The Arts for Kids: Art, Music, and Theater Activities for Children - FamilyEducation

The Arts

Programs in the arts are important to a child's overall education. Here are creative art and music activities, resources, and tips to keep the arts in full bloom at home and at school.

10 Best Creative Apps for Kids

Foster your child's creative side during tech time! Check out these top-rated art, music, imagination-play, and creative-thinking apps for kids of all ages. read more

A Day in the Life of...

A Day in the Life of...When I was growing up, the high price of photography meant photo taking was reserved for special occasions. Now, however, inexpensive cameras, film, and processing are readily available if you shop around. Encourage your child to be a photographer now and then, recording people, places, things, and events that are meaningful to her. Materials Camera with filmDirections read more

A la Limon: A Traditional Puerto Rican Song

This printable has the musical notation and wording for the traditional Puerto Rican song, A La Limon. read more

ABC Shapes

ABC ShapesDirections Review the letters of the alphabet that your child knows and recognizes. Start with the most familiar letter of the alphabet and have your child make the shape of the letter with his body. It helps to show your child a picture or an example of the letter first. This is a good activity with another child, since many letters need two bodies to complete. read more

Act It Out

Act It OutFor most children, drama begins informally at a very young age. Playing with dolls is drama; playing store or hospital is drama; and playing cops and robbers is drama. Children also observe drama on TV, in movies, and onstage. This activity gives children an opportunity to participate in drama in a more structured and intentional way. Directions read more

Act It Out Game

Act It Out GameAges:4 to 10 Materials:Index cards, markers, large piece construction paper, erasers. On the back of 3x5 index cards, write various activities for people to do: Organize the actions by categories, such as Animals ("Make a cow sound"); Physical Things ("Jump up and down on one foot three times"); Silly Songs ("Make up a dinosaur version of Old McDonald"); or Tongue Twisters ("Say 'she sells sea shells by the sea shore' five times"). read more

Action Words

Action WordsDirections read more

Art and Artists Quiz

Art gives us a way to see the world through different eyes. See what you know about these famous artists. read more

Art for Homeschoolers

Art for Homeschoolers I remember being totally involved in an art project as a child in school. Suddenly, the bell would ring, signaling the end of class -- what a disappointment! Not only did I have to abruptly shut down my creative energies, but my artwork would be put aside until we had art class again the following week. Sometimes the next class was a new project entirely, and my unfinished work was simply discarded. Children who learn at home have a unique opportunity to enjoy the creative process for as long as they wish. read more

Arts on the Outs

Arts on the OutsFor more than twenty years researchers have been uncovering positive relationships between arts education and cognitive development in children. With benefits ranging from the enhancement of vocabulary and math skills, to the development of spatial-reasoning, arts education has come a long way from the days when it was considered to be a lot of fluff. read more

Bag Skit

Bag SkitMaterials Large paper bags Various household items for props Directions This is a fun group activity, but can also be done alone and then performed for the family. read more

Balloon Dance

Balloon DanceDirections Attach air-inflated balloons to short lengths of string. Have your child hold the balloon away from her body and move around it, trying not to get too close. Still holding the string, toss the balloon into the air and let it float down. Follow the movement the balloon is making by going upwards when the balloon is tossed and downwards as the balloon floats down. Holding the string, do turning and wave-like movements with the balloon. Turn on some music and create a dance with the balloon. read more

Beep Game

Beep GameDirections Choose a familiar story, song, or rhyme that your child has heard often. Read or recite the story, song, or rhyme, but substitute wrong words or names in obvious places. For example: "Old MacDonald had a car" or "Mary had a little dog." Have your child listen for the incorrect words and say "Beep!" when he hears one. read more

Bike Photo Safari

Bike Photo SafariMaterials Bikes and bike helmets Digital cameras (one per team) Directions This party is a picture hunt on bicycles. read more

Body Sculpting

Body SculptingDirections Ask your child to pretend that he is a soft lump of play dough and that you are the sculptor. Gently move your child's body into different shapes and positions. Then try bending, turning, and lifting your child's body. Next, it is your child's turn to be the sculptor. Stand, sit, or lie while he shapes your body. Offer no resistance and hold each new position still until your child moves it again. read more

