44 Second Grade Art Projects Full of Imagination and Creativity

Reading self-portraits, clay snails, and much more!

Examples of second grade art projects including a girl holding an ice cream sculpture and a 3D hot air balloon drawing.
We Are Teachers; Easy Peasy and Fun; Saint James School

By second grade, students have a better grasp of basic art concepts and will therefore love a chance to try out new techniques and materials. That’s why they’ll embrace these imaginative projects, which use a wide variety of media to create amazing results. Whether you want to introduce a famous artist like Monet to your students or a concept like 3D sculpture, there really is something for everyone on our list. And parents will be impressed by the beautiful masterpieces their kids bring home to display!

Colorful yarn arranged in an abstract pattern to create art (Second Grade Art Projects)

1. Design with yarn art

Looking for a way to use up yarn scraps? Try this cool idea! Use pieces of clear self-adhesive shelf paper, and this second grade art project is a breeze.

Get tutorial: Yarn Painting

Painted designs made by pulling paint-covered string along black paper
One Little Project

2. Experiment with string art painting

String-pull painting has become a trendy craft in recent years, and second grade art students will love getting to try it. The abstract designs they’ll create will definitely wow everyone.

Get tutorial: String Pull Painting

Artwork made by tearing construction paper to create a cityscape.

3. Tear paper to create landscapes

First have kids draw landscapes, cityscapes, or seascapes on manila paper. Then show them how to tear construction paper into pieces to fit their designs and glue into place. Finally, mount the masterpieces on large pieces of construction paper.

Learn more: Torn Paper Landscapes

Paper flower made from petals cut from painted paper (Second Grade Art)
Color It Like You Mean It

4. Paint paper flowers

Start by having kids create their own colorful patterned paper using paints. Then, cut out petals and assemble these gorgeous flowers.

Get tutorial: Painted Paper Flowers

Clay tiles with cave-painting inspired designs
Deep Space Sparkle

5. Carve ancient rock art

First, spend some time learning about cave paintings in places like the American Southwest. Then, use terra-cotta clay to make your own.

Get tutorial: Ancient Dwellings Rock Art

Four crayons are taped together. Lines are created on paper from the taped crayons (second grade art)

6. Draw multi-stripe crayon designs

This is the perfect second grade art project to do in a pinch since all you will need are crayons, tape, and paper. In addition to taping crayons together and coloring with them, you can have your students experiment with crayon etchings and mixing colors by overlaying them.

Learn more: Creative Coloring

Hot air balloon made by weaving strips of paper
Easy Peasy and Fun

7. Float paper hot-air balloons

Once kids learn the trick to making these 3D hot-air balloons, they’ll weave them in no time. Then, they can spend time adding details to the background, like clouds, birds, or kites flying by!

Learn more: Hot Air Balloon Paper Craft

Photo portrait of a child against an abstract background (Second Grade Art)
Art With Mrs. Filmore

8. 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

Colorful paper robots mounted on construction paper
Art With Mr. Giannetto

9. Engineer paper pop-up robots

Kids love robots! These 3D paper creations are so fun to create, and kids can use a variety of materials to make them.

Get tutorial: Paper Robots

A blue plastic fork lays beside a crafted piece of pie made from tissue paper and cotton balls.
A Night Owl

10. Take a bite out of this craft

This would be the perfect craft to do around Thanksgiving, but we think it would work anytime. Bonus: If you have a toy kitchen in your classroom, this craft can double as a toy.

Learn more: Pumpkin Pie Craft

Children's illustrations of underground worlds (Second Grade Art)
Mrs. Knight’s Smartest Artists

11. 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

Illustration of an open umbrella shaded like a color wheel, with lower body and feet at the bottom
Leah Newton Art

12. 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 using liquid watercolors.

Learn more: Color Wheel Umbrella

Clay planter box with paper flowers (Second Grade Art)
Use Your Coloured Pencils

13. Make a flower craft

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!

Get tutorial: Planter Boxes

Abstract art of circles in bright colors (Second Grade Art)
Art Room Blog

14. Trace and color crazy circles

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

A paper plate is painted pink and has strings with beads on them hanging down from it (second grade art)
First Palette

15. Create some beaded wind chimes

This is a second grade art project that will take multiple classes to complete, but the end result will totally be worth it. Be sure to really bring it in the supply department with different-colored straws, a variety of beads and pipe cleaners, and some jingle bells.

Get tutorial: Beaded Wind Chimes

Illustrations of creatures that reveal their fanged mouths when the paper is unfolded
Craft Whack

16. 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: Ferocious Beings Paper Project

Paper fish mosaics (Second Grade Art)
Art With Mr. Giannetto

17. Design fish mosaics

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.

Get tutorial: Fish Mosaics

Illustrations of children underwater with snorkels and masks
The Artsy Fartsy Art Room

18. 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: Underwater Self-Portraits

Two sailboats are constructed from sponges, toothpicks, and paper as sails. They are seen floating in a bowl of water (second grade art)
Easy Peasy and Fun

19. Float sponges to create sailboats

These sailboats are easy to replicate with just sponges, wood skewers, card stock, and glue. You can even race them in a big tub of water by having students blow air into a straw to push their boat across the water.

