20 Women Artists Art Projects for Kids

Art ignites imagination, builds fine motor skills, and fosters self-expression in children.

When we introduce kids to the works of inspiring women artists, we add another dimension: appreciation for the diverse voices and styles that shape the art world.

This list offers 20 engaging art projects for kids, inspired by the artistic visions of phenomenal women.

Frida Kahlo: Self-Portrait Crowns

Frida Kahlo’s iconic self-portraits are a celebration of self-identity and cultural heritage. Kids can create their own self-portrait crowns inspired by Frida’s vibrant flowers and symbolic elements.

  • Materials: Cardboard cutouts, tempera paint, markers, feathers, flowers (real or artificial), glitter
  • Procedure: Cut out crown shapes from cardboard. Paint the crowns with bright colors. Using markers, kids can draw self-portraits on the front of the crown. Decorate with feathers, flowers, and glitter, referencing details from Frida’s paintings.

Georgia O’Keeffe: Flower Power Paintings

Georgia O’Keeffe’s magnified flowers are a study in form and color. This project encourages kids to observe the details of nature and create their own close-up floral masterpieces.

  • Materials: Watercolor paper, watercolors, paintbrushes, magnifying glasses (optional)
  • Procedure: Take the kids outside to observe flowers. Encourage them to use magnifying glasses to see the intricate details. Back inside, they can use watercolors to paint close-up portraits of their favorite blooms, capturing the vibrant hues and textures.

Sonia Delaunay: Wearable Art Discs

Sonia Delaunay’s work pulsates with geometric shapes and bold colors. This project lets kids create wearable art inspired by her vibrant style.

  • Materials: Paper plates, construction paper, scissors, glue, markers, yarn
  • Procedure: Cut paper plates in half. On construction paper, have kids design geometric shapes in various colors. Cut out the shapes and glue them onto the paper plate halves. Punch holes at the top and tie yarn to create wearable discs.

Mary Cassatt: Mother and Child Drawings

Mary Cassatt’s paintings often depict tender moments between mothers and children. This project encourages kids to capture the love and warmth between caregivers and their young ones.

  • Materials: Drawing paper, pencils, crayons, markers
  • Procedure: Have kids think about a special moment with their caregiver. Using pencils, they can lightly sketch the scene on their paper. Encourage them to capture emotions through facial expressions and body language. They can then use crayons or markers to add color and details.

Yayoi Kusama: Polka Dot Extravaganza!

Yayoi Kusama’s art explodes with endless polka dots. This is a simple yet engaging project that allows kids to explore patterns and repetition.

  • Materials: Canvas board (or large sheet of paper), tempera paint, paint brushes, cotton swabs or markers
  • Procedure: Paint the canvas board with a base color. Using paint brushes or cotton swabs dipped in contrasting colors, kids can create polka dots of different sizes all over the canvas. For a different approach, they can use markers to draw polka dots instead.

Louise Nevelson: Black and White Box Sculptures

Louise Nevelson’s monochromatic sculptures are studies in texture and form. This project allows kids to create their own mini-sculptures using recycled materials.

  • Materials: Cardboard boxes, scissors, black and white paint, glue
  • Procedure: Cut cardboard boxes into squares and rectangles of various sizes. Kids can paint them black or white. Once dry, help them glue the pieces together to create a three-dimensional sculpture. Encourage them to experiment with different shapes and arrangements.

Alma Thomas: Vibrant Circles Collage

Alma Thomas’s paintings are a kaleidoscope of vibrant circles. This project encourages kids to explore color and collage techniques.

  • Materials: Construction paper in various colors, scissors, glue, cardstock
  • Procedure: Cut construction paper into circles of different sizes and colors. On cardstock, kids can arrange the circles to create their own colorful composition. Once they’re happy with the layout, they can glue the circles down.

Faith Ringgold: Narrative Quilts

Faith Ringgold’s vibrant quilts tell stories. This project allows kids to create their own fabric narratives using fabric scraps and imagination.

