Abstract Shape Art Projects with Kids

These four projects feature random shapes and bright colors. Children can do these projects as part of an art class, at home on a rainy day, or even while traveling.

With a few simple art supplies, kids can create colorful art projects that rely on making random shapes with glue, pencil, markers, and scissors. Younger children can use these projects to practice hand-eye coordination and their coloring skills – without having to rely on coloring book images. Older children can enjoy creating stained glass-like patterns by making more elaborate designs.

Glue Art Resist Project

Create a random design with glue that is later highlighted with watercolor paint. Make certain the glue isn’t washable or the paint will melt the glue and ruin the design.

  1. On watercolor paper, use a pencil to draw a faint design. Select either a flowing design with a circle and smooth-edged blobs or draw angular shapes like triangles and squares.
  2. Use white glue (not washable) in a squeeze bottle and squeeze out a continuous line of glue following the sketched design.
  3. Let the glue dry completely. The glue will dry clear. This could take a couple of days, or longer if the weather is humid.
  4. Use watercolor paints to color within the designs. Or, paint random blobs over the paper, not following the pattern. The glue will resist the paint, so the lines will appear white.

Stencil Art for Kids

By coloring small shapes created within larger stenciled shapes, the result is almost like stained glass. Try making patterns using graph paper.

  1. Trace a solid shape stencil or cookie cutter onto a sheet of drawing paper.
  2. Trace the shape numerous times, overlapping the designs.
  3. Trace over the lines with a permanent black marker.
  4. With a colored pencil or marker, color the design. Change color each time a line is crossed. So, if a cat shape is traced over and over, the solid cat shapes aren’t colored, but the small shapes created by overlapping the stencil is.

Squiggle Drawing

The more complicated the squiggle, the more time it will take to color this drawing.

  1. Set a permanent black marker tip on the center of a sheet of paper.
  2. Draw a random, squiggling line over the entire paper. Connect the line back to the starting point. More squiggling results in smaller areas; fewer lines create large areas.
  3. With a marker or colored pencils, color each area a different color. Change colors each time a line is crossed. Avoid using the same or similar colors next to one another.

Abstract Collage Art

Cut random shapes from construction paper and overlap them in different directions over a sheet of paper. Shapes, like those of fish scales, are unusual are can also be worked into a collage.

  1. Draw a simple shape on heavy paper. The shape can be a conventional triangle or square or a simple, random blob.
  2. Cut out this shape. Use it as a template.
  3. Trace the template over different colors of construction paper.
  4. On an 18” x 24” sheet of white or black construction paper, lay the random shapes, overlapping some of the shapes. Rotate the shape in different directions.
  5. When satisfied with the design, use a glue stick to adhere the shapes to the paper.

Making these random shapes is a great way to doodle or create colorful art. Because these projects don’t rely on a child’s ability to draw realistically, children uncomfortable with art can succeed in creating colorful pieces of art.