Are you looking for a fun and different way to create art with kids? Here is a classic straw painting art project for kids that is sure to make everyone smile.
Just make sure you do this on a day you can handle a little mess! I love doing this project at the end of the year. I have done this Pollock-inspired art project with all different ages of children. They all have so much fun making their own straw painting.
Ways To Teach About Jackson Pollock
I love to always try to tie an art history element to my lessons and projects. This project is super easy to do!
I love the Art with Mati & Dada Youtube channel.
Elementary students love these quick cartoons about famous artists.
We obviously watch the Pollock video. These simple videos are a great way to introduce several different artists to your younger audience.
My only complaint is that I wish they made more of these and covered a more diverse group of artists.
I also “read” this book about Jackson Pollock to my kids. Younger children may need a condensed version of the book while discussing the illustrations.
After discussing Jackson Pollock’s artwork, my preschool-aged children were very excited to create a Pollock-inspired art project.
Before You Begin
First, if you are at home, you may want to either do this project outside or cover your table with newspaper. We have an art table and station set up at our house that is a perfect place to create a mess and easy clean-up.
- Liquid Watercolor
- Small Containers
- White paper
- Optional: Extra Fine Tip Sharpie
Transfer Watercolor Paint using Straw
This is probably the trickiest part for some children. However, this picture shows my preschool-aged daughter being able to do this!
Show kids how to place the straw in watercolor paint and then use their fingers to cover the top of the straw.
They need to hold their finger on the top and bring the straw over their paper. Once they do that, they can let go of their finger and the watercolor should drop out!
If that is too difficult for your young children, then you can always use these pipettes to help transfer the paint. These are great art and science supply to always have on hand for all of your creative projects with kids.
Begin Blowing the Watercolor Paint Around
Here is where the fun begins! My young son was so happy to use a straw to blow around the liquid watercolor. Once the drop has been absorbed into the paper, they should get another drop of color.
As you can see, my preschool-aged children created some amazing Jackson Pollock-inspired paintings!
Yes, as you can see my daughter did spill a little while making her painting. Working on a plastic table or even outside for this art idea is a smart move.
If you want to have students use an extra-fine tip sharpie to outline the lines around the paintings, it really can create an interesting effect and design. This would be done once the paintings dry and with older children.
Tips For Success
- Only give children watercolor paint colors that will mix well together. As you can see, I gave my kids pink, purple (that even has a little glitter) and blue liquid watercolor paints to work with.
- Really emphasize to children that one end of the straw is for dipping in the paint and the other is for their mouth! You do not want to get those mixed up or you will see your own children with watercolor paint lipstick!
- Encourage kids to experiment, but also drop the paint in the white areas on the paper.
- It is okay if students blow the paint off of the paper (hence why you may want to cover your tables). The abstract paintings that do this tend to be more successful.
- My 4-year-old discovered that if they drop two colors in the same spot, they got a really neat design with overlapping and mixing colors.
Remind children to take breaks from blowing. We never want anyone passing out from being too into their painting.
Need Help Displaying These Masterpieces?
Here is a great list of creative ways to display artworks and photographs in your home.
Have Fun Creating
I love that my son was able to feel super successful when creating his Jackson Pollock-inspired abstract paintings.
Sometimes young children can struggle to create artworks that they are proud of. However, this is such a fun, easy and exciting art project for kids. All children will want to show off their Jackson Pollock-inspired abstract paintings.
More Easy Painting Ideas
Anytime I have done this fun watercolor project, kids of all different ages and abilities have loved it! I am always so happy that they felt proud of what they had created.
If children are having a hard time blowing the paint around, have them hold the paper up to also help the paint drip around their paper. They can also draw with their straws.
As long as the paint (such as tempera paint) is watered down enough, it should work.
Abstract Straw Painting For Kids
- Small Container
- Heavy White Drawing Paper
- Liquid Watercolors use colors that will mix well together
- Press your finger on top of straw while in the liquid watercolor paint.
- Dab on the paper and begin to blow through the straw.
- Continue to get more paint by pressing finger and blowin it around.
- Use different colors.
- Let dry.