hello tape collages!

art  class for children new jerseyTape collages are a great project for a one day workshop, or in this case, mini-camp. These are no-mess, no-drying artworks that can go home the same day with the students. But don’t let the relative simplicity be deceiving; there is still a lot of learning, planning and adaptability for different ages packed into this project.

Click here for Tape Collage Lesson Plan.

Age Level: 3- 5 years


  • Fine motor skills
  • Planning artwork
  • Following directions

prep for tape collage projectMaterials:

  • Paper tape of many colors
  • White paper (6”x 9”)
  • Glue stick
  • Black paper (8” x 10”)
  • Labels

Teacher Preparation:

  • Rip off tape and place onto back of plastic containers. This makes it easy for the kids to grab – and we love how festive it looks. We prepared one for every two students to share.taple collage kids lesson plan
  • Also set up some extra ripped pieces of tape, maybe on the edge of a counter or on extra containers, so that you will have some readily available when you need more. Once the kids get going, they can quickly go through tape.
  • Write each student’s name on a label (to go on back of projects when complete).


Show the students an example of a finished project. Explain that they will be making their artwork today by ripping different colors of tape into smaller pieces, and then sticking them to their paper.

new jersey art class and partyWe discussed choosing between two different subject types for their project: representational (representing something in the real world, like a beach or flowers) and abstract (a picture that does not look like something, like a pattern).

Next, demonstrate to the students how to rip the tape: hold the piece with their two hands close together, and then move them in opposite directions.

Show the students how to use the tape to create their artworks. Our instructor made both a pattern for an abstract example and a flower for a representational example.

art lesson plan for childrenHand out the white papers and the containers with tape, and have the students get started. Encourage them to rip the larger pieces of tape into smaller ones.

Some of the younger children will need help with grasping the skill of ripping the tape.

best nj kids party art lesson plan for kidsWhen they have completed their artworks, have the students go to the supply table to pick up a glue stick. Hand out the black papers and have them them glue the tape projects onto them, creating a contrasting matt.

nj kids art classPut the name stickers on the back of the projects.

Our students were really proud of the collages they created!the messy artist fine art classes morris county art class for children art class party and camp


hello Violet – update

This Wednesday afternoon, Alidis Vicente came to our studios and read her latest book Violet to an enthralled group of children. Followed by an art project, this special event concluded with each family taking home a signed copy of the book.

the messy artist alidis vicenteViolet is a brightly illustrated tale featuring a young bird of the same name. Violet is the only Purple-Footed Booby, living on the Galapagos Islands with her parents. Her unique appearance creates dissension between the Blue-Footed Boobies of her father’s side and the Red-Footed Boobies of her mother’s side. Violet’s path to acceptance is an entertaining and thoughtful story of learning to see and embrace similarities rather than differences.

Violet at The Messy ArtistWe created templates using the Booby bird illustrations for the kids to paint. We encouraged them to name their birds and add an initial or design to the chests.

the messy artist art project for kids violet by alidis vicente art project the messy artistViolet is available through Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Violet-Alidis-Vicente/dp/0979214491

Alidis Vicente Messy Artist copyThanks to Alidis and all the families who joined us for this special event!

hello hearts!

process oriented art for childrenThis is a sweet and fun project for kids to do around Valentine’s Day. Every time we do this symmetry painting project, the kids get very excited as they unfold their hearts. They love discovering how the paint has transferred and mixed into a new design.

Click here to download a lesson plan of Heart Symmetry Painting Lesson Plan.

Age Level:  3-5 years


  • To learn about symmetry
  • To explore painting with unusual tools and methods (sticks instead of paintbrushes, and folding an rubbing to create painting)
  • To talk about Valentine’s Day and making things for people we love

the messy artist fine art classes for kidsMaterials:

  • Construction paper
  • Tempera paint in coordinating colors/shades (we used pink, purple and white)
  • Small plastic cups for paint
  • Small wooden craft sticks
  • Plastic tray (we use take out container lids) to keep the paint in place

valentine project for kidsTeacher Preparation:

  • Fold paper in half, then cut hearts out. We use a template to make sure all are the same.
  • Put paint into cups, one set per every two children
  • Put craft sticks out, one per color per child


Show the students an example of a finished project. Tell them briefly about Valentine’s Day (“we like to show the people we love that we care in special ways on this holiday”). Also explain that we will be painting not with brushes, not with our fingers, but with sticks and by rubbing today.

Show the students a folded heart, then open it. Explain that it is symmetrical – the same on both sides. See if they can think of any other symmetrical things (our bodies, a square, an apple).

Next demonstrate dipping a stick into paint and then tap, tap, tapping it onto one side of the heart.   Put a few colors on and then fold the heart in half. Rub it and ask for some special magic words. (Kids usually come up with “Abracadabra” or “Shazam”. Sometimes someone says “Please”.)heart painting project for children

Open the heart to reveal how the paint is now on both sides, in a symmetrical pattern.

Have the children go pick out their paper hearts from a nearby supply table.

art class party and camp north jeerseyWhile they are doing this, place the paints on the table.

art class for toddlers new jersey fine art class for kids morris county nj the messy artist art class njWalk around encouraging the kids to tap their paint onto the hearts. The more paint they use, the more dramatic the reveal after they fold and rub.

The kids can add more paint and fold again and again if they wish.

north nj fine art class for tweensMake sure to unfold all hearts so that the paint will cry – otherwise they will stick together. As these usually take some time to dry, we send them home the next class session.

heart art project with symmetry for kidsHappy Valentine’s Day!



hello laundry starch!

After canceling classes and hunkering inside for a few days due to a “blizzard” (or at least it was predicted to be one) recently, we were thinking about art and craft projects that are perfect for a snow day. Our Director of Fine Arts Viviana pointed us in the direction of an interesting free download.

It’s put out by the company that makes Linit, the liquid laundry starch we use when making goop.linit_bottle

The only other necessary ingredient for goop is white glue (though we use liquid watercolor paints for fun colors too). Goop is always popular in our studios.

nj art class and party childrens art studio njChock full of activities for both adults and kids, this recipe book is a great resource to keep in mind for your next snow day.

(And don’t worry about the $2 price on the website – it is a free download)


We are eying the marbling project, and found the fabric walls idea intriguing. We’ll post back with our project results – let us know if you make anything!