Homeschool Art Projects for Teens and Tweens
It seems like just yesterday I was the young mama in line at the grocery store buying crayons, coloring books, paint sets, and construction paper week after week, but now that my boys are older, they’ll only get excited about art when the projects are a little more advanced.
Since we’re desire-led homeschoolers and I’ve recognized that art is extremely important to both of my boys, I recently decided it was time to step up our art game and see what’s out there beyond the usual suspects, and I’m so glad I did. As it turns out, I’m unleashing my own inner artist too.
Here are 10 art projects to consider the next time your teens and tweens want something a little more challenging:
My boys love firing up their woodburning iron and making their own game dice, story cubes, and secret decoders. They also like to make their own designs on a walking stick or spare piece of firewood too. It keeps them busy for hours.
Whittling doesn’t have to be a thing of the past, and it seems so much cooler when it’s called woodcarving. My boys love to create small animals, spears, figures, and toys with their woodcarving tools, and they love just playing around carving on sticks too.
#3 Daily watercolor nature journals
The practice of nature journaling is pretty popular in the homeschooling world, but I’ve never been able to convince my guys to get into it until I told them we were going to take up a daily watercolor practice and bought them a brand-new watercolor pen and journal set to get started. We’ve been doing it every day for over a week now, and we love it. Taking online classes from professional watercolor artists helps too. (More on that below.)
#4 Sculpey Clay Figure-making
One of my boys loves creating figures with Sculpey clay so much that his brother often commissions him to create his favorite video game figures or a special movie character to decorate his room. I love bringing out the clay kits and watching him create for hours.
My husband recently got into knife-making as a hobby, and when he mentioned what he was doing to my little guys, they immediately asked if they could create their own knives too. It took several weeks and quite a few supplies, but they now have a piece of art that they want to use every day in the kitchen or outside in the forest. This was new for us, and it was such a success, I’m guessing it won’t be our last knife creation.
#6 Tracing Projects
Sometimes we’re just not in the mood for drawing and creating from scratch. On those days, we pull out the tracing paper and a book that has exceptional artwork, and we trace for hours. One of my boys got into tracing so much that he even did a few pieces for his friends too.
#7 Professional-grade Colored Pencils
For someone like me, a colored pencil is a colored pencil, but for my son who loves art more than anything else we study in our homeschool, having the right colored pencil set is extremely important. Needless to say, he was super excited when we surprised him earlier this year with the set he’d been eyeing for months, and he’s been deep into some cool projects ever since.
#8 Adult Coloring Books
I love the new trend towards complicated coloring books, so we have quite a few in our house. When we need new ideas for drawing, tracing, and coloring, we open up one of our adult coloring books, and we’re back in our creative groove in no time.
#9 High-level Art Classes with SkillShare
As a mom who grew up spending all of her free time on a softball field or basketball court rather than practicing art, I often feel inadequate to help my art-loving teens and tweens develop their advanced skills, so we often reach out to professionals for classes. SkillShare is the best place we’ve found online, and you can access 2 free months here. Give it a try, and you’ll have at least a few new art project ideas in your toolbox.
#10 Art History on Outschool
Another way to get into new art styles and build skill is to grab a class or two on Outschool. We’ve done quite a few of these, and we’ve enjoyed every single one.
If you have a budding artist or two in your house, I hope you’ve found something here to help the next time they’re itching for the next level.
Click here for a supply list full of things that are working for us right now, and if you have questions or recommendations from your family, leave a comment over there. I’d love to hear from you!
Want to know more about homeschooling high schoolers with a desire-led approach?
More about the author… Celeste Orr
Celeste Orr is a writer, reader, nonprofit guru, sociology nerd, hiker, sailor, full-time traveling Georgia-born mama to two boys. She has been homeschooling since 2009 and loves all things family travel and adventure related. She is also passionate about helping families choose togetherness and outdoor adventure, even if it means bucking the system and going their own way sometimes. She shares tips and articles to help families in the areas of travel, relationships, and choosing their own path at togethernessredefined.com.