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8 Fun Art Projects to Try With your Kids This Summer

Every year we hold our popular summer art camp and we’re amazed at what the kids come up with. With weekly themes such as Art with Live Animals and Cartooning and Anime, there’s always something for everyone.

Over the years, we’ve seen our share of mini masterpieces. The staff at Winged Canvas have tirelessly dug through the special archives to bring you 8 fun art projects you can try with your own kids this summer!

1. 2D Underwater Sculptures

We made these underwater landscapes with the kids last year and the results were beautiful! The campers conjured up all sorts of creative ideas about what it looked like at the bottom of the ocean.

Underwater Art Sculptures Winged Canvas
We used a hot glue gun to make a pair of jellyfish pals!

For this project, we spread a thin layer of blue clay all across the canvas and built the scene up from there. This technique works for any other theme you may choose as well!

Once you’ve got your blue background, you can start adding some underwater friends. A good way to add depth to the piece is to make the objects in the foreground thicker. This will make them appear closer and draws more attention,

We also used various tools to help add texture to our landscapes. For example, we used some crumpled aluminum foil to give the rocks a rougher look. To make this a mixed media piece, we made some pipe cleaner seaweed and added Perler beads to coral!

Summer Art Camp Underwater Sculptures
A proud camper with her amazing underwater sculpture!

What You’ll Need:

  • Coloured clay

  • Cardboard (for backing)

  • Glue gun (optional)

  • Aluminum foil, pipe cleaner, Perler beads, etc (for texture)

2. Ink Splatter Creatures

Ink splatter creatures are a great way for your kids to exercise their creativity, and the results can be hilarious!

Taking some pigmented black ink or watercolour, make some splatters on the paper with your brush (we find using cardstock is a good way to prevent leakage). We used plastic straws to blow the ink in different directions, letting it ebb and flow.

Now for the best part, see what fun and wacky creatures you can find in the pattern and bring them out with a fine tip marker!

Ink Splatter Creatures Winged Canvas
A colourful bird was hiding in this ink splatter!

Find a friend and make it into a game!

What You’ll Need:

  • Black ink or watercolour

  • Paintbrush

  • Coloured pencils

  • Fine tip marker

  • Plastic straws

3. Mixed Media Space Scenes

Blast off this summer with a trip to the moon and back! We love these mixed media space scenes, the skies are always so fun to create and turn out so beautifully.

To start, use your choice of colours to paint the sky. Using a variety of colours will help create a sense of depth. For a softer effect, we used a small sponge dipped in paint and gently brushed it onto the canvas.

A toothbrush can help create the illusion of a sky full of stars! Just dip your brush lightly in paint and use your finger to flick it onto the canvas.

For the 3D part, we used meltable beads to fill the scene. After setting up our rocket and planet on their templates, we used an iron to make them into one solid piece of art. These were then stuck onto the canvas using a glue gun. You can substitute meltable beads with cardboard, felt, scrapbook paper, or rhinestones. Feel free to fill your space scene however you wish!

Mixed Media Summer Art Camp Markham
What journey will this rocket ship take through outer space?

What You’ll Need

  • Meltable beads, felt, cardboard, etc.

  • Acrylic paint

  • Paintbrushes

  • Toothbrush

  • Hot Glue

4. Colouring Book Line Art

Line art colouring pages make for such peaceful and meditative activities. The great thing is their designs can be photocopied for endless colouring possibilities! They make very creative gifts for friends too.

Use a pencil to create your design, then outline with marker once you’re satisfied with the composition!

Line Art Summer Art Camp Markham
Niechelle’s amazing line art piece entitled, “Line Art Liberties” made in our Anime and Cartooning camp.

What You’ll Need:

  • Fine tipped marker

  • Coloured pencils

  • Pencil

  • Eraser

5. Internet Pet Masks

These adorable pet masks will help you bring the internet’s meme magic to life. We chose the always iconic Grumpy Cat for our mask and made sure to accentuate his most prominent feature, his eyes!

Start by drawing your template onto a piece of cardstock large enough to fit as a mask. Remember to paint before you cut, this way you can worry less about going outside the lines.

After cutting out your pet, string some yarn through a hole on each side to make it wearable!

Internet Pet Mask Winged Canvas
Grumpy Cat face mask looking as grumpy as ever.

What You’ll Need:

  • Cardstock

  • Scissors

  • Acrylic paint

  • Yarn

6. Pixel Art with Melted Beads

Pixel art creations make super fun and simple activities for a lazy summer Sunday.

You can get meltable beads and shape templates from Ikea for under $10 total and make these with your kids!

It can be helpful to look up pixel art references online to give you a better sense of how many beads you’ll need. Once you’re happy with your piece, simply place a piece of parchment paper on top of the design and press down with an iron for a minute or so until the beads fuse together.

Hello Kitty Summer Art Camp Markham
Hello Kitty pixel art...purrfect!

What You’ll Need

7. Shaving Cream Bookmarks

This project is perfect if your kid always has their nose in a book (or if you want them to read more)!

Start by filling a baking tray with shaving cream and smooth out the surface (we used a palette knife but a plastic knife would work as well).

Then, campers dripped their choice of watercolour onto the shaving cream cake and created patterns using a popsicle stick. For brighter results, make sure your paint is fairly thick!

After holding the cardstock on the surface for a good amount of time, use a ruler to scrape off the excess shaving cream.

Shaving Cream Bookmarks Winged Canvas
A camper working on her colourful and foamy creation.

Shaving Cream Bookmarks Markham Summer Art Camp
Some swirly results from camp last summer!

What You’ll Need:

  • Shaving cream

  • Watercolours or Food Colouring

  • Stirring rod (popsicle sticks and the back of a brush will do the trick!)

  • Cardstock

  • Baking tray

  • Palette knife or spreader (for shaving cream)

  • Ruler (for scraping)

  • Jewels, ribbon, stickers, etc for decorating

8. Plein Air Painting

Take advantage of the beautiful summer sights and weather with plein air painting! This form of painting is intimate and allows lots of creative freedom.

Take the kids to paint scenes from your local park or whatever vacation spot the summer may take you to.

Plein Air Painting Summer Art Camp Markham
A gorgeous camp day spent Plein Air painting!

Once you’re all set up and ready to paint, look at your scene! It’s a good idea to choose a small part of the whole scene in front of you to focus on, especially if you’re working with a smaller canvas.

Pay attention to where the light is coming from and adjust your colours accordingly. The cool thing about painting en plein air is that the light is always changing, but this can also be tricky to capture so go easy on yourself!

Student Work Summer Art Camp For Kids
Three happy students with their three happy trees!

What You’ll Need:

  • Acrylic or watercolour paints

  • Canvases or Watercolour paper taped on board

  • Paintbrushes

  • Easel (optional)

  • Cups for water

  • A view!

We hope these fun art projects gave you a few ideas!

Share your results with us on Facebook and Instagram! We would love to see your creative interpretations.

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