20 Back to School Art Projects for Kids

Art Projects
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Back to school art projects don’t have to be done in the classroom! They can be done at home to get the kids excited about school too! What do you think of when it comes to ‘back to school”?
I absolutely love art. I was an art major, studying graphic design. However, I’m not an artist. I know, that seems contradictory. But I don’t live and breathe art, and I don’t actually know much about the history of art. I just truly enjoy creating things, especially with my kids.

I know art is a big deal when it comes to education. Could I tell you the whys? Not really. I just know it’s important.

It’s back to school time and I was shopping at JCPenney the other day (Arizona Jean Co! Yes!) and caught this sign on their checkout counter and smiled.

How arts in education do really make an impact:

JCPenney Cares about the arts in education. 20 back to school art projects for kids!

JCPenney gives us five simple reasons to remember. To read more about why art in education is important, I shared a few links at the bottom of this article that I think are important and explain it very well.

  • Art increases test scores across every subject area
  • Art lowers dropout rates
  • Art increases attendance
  • Art drives motivation
  • Art creates a deeper understanding of diversity, culture and history

I later found on the JCPenney website that in celebration of back to school, JCPenney Cares is focusing on supporting arts in education across the country. I am so happy about this I want to shout it!

So, I’m spreading the word and sharing some fun back to school art projects that kids can do, whether they’re at home or in the classroom!

For the month of August, we can also help make sure that the arts remain an essential part of the school experience for all of our kids by rounding up your JCPenney purchases to the nearest dollar. Contributions will be donated to JCPenney Cares to directly fund national and local programs supporting arts in education, such as their partners: Turnaround Arts, Young Audiences and Little Kids Rock.

You can also share a video or photo of your kid’s creativity with JCPenney!  Just share it using hashtag #ThatsMyKid to Twitter or Instagram.

20 back to school art projects for kids to do - name art, self portraits and apple art projects!

20 back to school art projects to get the kids excited for school and the arts!

When back to school comes to mind, I think introductions and getting to know each other. What’s more important than their name?

And of course, self-portraits to show everyone what you are all about.

And then I think apples. An apple for the teacher. Or is it that fall is just around the corner and the apples are ripening? Either way, apples come to mind when I think of back to school.

Name Art Projects for Back to School:

When a child starts each school year, there are probably some new kids’ names to learn. And they’re probably telling their names to the other kids too.

Even in a small school like ours, Henry is still meeting new kids in his class each year.

I don’t think anyone really likes to make introductions, so what better way than to say it with art? Show off their personality a little bit and share their name! And at home, it’s more about them becoming confident in themselves.

  1. Make your name in salt and glue. Gorgeous watercolor art from Happy Hooligans. The reaction that watercolors have on salt is amazing to watch!
  2. Their name magically appears! Toddler Approved writes their name as a secret message for the kids. We’ve done this with letters to learn the ABCs as well as sight words.
  3. A mosaic name. Rainbows Within Reach adds fine motor practice to a name art project!
  4. Matisse inspired names! This name art project from A Glimmer of Light is incredibly fun, abstract and shows off their personality all while learning about a famous artist!
  5. Write it in tape. Do a tape resist art project with their initials or names.
  6. Name bugs! Or monsters, aliens or whatever! What will your child’s name make? See what I mean at No Time for Flash Cards!
  7. Use letters to paint their name. This is a great way for younger kids, preschoolers and even toddlers to learn the letters and order of their name, but also just plain fun for ones that already know it. Love Play and Learn used letter cookie cutters, letter magnets would also work!

Self Portraits Art Projects for Back to School:

Along with learning their names, the first week back to school always seems about getting to know each other and having the children share about themselves to the class.

It’s fun to bring this home to get to know each other too! I always love the little homework assignments to tell the class about my kids. It always helps me really get to know them again, and better. So I thought it would be fun to take it a step further and do these back to school art projects at home and do some self-portraits (I think I’ll even do them myself)!

  1. Portrait silhouettes! This is a classic that I remember from my childhood and love. See what I mean at Irresistible Ideas for Play Based Learning.
  2. Half photo, half self-portrait. I love this twist on a self-portrait from Dee*Construction to have the child finish a photo of himself.
  3. Full on body tracing from The Artful Parent.
  4. Take the body tracing a step further and make it just for the first day of school to get them excited!
  5. Colorful tissue paper art on self-portraits! This is such a gorgeous way for kids to express themselves! From Simply Art Lessons.
  6. Simply just draw themselves from scratch. Another one from Irresistible Ideas for Play Based Learning.
  7. A paper collage self-portrait found at Mrs. Lee’s Kinder Kids in her All About Me lesson plan. This would also be great for learning shapes!

Apple Art Projects for Back to School Season:

School and teachers make me think apples. It just does.

To gear up and get excited about back to school, do some of these fun apple art projects!

  1. We just recently decorated lunch sacks with apple prints!
  2. Or make an apple tree collage!
  3. I love these apple suncatchers from Mom to 2 Posh Li’l Divas.
  4. Or roll apples to make art from Preschool Daze! You know I love big art!
  5. These newspaper apples are so fun and pretty from Frog Spot!
  6. Paint an apple tree with wine corks! Love this from Plain Vanilla Mom. Of course, I already have a stash of wine corks, but it may give me a reason to enjoy a bottle over the weekend!

20 back to school art projects for kids to do

Don’t forget to shop at JCPenney for back to school in the month of August and round up your purchase to help support arts in education!

More info on how JCPenney Cares is contributing to Art in Education

Find even more information on how arts in education improves learning:

As part of the weekly activities planner, I recently shared a fun week of back to school activities to do! For all week!

Don’t forget to share a video or photo of your kid’s creativity with JCPenney! Use hashtag #ThatsMyKid when you share so we can find it!

For a chance to win a $100 JCPenney Gift Card, leave a comment below letting me know: What’s on your back to school shopping list? Maybe new frames to display the kids’ artwork?

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