Simple, DIY art projects that are great for developing artistic minds

One of the beauties of using acrylic and oil-based paint markers with kids is that they are easy-to-use tools that introduce them to the world of painting in a simple, clean, and exciting way. Another wonderful benefit of paint markers is that it makes painting on anything incredibly easy. Wood, rock, or plastic surfaces are great mediums where kids can cut loose with their markers. Creating art on different surfaces will also fuel their creative energy into overdrive. At the same time, these art projects allow their young minds to develop artistically with the same mediums and tools that professional artists use around the world.

Below are three marker projects you can do with your kids to introduce them to the wonderful world of paint markers and put their young, artistic minds to work. If you’re interested in more ideas, head to Pinterest or search for other ideas online that might be better suited for your children.

1. Ceramic dishes and mugs

Drawing on ceramic plates with acrylic paint pens is a wonderfully simple and fun project to do with children of any age. This is a fantastic opportunity for children to create a special keepsake as a gift or personal item of their own that they can use and enjoy for many years to come, and look back on the special time they had while making it. Dishes, mugs, and cups are relatively inexpensive and can be purchased almost anywhere.

To start, cover your work area with newspaper. Let the children paint freehand over the items or encourage them to sketch a preliminary design or picture with a pencil that they can then paint over. After the painting is finished, let it dry for 24 hours. Then place the ceramic items in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes. Remove the items, wash, and enjoy!

  1. Rock doodles

Painting on rocks with oil or acrylic paint markers is another simple and fun art project to do with toddlers as young as two years old. Painting round, smooth, river stones with flat surfaces are probably the best choice of rock as they are small, don’t have sharp corners, and can be found along nearly any neighborhood sidewalk. You can even buy them online at or other art supply stores.

Preparation for painting rocks is similar to ceramics. Since rocks are more abrasive, take extra precaution to make sure the work area beneath the newspaper is also protected, if necessary. Either let the children go wild with their imagination or once again let them trace a design with a pencil.

Stringing words or phrases together by painting single letters or words on the stones is one fun idea. You might also consider painting a single element of a much larger picture on individual stones, then let the kids put them together as if they were solving a puzzle. Be sure to let the paint dry for 24 hours.

  1. Paint on canvas

Paint pens are great to use on canvas. They are the perfect tools for kids because they are easy to use and easy to clean up afterward. Allowing kids to paint on canvas may also help them feel more “grown up” as they create on the same surface that “real” artists use. You can buy small canvas squares for them to paint on, or perhaps buy a large canvas and let the kids collaborate on a shared design in which they can all participate.

No matter which project you decide to start with, there’s no question about how excited your kids will be when they get to open their new set of paint markers and start exploring with them. Creating art together also means creating fun memories, stronger relationships, and exercising an artistic side of the mind they won’t experience any other way.


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