  • Materials: Fabric scraps in various colors and patterns, felt, yarn, needle and thread (or fabric glue), markers or crayons
  • Procedure: Cut felt into squares to create the base of the “quilt.” On fabric scraps, kids can draw pictures or symbols that represent a story they want to tell. Help them sew the fabric pieces

Judy Chicago: Smoke Stack Stencils

Judy Chicago’s art often tackles social issues. This project uses stencils to explore themes of industry and the environment.

  • Materials: Cardboard, craft knife (adult use only), masking tape, spray paint (adult use only) or tempera paint and paint brushes, recycled materials (optional)
  • Procedure: Adults can help cut out simple shapes like smokestacks or factories from cardboard to create stencils. Secure the stencils with masking tape onto a piece of cardboard or paper. Kids can then use spray paint (with adult supervision) or tempera paint and brushes to create colorful impressions of the stencils. For an extra touch, they can add recycled materials like bottle caps or cardboard scraps to create a cityscape around the smokestacks.

Betye Saar: Assemblage Magic Boxes

Betye Saar’s assemblage sculptures combine found objects into powerful narratives. This project lets kids create their own miniature assemblage boxes.

  • Materials: Small boxes (shoeboxes or decorated cardboard boxes), paint (optional), collage materials (fabric scraps, buttons, beads, bottle caps, etc.), glue
  • Procedure: Kids can paint their boxes if they wish. Then comes the fun part: collecting collage materials! Encourage them to find interesting textures, colors, and shapes. Using glue, they can create a three-dimensional collage on the outside of the box, letting their imagination guide the composition.

Louise Bourgeois: Spider Web Sculpture

Louise Bourgeois’s spider sculptures explore themes of protection and vulnerability. This project uses yarn and recycled materials to create a delicate web sculpture.

  • Materials: Cardboard or paper plate, yarn (various colors), scissors, hole punch, recycled materials (twigs, buttons, beads, etc.)
  • Procedure: Punch holes around the edge of the cardboard or paper plate. Kids can then cut yarn into various lengths. Help them tie one end of each yarn piece to a hole in the cardboard. Next comes the weaving! Kids can crisscross the yarn to create a web-like structure. Attach recycled materials to the yarn for an extra touch, representing things the spider might catch in its web.

Laura Esquivel: Thread Paintings

Laura Esquivel uses thread to create vibrant and textured paintings. This project introduces kids to the concept of fiber art.

  • Materials: Canvas board (or thick cardboard), embroidery floss in various colors, sewing needle (adult use only), scissors, glue (optional)
  • Procedure: Adults can help thread needles with embroidery floss. Kids can then experiment with different stitching techniques on the canvas board, creating lines, shapes, or even filling in areas with dense stitching. For a more secure hold, you can add glue after the stitching is complete.

Barbara Hepworth: String Sculptures

Barbara Hepworth’s sculptures explore form and negative space. This project uses string and simple materials to create suspended sculptures.

  • Materials: Balloons (various sizes), string, yarn, markers (optional)
  • Procedure: Blow up balloons to different sizes. Kids can wrap yarn or string around the balloons, creating intricate patterns. Once the yarn is secure, carefully pop the balloons and remove the balloon remnants. You can then hang the string sculptures from the ceiling or a dowel rod to create a mobile effect. For an extra touch, kids can use markers to draw on the string.

Yayoi Kusama: Pumpkin Fun!

Yayoi Kusama loves pumpkins! This project is a playful exploration of her fascination with these iconic shapes.

  • Materials: Paper plates, orange paint, paint brushes, markers, construction paper (green), scissors, glue
  • Procedure: Paint the paper plates orange to create pumpkins. Once dry, kids can use markers to draw polka dots, stripes, or other patterns on the pumpkins. Cut out green construction paper leaves and stems, and glue them onto the pumpkins.

