Great art project for kids and cheap!A few months back I went to a local thrift store and found this gigantic framed canvas for 5.95.  Yes, 5.95! I know. It’s insane.  I snatched it right up and hauled that baby home and look what happened!  Art. Big, fabulous, kid made art that lead to dancing, leaps of joy and some hardcore focus and engagement.  Now, that’s my kind of process art.

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We’ve been on a hardcore pastel bender for pretty much the entire school year.  Oil pastels and soft chalk pastels.  My girls love them and have become really adept at using them.  Even my youngest, 2 and a half, knows how to turn the soft pastels on their side, rub them back and forth, blend and blow off extra chalk dust.  You can read a full tutorial about using pastels with kids here.  I love love love em and so do the kids.

Great art project for kids and cheap!Anyway, back to our amazing thrift store purchase.  I put out soft and oil pastels and let my girls go for it.  We had another flea market art purchase hanging in my daughter’s room that needed a little pick me up, so both girls had their own canvas. If you’re a mother of two, you know the benefits of each having their own work area.  Majorly helpful.

Great art project for kids and cheap!Soon they both gave each other permission to share canvases.  Actually, my older one is allowed to touch my younger one’s canvas, but not visa versa.  Sisters.  Gotta love it.

Great art project for kids and cheap!They’ve now been working on their canvases for several months.  I kept them in our back yard for a while and brought them out every few weeks or so.  Sometimes they both request to work on them.  “Mama, where’s my canvas?  I want to do some art.”

Just fyi, this canvas started off that light blue and white.  We didn’t paint over it but you could easily paint over any canvas and give it a completely fresh start.  You could use white gesso or even spray paint it.  We got lucky with this one and it was already pretty and ready to go.  After you apply the gesso or spray paint, you can just go ahead and apply any acrylic or tempera paints.

Great art project for kids and cheap!Great art project for kids and cheap!I have to say, it’s pretty thrilling to watch them create on a grand scale like this.  They have so much freedom.  We may end up adding paints or sharpies or maybe even glitter, which I’m sure they will eventually beg for.  I’d love to see them add some metallic watercolors.  Gold makes everything so super pretty.

Great art project for kids and cheap!Great art project for kids and cheap!I forgot, we also use straight up sidewalk chalk.  The big fat ones.  I think chalk is one of the most underrated art supplies.  It’s cheap, colorful and you can dip it in water for such a cool effect.  It’s awesome on nature too, especially big branches.  Give it a try!  Post coming soon on that one.

Great art project for kids and cheap!I was going to wait to post this until both canvases were finished but the truth is I don’t know that we’ll ever finish them and it’s more about the process than the result anyway.  Plus, there are so many cheap canvases out there waiting for a new home.  I wanted to get you this idea quick.  Hope you’re feeling inspired.  Happy creating and don’t forget to hashtag #letthempaint on Instagram and share your process art with tons of likeminded moms.  xo Meri

Great art project for kids and cheap!

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