Are your kids constantly trying to steal your phone to add stickers and filters to your Instagram stories? Do they love creating beautiful images on Minecraft, or messing around with pens on MS Word? Instead of thinking of this simply as an annoyance, consider that it’s a form of creativity.
If nurtured in the right way, it can both hone their creative skills and increase their computer literacy. Not only could this be beneficial to them later in life, but it’s good for their cognitive development now. And they will have a blast!
So without further ado, here are 8 fun project ideas for budding digital artists of all ages. Cover photo by Kelly Sikkema.
Discover 8 Fun Digital Art Projects for Kids
1. Digital Coloring
If your kids are on the younger side, digital coloring is a great way to switch up the classic coloring activity.
Coloring on a computer will get your kids familiar with using a mouse and give them great hand-eye coordination practice. There are so many websites that allow you to color in an image digitally—a Google search will yield lots of results. Some may even include the option to create your own images!
2. Digital Drawing/Painting
For slightly older kids, the next step up would be using a website or app to make digital drawings. Not only does drawing on a tablet or computer hone digital skills as well as creative skills, but it means less mess and crayon marks on the table! What’s more, you can make this into a bigger project by getting your kids’ artwork printed on T-shirts or mugs.
Kids love to see their creations come to life on usable objects, and they make great Christmas presents! If you have an iPad, a great drawing app for younger kids is Drawing with Carl. For older kids, Tayasui Sketches works beautifully on almost any device, and Scribblify covers the more abstract side for kids of all ages.
3. Make Temporary Tattoos
Kids of all ages love temporary tattoos—there is something about art that you can put on your own body that is endlessly exciting!
All it takes to make your own is a basic inkjet printer and some printable tattoo paper you can easily get online. Create a digital design, print, and voila! Your kids can wear their very own designs with minimal cost and hassle. This is also a great way for kids to see the connection between the digital and physical world in real-time.
4. Create Personal Logos
Designing personal logos and following them through all the way to fruition is also a fantastic learning experience for digitally and creatively minded kids. This particular project combines hands-on printmaking with digital design skills.
Get your kids to make monoprinted backgrounds directly on copy paper. Then, use an editing program like Photoshop to create your logo designs. Then, print the logos directly on the monoprinted paper to reveal an awesome finished product. Kids love anything that is all about them, and making logos using all these stages combines different skills and may get them thinking in new ways about creativity.
Photo: Aleks Dorohovich
5. Photoshop Mosaic Portraits
Photoshop is a fantastic tool for kids interested in digital art due to the incredibly wide range of things you can do with it. Remove the association of Photoshop with making images more ‘flattering’ and instead, get kids to think of it as a tool for endless creative possibilities.
One of the many features offered is creating digital mosaic portraits. Mosaic portraits are not new— think of those pictures that from far away look like a very realistic face, but on closer inspection are made of thousands of tiny photographs. The digital version requires less tedious cutting out of paper, but the results are just as cool. Photoshop also works great for digital collaging, and landscape art using the gradient tool.
6. Make Animated GIFs
For kids and adults alike, it’s pretty mesmerizing to see your creations come to life in an animation. Creating GIFs is an accessible way to make that happen, and can be done with kids of a wide range of ages. The other great thing about GIFs is how easy they are to share – all your relatives can expect a barrage of GIF messages after this project. If you’re not sure how to begin, here’s an easy step-by-step guide. You can start off super simple, and add on more complex elements for kids who are interested. The sky’s the limit.
7. Light Painting Photography
For kids interested in photography, light painting is a way to make it even more fun and expand their idea of what it means to take a photograph. If you have a DSLR camera, that’s great, but you don’t need one to make this work. You can do it with almost any tablet or smartphone.
Simply download a long exposure app to begin, and gather some glow sticks, Christmas lights, laser pointers, or basically anything that creates light. Then it’s just a matter of experimenting and watching the magic unfold.
8. Make Posters on Canva
Canva is an awesome platform for anyone who wants to experiment with digital design, of all ages. Use a template or start from a black canvas to create anything from logos to business cards to infographics to videos. A great option for older kids is to get them to design posters on issues they care about.
For younger kids, why not get them to help out designing virtual Christmas cards? Another option that makes great Christmas presents is to design and make your own calendar, or to print festive designs on mugs or t-shirts. The possibilities are truly endless.
Hopefully this list has given you some ideas for fun digital art projects to do with the kids. But it is just the tip of the iceberg. These days, there are a plethora of platforms that can inspire budding digital artists of all kinds.
We firmly believe that kids’ creativity and passion should be nurtured, and we hope this has inspired you to find new ways to do just that.