Whether your children show artistic flair or you just want to keep them occupied while you make their tea, we pick some of the best art activity books to get kids creative.
If your children are the first to sign up for art club after school, but they won’t sit still long enough to draw a stickman, we may have found the answer. These six brilliant activity books introduce children to art at varying levels of sophistication: from how to draw a chicken, to the mathematical principles of anamorphic art. Set aside the colouring books and get stuck in.
1. The Superhero Comic Kit
If your kids are obsessive about their comic books and superheroes, it’s time to let them create their own. The Superhero Comic Kit is a huge book jammed full of creative ideas, instructions, and opportunities for kids to take the creative lead. Get it from Amazon and Waterstones.
2. Tate Kids Modern Art Activity Book
If you want them to be able to hold their own at school or in the halls of the Tate, then arm them with this book. Featuring 10 major modern and contemporary artworks using fun and memorable facts and activities designed to encourage an understanding of the artist’s approach, the book is a non-patronising introduction to the concepts behind each artwork. It’s packed with colourful illustrations and accessible for really little kids while being pretty informative too. Available from Amazon and Waterstones.
3. This is Not a Maths Book: A Smart Art Activity Book
If you have a kid who hates maths but loves art, then you can tackle the issue without the ensuing battle with this genius book which will tax left and right brain. Playing around with geometric patterns, learning about fractal and anamorphic art (don’t worry, we don’t know what that is either), or just drawing celtic knots, kids can learn basic and complex mathematical lessons by art-stealth. Available from Amazon and Waterstones.
Paper Play: Roll it. Rip it. Fold it. Snip it!
If your little creatives tend to be more destructive than artistic, this is the book for them. Wilfully encouraging kids to rip out pages and tear along illustrated lines, it’s nevertheless structured into activities – create a flower, or fold an animal. A great fun book for travelling with, as long as you aren’t likely to be cajoled into carrying all of their paper creations home afterwards. Available from Amazon and Waterstones.
Draw Paint Print Like the Great Artists
Children meet 18 great artists and are encouraged to try out the techniques that lie behind their greatest works. Facts about the artists combine with simple creative projects that explore each technique, from Pointillism to Cubism. Available from Amazon and Waterstones.
Have you ever tried to draw a chicken? It’s not as easy as you might think. As Jean-Vincent Sénac proves while he attempts to draw a chicken and faces a series of setbacks, from runaway beaks to sleeping eggs. The subtext is that imagination and creativity are needed in even the simplest of drawings, and Jean-Vincent’s humour and delivery will make an introduction to drawing fun and un-intimidating. Available from Amazon and Waterstones.