Claes Oldenburg: Soft Sculpture Cookies

Claes Oldenburg’s Pop Art sculptures often depict everyday objects in unexpected ways. This project lets kids create soft sculptures of their favorite cookies.

  • Materials: Felt squares in various colors (brown, white, black, etc.), stuffing (cotton balls, fabric scraps), needle and thread (adult use only) or fabric glue, scissors
  • Procedure: Cut felt squares into shapes that resemble cookies (circles, squares, hearts). Kids can then cut out details like chocolate chips or sprinkles from contrasting felt colors. Adults can help sew the felt pieces together, leaving an opening for stuffing. Once stuffed, sew the opening closed. For a no-sew option, use fabric glue to assemble the felt pieces.

Kara Walker: Silhouette Stories

Kara Walker’s silhouette art explores themes of race and history. This project introduces kids to silhouette art and storytelling.

  • Materials: Construction paper (black and white), scissors, flashlight, tape, markers (optional)
  • Procedure: In a darkened room, shine a flashlight onto a child standing against a wall. Trace the child’s silhouette on black construction paper. Cut out the silhouette and glue it onto white construction paper. Kids can use markers to add details and create a story around their silhouette.

Mickalene Thomas: Collage Portraits

Mickalene Thomas’s vibrant collages celebrate Black women. This project allows kids to create their own portraits using collage techniques.

  • Materials: Magazines (with diverse faces and patterns), scissors, glue, markers (optional), canvas board (or cardboard)
  • Procedure: Look through magazines for images of faces, clothing patterns, and interesting backgrounds. Kids can cut out these images and arrange them on the canvas board to create a portrait. Once they’re happy with the layout, glue the pieces down. For an extra touch, they can add details with markers.

Betye Saar: Button Mandalas

Betye Saar often used buttons in her assemblage art. This project lets kids create colorful button mandalas inspired by her work.

  • Materials: Cardboard or paper plate, buttons (various sizes and colors), glue
  • Procedure: Kids can arrange buttons in a circular pattern on the cardboard or paper plate, creating a mandala design. Encourage them to experiment with color combinations and sizes. Once they’re happy with the design, glue the buttons down.

Frida Kahlo: Surreal Selfies

Frida Kahlo’s self-portraits often have a surreal quality. This project encourages kids to create their own fantastical self-portraits.

  • Materials: Drawing paper, pencils, crayons, markers
  • Procedure: Have kids start by drawing a basic outline of their head and shoulders. Then comes the fun part: letting their imaginations run wild! They can add fantastical elements like animal features, extra eyes, or flowers growing from their hair. Encourage them to use bright colors and bold lines to create a truly surreal self-portrait.

Georgia O’Keeffe: Nature’s Textures

Georgia O’Keeffe’s close-up paintings often focus on textures. This project encourages kids to explore the textures found in nature through art.

  • Materials: Construction paper, crayons, leaves, pinecones, bark, or other textured objects from nature, glue
  • Procedure: Take the kids on a nature walk to collect leaves, pinecones, pieces of bark, or other textured objects. Back inside, kids can use crayons to create textured rubbings on construction paper. Simply place the textured object under the paper and rub the side of the crayon firmly across the surface. The texture of the object will be transferred onto the paper. They can then glue the actual nature objects onto the construction paper to create a mixed-media artwork.

This is just a starting point! There are countless women artists who have made incredible contributions to the art world. Explore their work with your kids, and who knows, you might spark a lifelong love of art!

Sohaib Hasan Shah

Sohaib's journey includes 10+ years of teaching and counseling experience at BCSS School in elementary and middle schools, coupled with a BBA (Hons) with a minor in Educational Psychology from Curtin University (Australia) . In his free time, he cherishes quality moments with his family, reveling in the joys and challenges of parenthood. His three daughters have not only enriched his personal life but also deepened his understanding of the importance of effective education and communication, spurring him to make a meaningful impact in the world of education.

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