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resources and inspiration for art making at home: school age

We believe that all kids should have access to the arts and that, especially, for school age children art can be meaningfully paired with stories to increase comprehension and character exploration. Art can help children access their imagination and conjure new possibilities. Art can be an excellent way to communicate what your little one has learned and where their interests are leading them. We have assembled several art-based ideas to explore together this summer that will hopefully be fun and allow your child to explore topics, characters, stories and environments that fascinate them.  

art making, stories, and books


Dig deeper into a story and make important connections to the author's themes through an art project that helps children explore the concepts and perspective of the characters. In the examples highlighted here, making wings or donuts, the art product can also lead to meaningful pretend play and a springboard for comprehension.

pair stories & art making

Evanston Public Library (EPL) has a youtube channel!  You can access live story readings and videos of activities posted by EPL here.

Here are some other links if you'd like more story read alouds:

Ms. Becky & Bear's Storytime

Storytime with Ryan and Craig

Hora del Cuento en Español

Here are links to some picture books and chapter books read by people you might recognize!

James and the Giant Peach with Taika Waititi & Friends

Storyline Online

Read Along with PBS Kids

Circle Round Podcast - WBUR

This podcast is created and produced by parents of young children and contains stories and music inspired by folk-tales from around the world.  They suggest an age range of kids 4-10 years.  Stories explore issues like kindness, persistence, and generosity and also includes ideas for activities that kids can do with grown-ups.

On this podcast, kids 6-12 years old collaborate with best-selling authors to collaborate and create stories based on the "story seeds" that the kids bring.  In addition to be able to listen to the process of writing your own story, the guest authors do a story time read aloud.

The Story Seeds Podcast - Literary Safari

Here's a read aloud to the book Library Mouse, one our favorite stories!


Following along with the book and check out the videos below that show you how you can make your own books to write your own stories in!


Are you a Harry Potter fan?

Check out this live reading of the first book of the series Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone!  The first chapter is read by Daniel Radcliffe, the actor who played Harry Potter in the film versions.

Live Reading - Harry Potter Book One

Doodle Harry Potter Images | Doodle with Me

Here's a Tutorial on How to Draw a 'Niffler'

Wizarding World

"Logic will get you from A to Z; but imagination will take you everywhere." ~Albert Einstein

access imagination 

Art allows us to imagine new worlds, nourish imaginative play and experiment with stories and characters in ways that can explore feelings of all sorts and generate new resolutions to interpersonal dilemmas. Using art to tell stories, build costumes or create fanciful spaces can help your child to "try on" new ways of expressing themselves, imagining the world or problem solving.  

Here are links to ideas for ways to tap into kids' imagination!

Why Imaginative Play is Important for a Child’s Development

8 Ways to Help Older Kids Develop a Sense of Imagination

The Importance of Pretend Play

communicate learning 

Art is an excellent way to demonstrate learning acquisition through dioramas, spark charts, or murals for storytelling or even math drills. Employing art making as a meaningful tool can engage differing learning styles and may be useful for students, teachers and caregivers to confirm what has been retained and what new questions have formed.  

Here are links to ideas for making a diorama!

Create These Awesome Mini Worlds With Shoebox Dioramas

Easy Ways to Make Dioramas or Models

Here's a Tutorial on How to Make a Diorama

How to Make a Diorama - Awesome Tips!


The Kids Create Change blog has lots of ideas for art making with kids at home!

Check out our recent posts!

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