Your Career• 3 Min read

17th November 2020

Art Ideas For Primary Teachers

Teaching Art can be one of the most fun aspects of Primary School teaching and coming up with new art ideas for Primary children can make for fun planning. The mess aside, encouraging the development of creativity and imagination is vital for children’s social and academic success. Art inspires new ways of thinking, expressing emotion and looking at the world and encouraging creative expression early on in a students education is proven to have great benefits both in the long and shorter term.

We’ve collected ideas from across the web which we hope will be a helpful resource for teachers planning engaging, memorable art lessons for their students.


Paint is often the first art medium very young children will become familiar with. From basic finger painting to using various methods of application there are so many ways to utilise paint in the classroom. Here are some of our favourite ideas:

Finger painting is a stalwart of early years teaching, with a huge number of ideas for young children to get hands-on with paint over on Pinterest. You don’t have to stick to fingers either! If you can stand the clean-up, you can encourage pupils to use other body parts, such as their full hand or even their feet and toes to create fun pieces of art around your theme.

We’ve also spotted some fantastic ideas for painting with less mess. How about popping splodges of paint and a sheet of paper in a ziploc bag and letting children push and press the paint around? Or, try getting outside with this great guide to creating washable ‘sidewalk’ chalk for outdoor art!



A box of cardboard, egg boxes and toilet tubes can be the inspiration for amazing modern art sculptures, recreating famous works or designing a cardboard box city-scape which can then be painted! The ideas for creating sculpture with packaging and leftover scraps from other projects is endless and should fire up pupils imaginations. We love the idea of setting a challenge that ties in with other learning objectives such as asking small groups to make the most load-bearing bridge or the most effective rain shelter for the class mascot!

Clay is a medium that children of all ages can get stuck into. You can buy or make cheap air-drying clay, or if you have a budget for art resources you might consider the sort that bakes in the oven. If your school has a kiln, you can go a step further – even very young children can benefit from creating ‘Roman Thumb Pot’s’ – mixing your art lessons with a historical element is a great way to increase learning opportunities for students.

Mixing Art And Science

You might consider combining some introductory elements of science with your art lessons. Bubble painting, blow painting with straws, (not suitable for very young children who might be tempted to suck!) leaf or mushroom spore prints or drawing pictures of cells or plants are all great ways to introduce basic scientific principles into your art lessons. For older children, you might like to use art elements when creating science projects, for example, drawing a cartoon of the expected results of an experiment, or drawing and labelling organs in the body. Appealing to different types of learners with your lessons is a great way to engage every pupil in the class. This book has lots of fantastic ways to combine science and art for students of all ages and comes highly recommended by several education sites!

Read more about the Visual learning style and some ideas you can use to engage and enthuse this type of learner here!

Get Inspired

Pinterest is a great source of art lesson ideas. If you aren’t a member yet, it’s a fantastic platform for sharing classroom displays, teacher hacks, lesson planning tips and an infinite amount of free teaching resources. Here’s our ‘Art Ideas’ Pinterest board. Click below to visit it and follow Engage Education for lots of fresh new ideas daily!


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