Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Abstract Acrylic Paintings on Cardboard: Lesson for Ages 2 through 6

While the my students (ages 2 through 6) have been learning about color pallets with acrylic paint, how to mix acrylic and utilize different brushes and pallet knifes, I have offered a variety of different projects to help them practice these techniques.  This was a fun 2-3 session project that my students worked on they for our annual art show.

If you want to give this a try with your little ones, this is a fun abstract art lesson that will need some prep time by a teacher.


  • Cardboard about the thickness of a typical large pizza box (and not so thin like a shoe box).  Actually, I collected the lids of pizza boxes to use for this project.  Cut some of it out into large rectangles or squares for work surface for the kids, along smaller pieces cut into shapes around 1 to 2 inches in diameter.
  • Scissors 
  • Paints.  We used acrylic, but tempera will do.  
  • Paint brushes for painting
  • Paint trays (we use plastic lids from containers like hummus and margarine)
  • Glue like tacky or modge podge for glueing the shapes. I'm sure regular school glue will be fine, too.
  • Q tips or old brushes for using glue
  • Cans for water and for glue.  I used old tuna cans.
  • A couple sheets of paper towels or one rag for each child to wipe access water and paint onto
  • Protective sheets to cover tables and protective smocks or t-shirts for kids to wear using acrylic paint 
  • Markers & Crayons (Optional.  My kids wanted to color on their cardboard as they waited for the glue to dry before painting on them)
I have all of the lessons, preparations, and steps typed out which I will gladly forward to you if you are interested in specifics on how to put this together for ages 2 through 6, but if you are just improvising, have fun with it and just get ideas from the photos below. 

After the shapes are glued on their work surface, the kids are offered acrylic paint to turn their work into a colorful abstract piece.

I show my kids how to clean their brushes and wipe off excess water before dipping into acrylics.

Here are a few of the finished products of the abstract shape art.  These pieces were on display for our annual art show.  To see more works from this show, click here: Photos of Wonderland Art Show

Thanks for visiting!
~Angelique Bowman

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