February 2023 Newsletter – Exploring Art with Children: Fine Art

Fine Art Activity Ideas

Fine art can be defined as any work of art that is created solely to be viewed and appreciated. In other words, the piece is not functional and does not serve a purpose beyond its visual appeal. Examples of fine art include paintings, drawings, and sculptures.

Below is a list of just a few ways that educators can explore fine art with young children as a way of broadening their understanding of the world.

Note: Educators should strive to provide open-ended and process-focused art experiences. For more information about this topic, check out this month’s blog post.

  • Expand the types of art materials, paints, and drawing utensils that you offer to children. Encourage children to explore how the materials interact. Build vocabulary related to their observations. Some paints are runny and diluted while others are thin and viscous. Different styles of painting (abstract, portrait, landscape, etc.) while maintaining an open-ended approach.
  • Explore works of art from different styles, time periods, and cultures. Talk with children about what they notice about the work, how it makes them feel, and how the work is similar or different from other art they remember. Encourage children to try different styles of painting or sculpting in the art center. The National Gallery of Art provides access to over 50,000 images of art that you can search here.
  • Pinpoint artists from different countries. Gather information from families about their countries of origin, then identify artists or styles of art that originated from those countries. Spend time showing children examples of art from around the world, connecting children to their respective countries of origin. Ask children to notice similarities and differences in the works of art from different places around the world.
  • Encourage children to work on murals and other collaborative art projects that promote communication and cooperation. Again, search the internet for images of community murals and have conversations about how the artists created and executed their plan for the work.
  • Incorporate nature materials into art experiences. Encourage children to use rocks or sticks to create pictures or sculptures. Children can use a small brush to move sand into different designs. Again, show images of how these materials have been used to create art around the world.
  • “Found object” art is created by artists who locate an item that has some visual appeal, such as a piece of driftwood or a discarded kitchen tool. They then embellish the found object slightly by adding paint or other materials, such as fabric or metal. This is a great way to start conversations about recycling and reusing materials rather than throwing them away. More information can be found here.
  • Introduce children to photography and make a few digital cameras available to children who are interested in capturing images of the world around them. Find interesting images from professional photographers that relate to the children’s photos. For example, if a child takes an aerial shot of an ant on the playground, find a few photos of ants taken by professional photographers. You could include an image of the inside of an ant hill or an extreme close-up of an ant’s face. You could create a matching game that requires children to match their photos with the professional photos, based on the object of the image.
  • Introduce children to different types of sculpture.  Show images of different sculptures and ask children to think about how they were made. Provide child-friendly materials and encourage children to spend time in the art area creating a variety of sculptures on their own. Be sure to include opportunities for kinetic sculptures that can be made with a variety of readily available art supplies.


For the main article Exploring Art with Children, CLICK HERE

For the article Applied Art Activity Ideas, CLICK HERE

For the article Performance Art Activity Ideas, CLICK HERE

For the article Literary Art Activity Ideas, CLICK HERE