We Heart Art! 3 Summer Arts Activity Ideas to Try with Your Child

Make sure your summer schedule includes lots of artistic adventures. Create, explore, and celebrate the arts in your area; you might be surprised how many opportunities exist to color your child's world! Here are three activity ideas you and your child can try this summer.

Activity #1: Details, details! Before you walk into a museum or exhibit, hand your kid sketchbook and markers or pencils with these instructions: “Write down, sketch, or draw anything you see that makes you FEEL something.” This gives kids a sense of purpose and encourages them to notice how specific details—color, materials, sounds, instruments, facial expressions—evoke different emotions.

Activity #2: Memory making! Create an arts scrapbook with your kids! After each arts event or exhibit you attend together, write down your kids’ favorite sights and sounds. Ask them questions like “what did you see or hear today that you liked the most?” or “what’s one thing you learned today that you want to remember for a long time?” Then transcribe their responses and stick it in your scrapbook. Add photos, ticket stubs or brochures. You’ll have a wonderful keepsake that only took minutes to make.

More creative questions to ask your kids:

  • What was the funniest thing someone said or did today?
  • What was the biggest thing you saw there? How about the tiniest?
  • What would you guess the artist was thinking and feeling when he/she created that painting, composed that song, or wrote that play?
  • Could you make a picture of what you saw today for us to add to our scrapbook?
  • Activity #3: Lights, camera, action! After attending a concert, dance performance or play, encourage your kids to stage their own shows back at home. Your superstars might even want to create tickets and fliers for family, friends, and neighbors. Here are a few fun ways for them to step into the spotlight:

  • Stage a concert using household items as instruments. Spoons make great microphones, pots and pans can double as drums, and rubber bands wrapped around an open shoebox can be plucked like guitar strings!
  • Choreograph dance moves to favorite songs. Encourage them to try different styles, from hip-hop to ballet.
  • Create a costume box filled with cheap capes, hats and more from local thrift stores and consignment shops. Urge your kids to create characters and a skit, even if that means copying the performance you attended together.
  • Download the Summer Arts Activity Cards >>

    For school-age children, have them participate in the PTA-sponsored Reflections art competition. Each year, this nationwide competition chooses a theme and invites students to create art in one of 6 categories: visual arts, photography, literature, film, dance, music composition.

    This year’s theme is “Believe! Dream! Inspire!”.

    Check with your local school to see if your PTA participates, then turn them loose to create!

    Remember – we are ALL artists. It is up to us to discover the medium!

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