activity table | art tables

Art Projects using Recycled, Free, and Cheap Materials

You know that look: Glazed eyes, droopy posture. The whine comes next. “Mom, I’m bored.” Or worse, silence – meaning something gets tied to the dog’s tail, again.

Engaging art projects can help foster and guide your child’s natural sense of wonder and creativity, and using recycled, free and cheap materials for kids art desks makes it affordable. Set up art tables kids can use freely; a scold-free zone in case water cups tip or ink blotches appear in all the wrong places. Old flat-panel doors set securely on concrete blocks make great low, expansive kids’ activity art desks that your small Picassos can kneel at, propped up on a cushion, while letting their imaginations run riot.

Make an impromptu easel on the activity table using an old cutting board angled up with a sturdy brick or two, and use tacks to secure brown packing paper that enjoys a second life as canvas for a masterpiece. Sponges, potato halves, leaves cleaned of oils with vinegar and corrugated cardboard all provide great textural stamps that your children can dip in ink and then press onto paper. Spent toothbrushes make effective ink airbrushes for a pointillist effect, and using them is half the fun. Sculptors or future designers crave three-dimensional projects; old plastic milk jugs transform into animal bodies, and old cardboard boxes, perhaps the stage of a soon-to-be-written play.

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