Get tutorial: Sponge Sailboat

Monet-style lily pond made from tissue paper pieces (Second Grade Art)
123 Homeschool 4 Me

20. Design tissue paper water lilies

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.

Get tutorial: Monet for Kids

Black and white drawings of a bear and bunny with colorful flower backgrounds (Second Grade Art)
Art With Mrs. Filmore

21. 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: Bunnies and Bear Cubs

Paper wreath with tissue paper flowers
Use Your Coloured Pencils

22. 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: Wreath Collages

Drawings are shown of stuffed animals (second grade art)
Art Is Basic

23. Draw a stuffed animal still life

Your students will definitely be excited to bring their favorite stuffed buddy to school. They will be even more excited when they realize it is going to be the subject of their next art project!

Learn more: Stuffed Animal Still Life Drawing

Drawing of a house and trees bending in the wind (Second Grade Art)
Art at East, Union, and More

24. 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. Let your imagination take hold and add leaning buildings too!

Learn more: Windy Day Art

Clay birds in clay nests with eggs
BES Art Blog

25. 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 re-create real birds, or let their imagination fly and dream up an entirely new species.

Get tutorial: Clay Birds in a Nest

A cottage scene sculpture is shown. (second grade art)
Art With Ms. Em

26. Make “Not a Box” sculptures

Before beginning this project, read the book Not a Box with your students. Be sure to set aside multiple class periods to work on these since your students will likely get carried away—in a good way!

Get tutorial: 3D “Not a Box” Paper Sculpture

Paper totem pole of an owl
Jamestown Elementary Art Blog

27. 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: Native American Totem Poles

A little girl is shown holding a sculpture of an ice cream sundae
Saint James School

28. Scream for these ice cream sculptures

Pick up some Model Magic, then grab your markers and paint and let your students’ imaginations run wild. They will definitely get a kick out of how realistic their ice cream sundaes look!

Learn more: Ice Cream Sundae Art

Collages of colored paper shapes
Art Room 104

29. Create geometric 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.

Get tutorial: Shape Collages

Paper origami whales on a blue construction paper background
Art With Mr. Giannetto

30. 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

Symmetrical tiger faces printed with paint on colored backgrounds (Second Grade Art)
Mrs. Knight’s Smartest Artists

31. 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.

Get tutorial: Tiger Prints

Painting of fall trees reflected in water
Elements of the Art Room

32. 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: Fall Reflections

Snails made by coiling clay for the shells
The Clever Feather

33. 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: Clay Snails

Line drawings of patterned vases on watercolor backgrounds with tissue paper flowers
Art Room Blog

34. 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.

Get tutorial: Watercolor Vases

Colorful drawing of pumpkins on a striped hillside
Color It Like You Mean It

35. 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 imaginations free and make the rest of the composition as unrealistic as they like!

Learn more: Pumpkin Farms

Example of a self-portrait, with a girl reading a book she made called Princess Stories
Use Your Coloured Pencils

36. 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.

Get tutorial: Reading Self-Portraits

Child's painting of a birch tree forest with small animals
Art With Mrs. Filmore

37. 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 Tree Landscapes

Silhouette pictures of desert islands, ships, and dolphins against a sunset sky
Art With Mr. Giannetto

38. 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!

Get tutorial: Silhouette Islands

A painting shows a tree stump with a snake painted around it (second grade art)
Expression of Imagination

39. Paint some snakes

It will be fun to see how different each of your students’ paintings come out despite starting with the same premise. We love that this second grade art project teaches about perspective as parts of the snake’s body will be visible while other parts will be hidden.

Learn more: Snakes

Rocks with colorfully painted flower designs
5 Little Monsters

40. Design flower-painted rocks

Rock painting is always a hit. Get ready for spring with these colorful and fun creations.

Get tutorial: Flower-Painted Rocks

Recycled sculpture made out of toilet paper tube
Katie Morris Art

41. Build recycled sculptures

Recycled junk makes the best treasure. The possibilities are endless with these one-of-a-kind creations.

Learn more: Recycled Sculptures

Garden scene created from shoebox and construction paper
First Palette

42. Create a garden diorama

We adore how bright and beautiful these garden scenes are! Grab some old shoeboxes, crayons, paper, and decorating materials to create your own.

Get tutorial: Garden Diorama

Four colorful birds made out of paper plates
Pink Stripey Socks

43. Fly paper-plate tropical bird art

These colorful creations are so simple and fun. Made from paper plates, these crafts get their vibrant color from liquid watercolors and crayons. Kids will love to fly these birds like paper airplanes or hang them as lively decorations.

Get tutorial: Tropical Bird Craft

Different color rocks with leaf markings and other etchings
Housing a Forest

44. Design nature prints

We love how incredibly versatile and beautiful these are. Use rocks, leaves, flowers, and more to create lasting markings. Kids can be involved in every step of this project, including collecting materials from nature, which can be an endless source of inspiration.

Get tutorial: Nature Prints

What are your favorite second grade art projects? Come share your ideas in the We Are Teachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.

Plus, check out Collaborative Art Projects That Bring Out Everyone’s Creative Side.

Second grade art students will love expressing their creativity with these cool projects, like clay snails, string-pull painting, and more.