Most kids grow up with a coloring book in their hand, and for good reason. Art is endlessly fun, and a wonderful outlet to explore your creativity. However, did you know that art can actually be educational? An activity as simple as coloring can train your brain to think in "open-ended" answers, which means that your brain learns to consider all possible options, even ones that aren't usually thought of. Art also helps you understand more about yourself and others, since it is a way to actually see what someone else has expressed at an age when listening and understanding can be hard. Humans have been creating art since the earliest cave paintings – it's our way of expressing ourselves, and even adults continue to be amazed by works of art. There are art competitions at school, and you can create art with your parents right at home; one four year-old girl has her mother, who is a professional artist, draw the heads of people, and then she draws the bodies. The world's youngest professional painter, who sells her paintings for $5,000, is only five years old. Kids like you can do incredible things with art – you only have to pull out a piece of paper and a crayon to start! To help give you some ideas for art projects, check out the links below.
Draw Your Own Winter Count
Indians used to make something called a "winter count", which was a picture that told a story of what happened that year through pictures. You can make your very own winter count with this project from Spoonful.com. Ask your parents to help!
How do you see yourself? Make a life-sized picture of you with this project from Kinderart.com.
Make a Clay-Dough Critter You'll need an adult to help you prepare this project, but it's so much fun, they might want to join in as well! Using special clay that you can make from ingredients in your own kitchen, you can sculpt – and bake – fun, colorful critters to play with. Don't feel like you have to just make normal animals, though; create an animal of your own!
Sesame Street Coloring Pages
You can color these neat pages online, or print them off to color them in person!
Susie's Art Room
Click around and explore Susie's art room! There is a coloring book, sketch pad, and hints and tips to help you with your art.
Ugly Duckling Finger Puppets
Do you know the story of the ugly duckling? You can tell it yourself with these fun finger puppets! Remember to ask an adult before printing off the pages.
Draw an Early Roman Temple (PDF)
Art has been around for hundreds of years – you can even find it in ancient ruins! Learn how to draw your own Roman temple with this easy tutorial on two-point perspective.
Oak Leaf Cuts
Pioneers used to make these to decorate their cabins in the winter. Now, you can make some to decorate your home!
I *Heart* Pillows
Is your room in need of some new decoration? Why not make your very own heart-shaped fleece pillow? Learn how with this project idea from DiscoveryKids.com.
You may have made paper snowflakes before, but have you ever made an intricate paper chain? Now you can, in this tutorial from Pitara.com.
The Flat Stanley Project
This is a project that you and your friends can do together! Make a Flat Stanley and help tell his adventures in a book or letter.
Create your very own abstract design with this fun online art game from the National Gallery of Art. Choose from different brushes & paint colors, and make your own masterpiece!
Want to put on your very own puppet show? Learn how to make your own puppets with this activity from PBS Kids.
Making spin art in real life can get pretty messy, so give it a try online first with this game from Nick Jr. You can even print out your creation if you want!
Make your very own paper pet with this easy project from Highlights magazine.
Build Animal Piggy Banks!
Make a place to save your coins by turning an old can into a piggy (or lion, or turtle, or dog, or whatever!) bank. Ask a parent to help!
Build your own bugs to race and play with!
Make Your Own Kite!
Flying a kite is twice as much fun when you make your own kite. You can decorate it however you want, and these instructions from National Geographic will help guide you through the process.
Make Your Own Explorers' "Movie"!
The project uses Christopher Columbus's journey as an example, but you can draw whatever story you want! Find out how to make this cool craft from Crayola.com.
Make animals out of empty or hardboiled eggs! Be sure to ask a parent to help prepare the eggs first.
Itsy, Bitsy Spider
Play with a not-so-scary spider that you can make yourself! It even climbs up when you pull on the string.
Salt Water Picture
Did you ever think that salt could be used in painting? Well, it can! Learn how with this project from Funology.
Chewbacca Sock Puppet
Sock puppets can be as simple or decorated as you want them to be, and can become virtually any character. Find out how to make a Chewbacca sock puppet with this project from StarWars.com.
Coloring the Mars Mission (PDF)
Color the red planet any color you want in this fun activity book printable.
Ant Picnic Coloring Page (PDF)
Ants are making off with a tasty picnic…but the scene is missing something. Add some color to the ants and their food on this coloring page.
Smithsonian Pages to Color
Learn about migratory birds with these detailed, educational coloring pages.
Chandra Coloring & Activity Book (PDF)
Discover black holes, space mazes, and plenty of coloring fun in this 28-page booklet from the Chandra X-Ray Observatory.
Thirstn's Wacky Water Adventures (PDF)
Learn about the water cycle with Thirstin, and don't forget to color him in along the way!
Veterinarian Coloring Pages
Do you like dogs and cats? Do you want to be a veterinarian someday? Well then, these are the coloring pages for you! Ask for your parents' help to print them off.
Florida Coloring Book
Color stingrays, sharks, and seahorses in this coloring book from Nova University.