7 Glittery Easy Art Projects for Kids
Have a little one who loves all things sparkly? Try these easy art projects for kids -- including one project you can even eat!
If you need easy art projects for kids that are out of the ordinary, visually exciting and useful, all you need are some everyday objects, glue and lots of glitter. Crafting with kids engages their creativity, but it's only engaging if what you're making appeals to them. "Kids need to be entertained," says Adrienne Humphrey, an art therapist and the owner of arts and crafts studio The Best Time Ever in Stamford, Conn. "They need to be happy and engaged, and they need to be kept busy or they start to wander."
If your little ones are attracted to all things sparkly, you can add a dash of glitz to almost anything you use every day -- a hairbrush, a night-light or even sneakers -- or to treats you can eat.
What is it about sparkly objects that captures kids' interest? "Our visual system is designed to detect contrasts," says Erik Strommen, Ph.D., a developmental psychologist and the president of the creative designs research company Playful Efforts. "Sparkly, shiny or brightly colored objects draw our attention for that reason at any age."
Creating sparkly crafts isn't just a fun way to spend time -- it actually serves an educational purpose for kids and adults of any age. "Crafting has two important benefits," Dr. Strommen explains. "One is that it is nonverbal. Crafting is a form of problem-solving that is tactile and visual, and involves using those senses in a cognitive manner." Taking some quiet time out to engage your senses can be calming and help you unwind from a busy day. "The other benefit is that crafting is a process, typically an open-ended one. The emphasis is really on the making, not the finished product. The focus on process is a form of problem-solving -- an important skill."
Whether crafting in your home is a raucous group activity or a quiet solo experience, these easy art projects for kids ages 5 and up will excite your little one's visual system, get those brain connections firing and leave your home more glittery and sparkly than ever.
- Glitter Pillow
Place a stencil over a plain throw pillow, and paint the exposed area with fabric glue. Sprinkle glitter over the glue-covered area, wait for it to dry, shake off the excess and you have a gorgeous glittery room accessory.
- Recycled Jar Night-Light:
Cover a clean, empty glass jelly jar in glue, then sprinkle colorful glitter to coat the jar. When it's dry, insert an electric (flameless) tea light for a cool night-light to keep bad dreams away.
- "My Sparkly Life" Magnet Board
You'll need a metal cookie sheet; magnets; clear, flat glass floral marbles; a paintbrush; glue; glitter; and photos of family, friends and pets. Paint the back of the marbles with glue, dip them in colored glitter and stick one to each magnet. Paint the edges of the photos with glue and dip in glitter to make sparkly frames, then post them to the cookie sheet with the glittery magnets for an ever-changing sparkly collage.
- Sparkling Treasure Box
Paint the lid of a small shoe box or other box with glue. Cover it with glitter, shake off the excess, and paint another light coat of glue on it once it dries. Decorate the sides of the box with paint or more glitter.
- Glitter Hairbrush
Never have a dull hairbrush -- or tablet case, hair clip or pocket mirror -- again! Spread collage glue on the back of the item you want to coat, cover it with glitter, then re-coat it with glue when the first coat dries.
- Ruby Sneakers
Dorothy isn't the only one who gets to wear cool ruby slippers. Start with a pair of inexpensive canvas sneakers, and apply painter's tape where you don't want the glitter. Spray or paint the sneakers with fabric glue, and roll them in red glitter. You'll have the snazziest kid on the playground!
- Edible Sparkle
Frost a cake or batch of cupcakes, then get creative and top it with candy and colorful decorating sugar. Get inspiration from Karen Tack and Alan Richardson's book "Cake My Day" if you're looking for ideas. "Find creative ways to reuse ready-made store-bought things," suggests Tack. For extra sparkle, shape and cut gumdrops, which are already sparkly, or use coarse colored sugar for the finishing touches.
And for any little brothers or sisters who haven't gotten their fine arts-and-crafting skills down yet, a batch of No-Bake Galactic Glitter Play Dough should keep them busy for hours!
For more craft ideas, check out these 14 Easy Crafts for Kids.
Cara J. Stevens is a freelance writer and regular contributor to Care.com. She has written 9 books for kids, including three after-school activity books which feature lots of crafts -- and bad jokes. While she loves crafting, she enjoys creating edible crafts most of all!
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