration from artists like Kandinsky and Frank Stella and make bold geometric art pieces. Kids can trace around lids or plates to make circles or try them freehand.
Learn more: Circle Art/Art Room Blog
7. Surprise them with ferocious creatures
The best art provokes a reaction—in this case, surprise! Fold the paper and sketch your figure’s face, then open it to add a gaping mouth full of teeth.
Learn more: CraftWhack
8. Piece together mosaic fish
Mosaics take a lot of planning, but the results are always so cool. This is a terrific project for using up scraps of construction paper, too.
Learn more: Fish Mosaics/Art With Mr. Giannetto
9. Dive deep for underwater portraits
Art is all about encouraging kids to see themselves in unique new ways. Underwater self-portraits allow kids to imagine themselves enjoying life under the sea!
Learn more: The Artsy Fartsy Room
10. Replicate Monet with tissue paper
Tissue paper art replicates the soft lines and translucent colors of Monet’s impressionist style. Use this technique to create your own peaceful lily pond.
Learn more: 123Homeschool4Me
11. Sketch springtime bunnies and bears
The soft and colorful flowers in the background contrast sharply with the patterned lines of these friendly creatures. Take the pressure off kids by letting them trace the animal shapes, so they can focus on adding texture instead.
Learn more: Bears and Bunnies/Art With Mrs. Fillmore
12. Hang a wreath collage
One of the best things about this second grade art project is that you can really tailor it to the seasons. In addition to spring flowers, consider fall leaves and paper acorns, or holly leaves and poinsettia flowers.
Learn more: Paper Wreaths/Use Your Colored Pencils
13. Draw windy day houses
Watch trees blowing in the breeze on a windy day. Then take a look at the work of Gustav Klimt and emulate his style for the bendy trees in this project. Then let your imagination take hold and add leaning buildings too!
Learn more: Art at East, Union and More
14. Sculpt birds in their nests
This is a cool project to do if your students are also studying birds in science class, but they’ll enjoy it even if they’re not. Kids can try to recreate real birds, or let their imagination fly and dream up an entirely new species.
Learn more: BES Art Blog
15. Explore culture with native totem poles
Begin by learning about the importance of totems and totem poles to First Nations people of the Northwest Coast. Then have kids choose symbols that are meaningful to them to create their own paper totems.
Learn more: Totem Poles/Jamestown Elementary Art Blog
16. Cut out paper collages
These collages may just look like random scraps of paper, but there are actually multiple art concepts in use here. Kids should be able to identify organic vs. geometric shapes and primary vs. secondary colors.
Learn more: Art Room 104
17. Fold origami whales
Origami whales with curling paper water spouts add dimension and texture to these compositions. Second grade art projects that use folding and cutting give kids a chance to improve their fine motor skills, too.
Learn more: Origami Whales/Art With Mr. Gianetto
18. Print symmetrical tigers
Second graders might be a little young to understand the “fearful symmetry” of Blake’s Tyger, but they’ll enjoy using the paint and print technique to make these wild faces.
Learn more: Tiger Prints/Mrs. Knight’s Smartest Artists
19. Paint reflected fall trees
Kids will be fascinated to see how wetting the bottom half of the paper changes and mutes the paint colors. Use oil pastels to add lines and water effects.
Learn more: Elements of the Art Room
20. Coil up some snails
Clay can feel a little intimidating, but it’s not too difficult to roll a long “snake” and coil it up. Add a body with eyestalks, and the sculpting is done!
Learn more: The Clever Feather
21. Fill watercolor vases with tissue flowers
The watercolor wash in the background is set off by the geometric patterned lines of the vases in the foreground. The tissue paper flowers add another bit of texture to this mixed media project.
Learn more: Watercolor Vases/Art Room Blog
22. Plant a pumpkin farm
These unique pumpkin patches are so fun to make. Ask your students to make the pumpkins as realistic as they can. Then, they can set their imagination free and make the rest of the composition as unrealistic as they like!
Learn more: Color I Like You Mean It!
23. Craft reading self-portraits
This is one of our favorite twists on a self-portrait! Kids can include their favorite book or make one up that tells the story of their own life.
Learn more: Reading Portraits/Use Your Colored Pencils
24. Walk among a birch tree forest
These landscape paintings help kids understand the concepts of foreground, middle ground, and background. They’ll also use techniques like wax-crayon-resist and cardboard printing.
Learn more: Birch Forest/Art With Mrs. Fillmore
25. Escape to a silhouette island
Take a trip to a tropical isle and learn art concepts like warm colors, silhouettes, and horizon line. Each piece will be unique, but they’ll all be masterpieces!
Learn more: Silhouette Islands/Art With Mr. Giannetto
What are your favorite second grade art projects? Come share your ideas on the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.