Bridges and Tunnels

Bridges and TunnelsDirections First, discuss with your child the differences between bridges and tunnels what they typically look like and what they are used for. Make a bridge with your body and have your child go over it. Next make a tunnel and have your child go through it. Take turns creating interesting bridges and tunnels. If there are other children, you can make a series of bridges and tunnels and have the children go over and through them. read more

Building the Basic Craft Kit for Kids

Building the Basic Craft Kit for Kids By having certain crafts materials available that are safe and can be used pretty much without supervision,your kids are encouraged to respond to their creative impulses and turn to crafts to entertain themselves. Once you've found the box you're going to use for your Kids Crafts Kit, decorate it together. Here are some ideas for things to put in it: read more

Chiffon Dancing

Chiffon DancingDirections Provide yourself and your child with chiffon scarves. Throw them into the air and watch them float down to the ground. After each scarf has settled, imitate the scarf movements in the air and down to the ground with your own movements. Try this several times. Drape the scarf over your head or shoulders and dance. Think of other ways that you and your child can dance with the scarves: making large circles and zigzags, leaping over them, wrapping up, and then unwinding. read more

Circle Dancing

Circle DancingDirections Identify with your child all the things in and around the house that are circular. These may include wheels, plates, balls, clock faces, coins, cookies, and doorknobs. Roll a coin and a ball and watch them travel. Have your child put his body into a round or circular shape. Encourage your child to move in circles and explore the ways round objects move in place and from place to place. Try spinning and swirling too. read more

Cleaning Common Crafting Messes

Cleaning Common Crafting Messes Inevitably, there will be those times when all your best efforts will fail and someone will create a mess that needs special attention. read more

Clockwork Marching

Clockwork MarchingDirections read more

Coffee Can Drum

Coffee Can DrumMaterials Empty coffee can with 2 plastic lids Contact paper or your child's artwork Glue Pencil Empty thread spool Directions read more

Creativity Belongs to Children

Creativity Belongs to ChildrenWhen very young children start playing, with toys or with crayons, they listen to and trust themselves. They eagerly follow their instincts and their urge to explore the immense world in which they have just arrived. They seem to flow with the inner current of their creativity, and with amazing freedom. Adults love to watch the ease and enjoyment children have in inventing, and we marvel at the direct contact they have with creation. read more

Dance and Fall Down

Dance and Fall DownMaterials Music Directions Put on some music and dance around the room with your child. When the music stops, everyone falls down. When the music begins again, everyone gets up and dances some more. read more

Dance Ribbon

Dance RibbonMaterials Empty key chain or plastic shower curtain ring Long lengths of brightly colored ribbon or plastic Directions Attach 3- or 4-foot lengths of brightly colored ribbon or plastic to an empty key chain or plastic shower curtain ring. Your child can wave the ribbon in the air as he runs or twirl it in time to the music as he dances. read more

Dancer Connect the Dots

Connect the dots to find out who is dancing to the music. read more

Easter Egg Maracas

Easter Egg MaracasMaterials: Small plastic Easter eggs Pennies, dried beans, small rocks, popcorn kernels, beads, buttons, and so on Glue gun Empty egg carton Directions: read more

Easy Rhythm Instruments

Easy Rhythm InstrumentsTime 5 to 10 minutes Materials Objects to hit together such as small pots and pans, aluminum tins, spoon and a small boxMetal salt shaker filled with riceTwo wooden spoons Directions Young children have natural rhythm, and if you put on some music and offer these "instruments," you can have fun moving playfully together. Extensions read more

Elastic Shapes

Elastic ShapesMaterials A continuous circular elastic band Directions read more

Elephant Stomp

Elephant StompDirections Ask your child to describe the characteristics of an elephant: size, strength, weight, and shape. Ask your child to show you how a big heavy elephant would move. How would it turn around? How would it get down onto the ground and roll over? Make sure your child is acting out each response and not just answering in words. The goal is to become the elephant; think, move, and thunder while walking. How does an elephant move in a hurry? Would an elephant grab an apple with his trunk or mouth from an apple tree? What does a tired elephant do? read more