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Art for Kids: Cardboard Canvas

Make BIG Art with a cardboard canvas! Easy, affordable, and engaging for the kids!

Painting sheets of cardboard outside

We took advantage of some recent gorgeous weather to paint outdoors. I gave each kid a sheet of cardboard, and they spent a lot of time painting. Emma knew immediately that she wanted to make some roads, and she stayed focused on that theme throughout the project.

Lily painted herself as well as the cardboard
Lily painted her hands and feet – but, impressively, not her face or mouth!

Johnny painting the grill
Johnny moved on to all sorts of different canvases.

completed works of art
And each child had a finished work of art to bring proudly inside. Emma’s is still getting use as a play mat – this morning she and Johnny had their little plastic animals (see where she wrote “zoo” on her painting?), as well as blocks for houses and little cars driving on the roads. I was too busy watching them play to get a picture. =)

What are your favorite ways for kids to learn and explore art?

MaryAnne lives in Silicon Valley with her Stanford professor husband Mike and their four children. She writes about parenting through education, creativity, and play. Mama Smiles - Joyful Parenting is a space to share crafts, hands on learning activities, and family outings that enrich lives and bring families together.

11 thoughts on “Art for Kids: Cardboard Canvas”

    1. @Elisa – Thank you! Johnny is extremely proud of his ornamental art – wonder how he’ll react when the rain washes it all away?

      @Ticia – He was surprisingly mellow. Our grill is just a $50 charcoal one, though, it’s three years old, and the paint is the washable kind =)

  1. Your husband is a saint :) I love the picture of Lily’s feet – what a great memory. They all did great.
    .-= Natalie´s last blog ..Money- Money- Money… =-.

  2. Elisa | blissfulE

    That first photo is so precious: three very young artists simultaneously at work!

    So cool that Emma’s art is also functional, Lily’s is wearable, and Johnny’s is ornamental.
    .-= Elisa | blissfulE´s last blog ..celebrating Nikki =-.

  3. I LOVE Johnny’s canvases:-). Lily’s feet and legs are absolutely adorable!

    Super that they are enjoying this after their painting it. This is a wonderful idea, very fun!!
    .-= Susana´s last blog ..Some Changes in Our New School Year =-.

  4. Oh my, you have been having a lot of fun with your baking, science experiments and al fresco painting.

    It cracked me up when you said that Johnny moved on to different canvases. I laughed because I imagine my little boy having a ball and doing the same thing. I love the picture of Lily with her painted leg and feet – very cute. How wonderful for Emma to be able to use her creation and share the fun with her brother (and maybe with Lily too).

    Now that it is Spring here I will have to make sure we also get outside and paint. There are so many sources of inspiration outside and a change of scenery is always enjoyable.

  5. Love using recyled materials to paint with, I have also seen people use cardboard show box lids in same way as you would a canvas. Thanks so much for adding this to the outdoor play link up this week.

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