Whether you’re stuck at home with the kids or looking for new classroom activities, don’t despair! It’s easier than you think to grab the glue, paint, and crayons and let your third graders’ creativity shine.
These fun projects for 3rd graders are easy, DIY, and can be done with everyday items that you already have around the house. The best part? None of these art projects require an electronic device or an app, so you won’t have to worry about too much screen time.
Abstract Oil Pastel Drawing
Oil pastels are a great way to give children of all grade levels mini art lessons on the basic elements of color theory. The results of an abstract art project can be stunning, and each project is completely unique.
With a few common art supplies you probably already have in your home, your third grader can create a beautiful work of art. To get started, gather the materials:
To start, invite your third grader to use a pencil to lightly sketch shapes or trace objects onto paper so the lines are overlapping. Encourage your child to use a mix of warm and cool tones in their artwork.
To blend the colors, use cotton swabs dipped in a bit of baby oil. For the best results, blend lighter tones first, then blend the darker tones.
DIY Paper Mache Bowl
Between gooey paste, sculpting, and decorating, paper mache is a fun way for 3rd graders to create their own long-lasting DIY project. To help your 3rd grader make their own paper mache bowl, start by grabbing a small bowl—plastic is best. If you don’t have any plastic bowls, a metal or ceramic bowl will work fine, but make sure to wrap it in a layer of plastic wrap before getting started.
Next, tear a newspaper into strips, and make the paper mache paste by combining a 1:1 ratio of flour to water. Dip the torn pieces of newspaper into the paper mache mix and layer them over the bowl.
Keep in mind that you’ll want a few layers of newspaper—the more the better. For the best results, use at least five layers of newspaper and leave the art project to dry overnight.
In the morning, gently press out the bow and finish up the project by painting and decorating. Your third grader might choose to decorate with tissue paper, glitter, or crayons. To make your third grader’s art project last even longer, coat it with a layer of varnish after the project is complete.
Sidewalk Chalk Paint
Making homemade paints is a great way to ensure that your paints are safe and nontoxic. As one of the most simple recipes for homemade paint, sidewalk chalk paint only requires three ingredients (water, cornstarch, and food coloring) and a couple of minutes of prep time.
To make sidewalk chalk paint, fill a small container halfway with cornstarch and add your choice of colors. Add water to the colored cornstarch and stir. For the best results, stick to a 1:1.5 ratio of water to cornstarch.
Sidewalk chalk paint can be messy, but it rinses away without much effort. If you’re worried about staining, start by testing a small portion of your driveway.
Paper Scrap Collage
Third graders don’t like using broken crayons as much as they don’t like using pre-used pieces of construction paper. Every third grader likes to cut from the middle of a brand new sheet of paper, and saving the scrap pieces can help you set up free, fun projects with old paper scraps.
Using a pair of scissors, cut up old paper scraps to make new shapes. For a one-of-a-kind collage, throw in your own paper scraps—whether you have old promotional postcards, brochures, or magazines, designate a box for old paper scraps.
Once the scraps build-up, give your third grader a glue stick, scissors, and a piece of paper, and let them create their own paper scrap collage.
The only thing more fun than collecting stickers is making your own sticker collection. Ask your third grader to choose images from wrapping paper, magazines, decorative papers, or create their own drawings to turn into stickers for notebooks, lunch bags, or stationary.
To create the stickers, mix a 1:1 ratio of white Elmer’s Washable School Glue and white vinegar in a bowl until you have a thin and milky liquid. Next, use a small paintbrush to smear the back of the paper with the mixture.
Allow the stickers to try, apply a second coat, and leave them to dry again. While the glue is non-toxic, it doesn’t taste very good. If your third grader is creating a lot of stickers, use a dampened sponge to moisten the back of the stickers.