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Family Art Activities

Updated on August 1, 2016

Create Family Memories Through Art

Art is a great way to have fun with the people you love, and create cherished family memories in the process. In this lens, you'll find ideas for family art activities.

For many, family night means movie night or game night. Why not try an art night for a change. Next time you are looking for something to do, get the whole family to do an art project together. You might create a family collage or collaborate on a painting. Drawing games are lots of fun because everyone can get involved. You may choose to create your own or purchase a store bought box game. Check out the ideas and the resources below.

Ideas for Family Art Activities

Do you think your family might enjoy spending quality time together on art projects? Here are some ideas for you to consider:

1. Scheduling an afternoon or evening at a local ceramic studio can be lots of fun. A few years ago on my birthday, I spent the afternoon with my family, glazing a ceramic serving dish together. And now I have a memory of that day to share with guests.

2. During vacation, go to an art museum or gallery together and have everyone choose their favorite piece of artwork and explain why they made that choice.

3. Plan a mailbox painting activity. As a family design and paint your mailbox. Make sure everyone gets input and is represented in the final painting.

5. Create a family collage using recent vacation photos.

6. Collaborate on a painting that will decorate an empty wall in your home.

7. Have fun making gifts together for Grandparents, family friends and relatives.

8. Spend time playing with online art activities. (Check out the great Web site reviewed below.)

9. Play art games on paper. (some ideas below)

10. Create ceramic or plaster pieces to decorate the garden. There are plastic molds that can be purchased to make a path of stepping stones for the garden. Each family member might be responsible for a different stepping stone.and decorate it the way they choose.

11. As a family, design a mural for one of the walls in your home. Then each person takes a section of the mural to paint.

12. Create a family hand print painting. On a canvas, board or paper, trace a hand from each family member. Everyone gets to paint, decorate or color their own hand print. You can place the hands in a row or in any pattern or design you choose. The hands may just be filled in with color or you might choose to write words (favorite things, sayings, quotes), or collage the space.

13. When my daughter was little we would make a carousel of animals, people and things, using playdough, small toy parts and tiny people. It provided hours of fun. We built it on a round cookie sheet which made it easy to turn and move to another location if we chose.

14. We recently had an electrical line placed in the ceiling. In order to do this, a large strip of dry wall was cut, leaving an opening in the ceiling from one end of the room to the other. This left the ceiling beams visible. So, with markers in hand, our family drew on the exposed beams and wrote messages that are now hidden after repairing the ceiling...but we know what's under there.

Share your ideas for Family Art Activities, in the comments section at the bottom of this lens, and I can add them to the list.

Learn More About Sharing Creative Family Time

The Creative Family: How to Encourage Imagination and Nurture Family Connections
The Creative Family: How to Encourage Imagination and Nurture Family Connections

The Creative Family is a great addition to any home. As parents, we want to encourage our children's creativity and nurture the time spent as a family. They grow up so quickly and it is in the earlier years to begin establishing the family connections. This book is filled with ideas on how to do just that.


Playing Art Games With The Family

One of my favorite extended family memories took place at a gathering of cousins, aunts and uncles when we played Pictionary. I had played it before, but until then, I had no idea how much fun it could be. Maybe it was because I was playing with a group of people I had known all of my life. (For those of you unfamiliar with the game of Pictionary, it is a team board game similar to charades but you draw the clues so your team can guess the words.)

Another drawing game is Squiggle, where you are given a random line and have limited time to turn it into a drawing.

Fun Art Games You Can Purchase

Although most family art activities don't come in a ready made box, there are a few art games that can be loads of fun for the whole family.

Pictionary Game
Pictionary Game

Pictionary is a fun game for all ages and a great family activity. Try playing it with extended family and multiple generations. It is likely to help you fill the room with laughs. Pictionary now comes with two levels of cards, for adults and children. This updated game comes with markers and an erasable board, although the original game is still available. You can also find a version for younger players - Pictionary Junior, and there is a Pictionary Card Game as well.


More Family Art Ideas

Jody Cramer shared some of her family's art activities. Here they are:

Group Doodle - Using a big piece of paper (like butcher block paper) and markers, everyone takes turns, briefly doodling on the paper in front of them and passing the markers around. The paper is turned every few minutes so participants are doodling in different spaces. When the paper is full, everyone signs somewhere on the sheet.

