Three easy art projects to keep your child entertained during Thanksgiving

Looking forward to the long Thanksgiving weekend - but dreading how to keep your kids entertained? Valeen, the founder of Private Picassos has got you covered! These simple projects will work for all ages and won’t make too much of a mess!

Collagraph Printmaking - Round up recycled boxes (thicker corrugated boxes are best for your base, while cereal boxes are best for kids to create shapes from). Cut down a corrugated box into a few 8x8 inch squares (one for each child making art) and the cereal box into flat sheets. You can also cut a few small shapes from the cereal box if you have kids under the age of 5. Give each child an 8x8 inch square, a cereal box sheet, scissors and a glue stick.  Let them cut out shapes and glue them onto one side of the cardboard square.  Remind them that this will be printed, so any words or numbers will appear backwards.  Once their shapes have been glued down, give each child a foam roller and a small squirt of washable tempera paint on a paper plate. Encourage them to use the roller to cover the entire collaged side of their cardboard (aka their collagraph printing plate). Once the collagraph is covered, place a sheet of white or colored paper on top and rub to transfer the paint. Peel back the paper to reveal your print! Repeat as desired.  * Ths project is great for creating multiples, so consider having your kids make holiday cards!

Materials needed:

  • Corrugated cardboard

  • Cereal boxes

  • Scissors (kid and adult)

  • Glue sticks

  • Washable tempera paint (stick to one color)

  • White and colored paper

  • Foam roller

  • Paper plate

  • Newspaper or a plastic tablecloth to cover the work surface


Texture Rubbings - Put that collagraph printing plate to good use and create texture rubbings! After your collagraph is dry (wait at least a few hours), place it under a sheet of paper. Gently rub a crayon or oil pastel on top (remove the paper on the crayon first).  Have your kids experiment with mixing colors as they reveal the shapes on their paper! Use large sheets of paper (or grab a roll of kraft paper that isn’t too thick) for this project and cross another thing off your to-do list by making wrapping paper for the holidays!

Materials needed:

  • Collagraph printing plate

  • Crayons and oil pastels with the paper removed

  • White and colored paper and/or a roll of paper


Watercolor Resists - Take one of your child’s texture rubbings and add another layer of detail. Let your child paint on top of their rubbings with watercolor paint. You can even create your own liquid watercolors by diluting washable tempera paint in a small cup (one part paint to 3 parts water). Be sure to control the amount of water and paint your child uses on one sheet of paper - repeated painting in the same spot can lead to a hole.  To prevent this, have a few sheets of paper out and ready to go - switch out as necessary!

Materials needed:

  • Texture rubbings on paper

  • Watercolor paint or liquid watercolors

  • Paint brushes

  • Water cup

  • Paper towels

  • Newspaper or a plastic tablecloth to cover the work surface

If you need a break from art making at home, stop by our Drop-In Art Studio in Park Slope!  Open Friday-Sunday Thanksgiving weekend, 10am-6pm.

Valeen Bhat - Founder of Private Picassos
Valeen crafts the core values and philosophy of PP, drawing inspiration from her education, experience, and background. In addition to running Private Picassos Mobile, she has also opened a bricks and mortar Art Studio & Shop in Park Slope Brooklyn and welcomed a beautiful baby boy in May!