Water is readily available and can be used as a part of children's art projects or to influence art creation. Children will have fun working with water as a medium or an idea, or watching their art come to life once water is added to the project. Set up a water art project as part of a lesson plan about the importance of water, the environmental threats to water, the science of water, or just for fun.
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Get an unpainted clay or stone fountain from a garden and lawn store, and have the children decorate it. Fountains come in all different shapes and sizes, from sculptures of animals and people to geometric forms. There are several child-friendly methods that will work for decorating the fountain. Have the children paint on the fountain; later, you can go back and weatherproof the paint. Another idea is to help the children use a glue gun to glue glass baubles and other pretty treasures onto the fountain. One idea that takes more preparation but that will yield beautiful results is to have the children design and create a tile mosaic on the outside of the fountain. A mosaic will work best if the fountain has some flat areas.
Using watercolour pencils is an art project that relies heavily on water to make the art come alive. Set up children with the coloured pencils first, and have them draw on watercolour paper. Encourage them to use a lot of colour to fill in white areas. When they are satisfied with their drawings, bring over a bowl of water with a paintbrush for each child, and have them paint the water onto their watercolour pencil drawing. The children will enjoy watching their pencil drawing become a painting with just the touch of water.
Go to the beach or a park, and have children collect pretty stones and shells. At home, help the children decorate a glass bowl or jar with bits of lace and glitter, using glue. Finally, have the children place the collected natural treasures into the glass bowl or jar filled with water and watch the rocks and shells take on more dimension. Use the decoration as a centrepiece at your next family meal.
Rather than using water as a physical part of the children's art project, have them use it for inspiration. Encourage the children to make a collage, drawings, paintings or sculptures that demonstrate the feeling of water or being near the water. Younger children may choose to use representation to exhibit the feeling of water, such as mermaids, fish or waves. Older children can use symbolic or abstract means to reference what water means to them; movement, emotions and time are common meanings of water.
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