Doodle with Collage - Using Magazines, everyone cuts 2 or 3 things from the magazine and glues them anywhere onto the paper. Then the group can doodle around and over the pictures.

Doodle with Paint - Paint the paper first and let it dry. Next time you doodle you can use the painted paper. The type of paint or paper used can depend on the supplies you have on hand.

Jody's family has no rules to their group doodles and they hang them up for a day or two after completion. Thanks Jody.

365 Unplugged Family Fun Activities: A Year's Worth Of Ideas For Tv-Free, Video-Free, And Computer Game-Free Entertainment
365 Unplugged Family Fun Activities: A Year's Worth Of Ideas For Tv-Free, Video-Free, And Computer Game-Free Entertainment

More and more children can be found in front of the TV or one of a number of different computer or video devices. This book is filled with many ideas to entertain children with activities that have no technological component. Tech free!! What a concept!


Doing Art Together

If you are looking for a resource on doing art with your children, you may be interested in Doing Art Together.

The book is based on the methods taught in the parent-child workshops given at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. This book is beautifully illustrated and offers a hands-on art course with step-by-step, no-fail projects for beginners of any age or ability.

Doing Art Together
Doing Art Together

Doing Art Together is a wonderful resource for parents.


A Drawing Game

WatchamaDRAWit can be played alone or with the family. It is a fast paced drawing game with 110 cards that give you silly prompts. The first person to complete the instructions wins the card.

Create a Family Vacation Book

After a family vacation, consider creating a page of memories that can either be framed or added to a Family Vacation Book. Materials needed: paper, vacation photos, maps, travel brochures, markers, pens, colored pencils, glue, and anything you would like to add to the page that represents your trip adventures. You could probably complete this within an hour.

  • Mark off a half inch or quarter inch border on all sides before you begin.
  • Cut out and glue photos, images and items from your trip leaving space for captions, comments and any drawings you would like to add.
  • With markers, pens or pencils, add captions to the pictures, drawings if you'd like and any creative extras.
  • If this is to be part of a Vacation Book, create a cover with a picture of each family member and/or a group shot along with anything that represents family fun. Then staple the cover and your vacation memory page to several blank pages. Or you can punch holes down the top or side and use ribbon to hold the album together.

Framing A Family Vacation Photo

Another Family Art Project

Here's a fun, do it yourself, picture frame decorating idea. This is something to consider if you'd like a unique frame for a recent vacation photo. And while you are working on this together you all get to share your favorite vacation memories.

With the use of glue, decoupage, or a glue gun, decorate a plain or simple frame with memorabilia from your trip. You might use: shells, sand, post cards, maps, pages from tourist brochures, tickets, papers or cloth. You might include something from your favorite locations.

Of course, it may help to plan ahead and collect things during the trip.

Memory Books

Creating Memories: Family Projects

Shari Davis describes a project she did with her whole family and helps get you started on your own family memory book.

Brenda Hyde writes about creating memory books filled with photos and mementos of a departed loved one. Although her article is geared for families with young children, anyone could make a similar book to store memories of someone who holds a special place in your heart.

Making Family Journals

Making Family Journals: Projects and Ideas for Sharing and Recording Memories Together
Making Family Journals: Projects and Ideas for Sharing and Recording Memories Together

Making Family Journals is filled with ideas for creating journals and memory books together. It is a book filled with fun projects for making family journals for travel, shared experiences, goals, dreams, recipes and so much more.


Links for Family Tree Project Ideas

If you are thinking of creating a family tree to hang in your home, check out these links and see if they can help you get your project started.

The Art of the Family Tree - Creative Family History Projects Using Paper Art, Fabric and Collage

The Art of the Family Tree: Creative Family History Projects Using Paper Art, Fabric and Collage
The Art of the Family Tree: Creative Family History Projects Using Paper Art, Fabric and Collage

If you are looking for more support and guidance in creating a family tree, check out The Art of the Family Tree. You'll find ideas and projects for the whole family.


