Teach My Child About the Elements of Art

Need some help with teaching the elements of art in your homeschool? This is a guest post to help you out, from Jodi at Kitchen Table Classroom! ❤️

~ Tauna

Teaching art at home just got a little easier. By focusing on teaching the elements of art through easy, hands on explorations you can introduce your kiddo to art vocabulary and concepts that will give them a solid foundation on which to grow. You don’t have to teach everything. Start here.

[Read: Homeschool Art Tips for Busy Moms]

If teaching your child about the elements of art is a bit scary to you then you are going to want to see these helpful tips and ideas!

Disclosure: *This post may include affiliate links. As an affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Read the disclosures and terms for more information.


Why teach the elements….

You don’t have to be an amazing artist or an art historian to get your child started with some basic art vocabulary and hands on experiences. The elements of art are the building blocks of art- the basics. Teaching these basics will give your kiddo a place to start when making art and talking about it. I believe in this “elements first” concept so much that I have tons of free printable elements of art resources and lessons designed to break it down for moms teaching at home!

Teaching the elements of art means talking about each concept and then using it to make something with their own hands. Some of these explorations may take only ten minutes. All of them use materials you have around the house.

[Read: Teaching Art Using the Bible

Here are twenty one easy ideas for teaching the elements of art as part of your homeschool day and give your child a solid introduction to the visual arts!


Color in art…..

Color is the hue caused by reflected light. The most interesting aspect of color for young artists is the ability to mix colors together to create new colors. Mixing any two primary colors (red, yellow, and blue) will create a new secondary color (purple, green, or orange.)

-Drop clear hair gel in a sandwich sized Ziploc bag. Add a drop of a primary color food coloring to one side and a drop of another color to the other corner. Allow your child to hold the bag up to the light and see the colors mix.

-Dip sidewalk chalk paint in water and color one color on top of another and watch them mix like paint.

-Color on coffee filters with washable markers and spray with water. Watch colors next to each other spread and mix.

Check out this Color in Art post at the Kitchen Table Classroom for more hands on activities and free printable resources to help you teach color!

Line in art….

Line is a path that a moving point makes on a surface. The fact that literally everyone can draw a line makes this such a fun element to introduce to kids!

-Use water and a paintbrush to paint different qualities of lines onto a chalkboard. Or think bigger and do this on a cement driveway or patio!

-Use newsprint to cut different kinds of line and make a collage.

-Play samples of different kinds of music and draw lines as you listen. Does different music inspire different types of lines?

[Read: Adding Art Appreciation to Your Homeschool the Easy Way]

Space in art….

Space is the element of art that is used to create the illusion of depth in a two dimensional artwork. Depth is what makes some things seem far away and others seem closer.

-Make a collage of simple shapes and use overlapping as a technique to show which objects are the closest.

-Set up your own real life composition that is a play on space. Make the things that are usually big small, and vice versa. Take a picture.

-Look at magazine pictures and compare the size of objects. Can you find a dog bigger than a tree? A person bigger than a mountain? talk about how our brain automatically makes sense of these differences.

Form in art…..

Form refers to a three dimensional figure. This is as opposed to a shape which is flat. Forms have height, width, and depth, and can be viewed from multiple angles.

-Create basic form using modeling clay.

-Use tightly rolled newspaper and masking tape to quickly build forms up and out.

-Create paper forms using origami.

Here are twenty one easy ideas for teaching the elements of art as part of your homeschool day and give your child a solid introduction to the visual arts!


Texture in art….

Texture is the feel or consistency of a surface. Actual texture is what an object feels like when you touch it. Implied texture creates the illusion of a certain texture.

-Go on a walk outside. Take a few unwrapped crayons and do texture rubbings along the way.

-Make a collage out of magazine clippings that have interesting implied textures.

-Paint a picture using homemade brushes that create interesting textures. (Think pine needles, or a small bunch of long grass.)

Shape in art….

A shape is made when a line encloses an area. Shapes are always flat and two dimensional.

-Make jumbo shapes on the floor using painter’s tape.

-Use craft sticks and clothespins (or other fasteners) to make geometric shapes.

-Pick a magazine picture and use a marker to outline all the basic shapes that make up the composition.

[Read: Bible Art Drawing for Kids]

Value in art….

Value refers to the lightness or darkness of a color.

-Use one color of tempera paint plus black and white to paint an entire picture.

-Make a value scale of any color by using magazine clippings.

-Experiment layering and blending crayon or colored pencil. Try to go from white to color to black with a smooth transition.

Teaching the elements of art is an easy place to start…

Every artwork in the world consists of the elements of art. Learning to consider them as they create and view artwork is a great place for an art education to start! Pick an activity or two and see what kinds of things your child responds best to.

If you’d like a more in depth of study of the elements of art that combines hands on projects with art history check out my year long curriculum the Artists and the Elements.

~ Jodi, Kitchen Table Classroom


There are several resources we’ve enjoyed over the years that use art to teach kids. Sometimes the most simple solutions are the best. Right now, we’re using the Bible Drawing Notebook for my children. They simply read the indicated chapter in the Bible (or you can read it to them), then they draw about it, and jot down their prayers, and and either write or orally narrate back to you what they drew. It’s simple, effective, and your kiddos who like drawing will love it! 



This Post Has 21 Comments

  1. Amanda F

    This is awesome. We are transitioning into homeschooling this year and one thing the kids wanted was a better understanding of art. Thanks.

  2. Amanda Flanders

    I would get the Passover Seder Meal game, we haven’t discussed this yet. Also, we would get all of the WWI and WWII items because we live next to the National Infantry museum and I feel doing these activities would make the museum more meaningful for my kids. Plus! The Oregon trail ones! We are moving to Washington state from Ga next spring and will be stopping along the way to explore places related to the Oregon trail.

  3. April

    Love your art products and all the art project ideas! There are so many ideas I never thought of!

  4. Pamela Richardson

    I’d especially like the WWI and WWII Lapbook/Notebook Project sets.

  5. Jessica

    I would buy the art of quilting

  6. Becky M

    Definitely the WWI & WWII lapbooks. We’ll be studying both of those this year.

  7. Derek Miller

    I think I would want to get ALC-1002: Merchant Marauder File Folder Game, I love teaching my kids through games and interaction.

  8. Katie

    armor of god poster

  9. Sarah

    This is great, thank you!

  10. Jennie

    Name that state, since we are study the states this year!

  11. Judith Martinez

    I think I would get the Old Testament tribune.

  12. Amy E

    Homeschool in the Woods ala carte WWI: The Great War Lapbook / Notebook project is one I would love to get. They have so many great items that it makes it hard to choose!

  13. Whitney

    I love all the world war two lapbooks.

  14. Nicole P

    What a fun way to bring art to homeschool! My kids would love this

  15. Cathy

    I would love to get the Name That State File Folder Game, and The Art of Quilling.

  16. Liz H.

    I would choose the penny ring rug kit!

  17. Gail

    Anything about military weapons would be useful this year.

  18. Anne Perry

    The Art of Quilling Project
    ALC-1048: The Art of Quilling (3D)

  19. Crystal Abel

    I would get The Penny Rug Notebook/3D Project.

  20. Linda

    I would love to win this!

  21. Lisa Lawton

    I think I would get either the penny rug content or some of the WW2 things!

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