A Family Planter

Another Family Project Idea

You and your children might consider decorating a ceramic pot or planter. Then choose a small plant or seed to plant together and watch it grow throughout the year. The plant can become a symbol of how we all change and grow.

Create a Family Calendar Together

Here's a project that gets the whole family involved with the benefit of having an entire year to appreciate the gifts of the process. Whether you start from scratch and create your own calendar, print calendar pages from the internet, or start with a pre-made blank calendar, family calendar making is suitable for any age range.

Everyone gets the fun of decorating one or more pages. The individual artist may choose to draw, paint, or collage an image for any month, or pages might be a source of collaboration for two or more family members. Other ideas:

-Using markers, create a page with favorite family jokes and memories incorporated into a design.

-Set aside one page for a collage of photos with the calendar artists, or a group photo.

-Make the process even more fun. Have a family calendar making party with treats and music.

Take A Poll

Do You Spend Time on Art Activities With Your Family?

See results

Mystery Photo Challenge

Here's how it works: Kids take photos of common, everyday items, using close up views and unusual camera angles. The goal is to make it difficult for others to identify the object. Then the images can be viewed on a PC, if taken with a digital camera, while family and friends try to guess what they are looking at.

Online Art Fun For The Whole Family

The National Gallery of Art (NGA) has a fantastic site for kids. There are a number of impressive activities to choose from; fun and educational for both children and adults. This is a good site for families to spend time together.

Their painting machine, named Brushster, offers different textures, special effects and more. The Collage Machine and Collage Machine II allows you to choose shapes and objects from different palettes and change their size and transparency. (Note: click on the green arrows to change the available palette.)

Jungle is an interactive tool inspired by the paintings of Henri Rousseau. It allows you to create an imaginary landscape with choice of animals, foliage, lighting and more. You can even make it rain!

And check out Flow, a motion painting machine where you create two moving layers ("paths") of color and design that will play simultaneously.

And that's not all...You can go to the Art Zone to see all the other interactive art activities.

(You'll need to download Shockwave if you don't already have it.)

Playdough Can Be Fun For The Whole Family

This is an excellent play dough recipe.

1 cup flour

1/2 cup salt

1 cup water

1 Tbs. oil

1 Tbs. cream of tartar

Food coloring or liquid watercolor

Mix all the ingredients together. Add color before cooking. Then cook on medium heat until it changes consistency and sticks together. It keeps well in a container when kept in the refrigerator.

Professor Noggin's History of Art - Makes Learning Fun

Here's a game that encourages kids to learn about the history of art. The whole family can play together and brush up on their art history knowledge. The game includes true or false, multiple choice and trivia with both easy and hard to answer questions.

There's A New Pictionary In Town

Check Out Pictionary Man

Pictionary Man is a combination of Pictionary and charades. The clues show up on the bottom of the Pictionary Man's feet. You can draw and act out words. The man is made to draw on

Pictionary Man Comes In 3 Different Forms

Electronic Pictionary Man Game
Electronic Pictionary Man Game

Not only is there an electronic version of Pictionary Man but it also comes as a travel game - Pictionary Man To Go, and a version for younger players - Pictionary Man Junior.


Share your thoughts, comments and ideas. - What Family Art Ideas Would You Add?

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    • WendyArts profile image

      WendyArts 4 years ago

      @WriterJanis2: Great!!! I hope the page can be of help. Have fun with whatever you try. Thanks!!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      You have some ideas here that I need to try.

    • WendyArts profile image

      WendyArts 4 years ago

      @Gayle Dowell: It could be such a fun game with the right people. Thanks for stopping by and visiting my Family Art Activities lens. Much Appreciated!!

    • Gayle Dowell profile image

      Gayle Dowell 4 years ago from Kansas

      What great choices and ideas for family art project fun. I loved playing Pictionary. but have not played it with my girls. We should play it!

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 7 years ago from Vermont

      Fantastic collection of family art activities - creative play for the whole family is a wonderful way to spend quality time and unleash a passion for art in kids that can last a lifetime.

    • profile image

      bdkz 7 years ago

      What a great lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      My family and friends all love playing pictionary, we think it is a great creative game.

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 7 years ago

      Hello from a Squidoo Greeter! yes creating art as a family project is so nice and they make for great memories