Keeping Little Artists Busy: Creative Party Activities
September 26, 2018
Keeping little artists busy making bracelets with rainbow colored beads and letters

Party Activities for Little Artists like beading, collage, and painting

Keeping Little Artists Busy With Creative Party Activities

Keeping little artists busy can be a daunting task. Especially if you have several like at our Party Like Picasso birthday! Ages ranged from 5 to 8 years old and each guest successfully completed all three stations with minimal assistance. Please note….these are NOT activities for young children. I will be making of list of ideas for those ages at a later date. These party activities are most appropriate for 7+ but my teenage party assistant enjoyed them as well!

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Jackson Pollack Inspired Art

"Creative Juices" - Not just any drink bar will do for an Art themed birthday party where you can party like Picasso! Halfpint Design. Art party, painting party, rainbow party.

Our Party Like Picasso Art Party had a rainbow party palette which brings such an element of fun to all the decor and food. Actual paintings from our personal collection made perfect decor. As did art prints like this Jackson Pollack “Number One” {above} to get the creative juices going and hint at the activities to come. Labels and Creative Juices sign available here.

Keeping little artists busy with squirt gun painting on several outdoor canvases

Using the print as a visual aid {you can see a sliver of it at the very top of the photo above} we discussed Jackson Pollack, his drip painting techniques, and some philosophies of art.

After our brief art instruction each guest grabbed an 8×10″ wood framed canvas.

*NOTE: The flat wrapped canvases are less expensive but in my experience the cardboard core will warp when using water-based paints. They are fabulous for oil painting, but opt for the higher quality canvases when using watercolor or acrylic. Keep an eye out for great sales at Michael's to pick them up for a song. Keeping little artists busy at an art party with squirt gun painting on outdoor canvases

Each painter then selected a squirt gun filled with watercolor paint and took aim at her canvas. 6 guns each held a different color and the little artists shared and switched at regular intervals.

Keeping little artists busy. girls squirt gun painting on outdoor canvas

The canvas painters tarp was the perfect backdrop to catch errant sprays and keep the sport court {mostly} clean. But with watercolor paints and a hose, clean up was a breeze. A drop cloth also makes a fabulous backdrop behind a party table if your little artist wanted to create their own work of art to display at the party.

Little artist poses next to her work.

After 10 minutes the paintings were done and guests played outside until it was time to switch to the next activity station. Four artists was a good number to have painting at one time. You could set up several stations if you needed to get them all done at once. But be careful you keep the canvases separated by a few feet or they may get an accidental overspray.

The little artists were all so proud of their original works of art. And rightly so. They all turned out as unique as the artist.

Keeping little artists busy with squirt gun painting on canvas

In warm weather the paint will dry quickly but cooler temperatures equal a much longer dry time. Lay the canvases down flat so you don't lose all the color as it drips down and off the canvas. This activity is sure to be a hit for little artists of any age. I contemplated a paint filled egg toss but am happy we went with the squirt gun method for ease of preparation, cleanup, and application.

To host a Jackson Pollack-esque paint activity of your own you'll need:

Pablo Picasso Inspired Collage

Rustic wood hutch set up as a favor table with art supplies, Black and white floral bags with rainbow name tags and a personalized paint palette tag as Art Party Favors

The framed print “Portrait of Dora Maar” by Picasso on the Art Party Favor Table was another clue to the activity at Station 2. Favor tags and name labels available here.

Face sketches as a base for little artists

Inspired by these fabulous sketches downloaded from Le Dada de l'enfant Terrible we set out to create Picasso inspired collages.

Keeping little artists busy making Picasso inspired faces with different features cut out of magazines

Our art history education continued as we discussed Pablo Picasso and his habit of creating different views of the person in the same painting. We provided a drip art placemat, face template, glue stick, and cardstock “frame” for each guest. We collected pages of faces from magazines for a few months and allowed the guests to mix and match their features.

Keeping little artists busy making faces with different features cut out of magazines

I love how creative these little artists got with their portraits. This one {above} even used dog eyes!

Keeping little artists busy by working on an art project.

Keeping the group small was helpful to keep chaos at bay. But the activity was self directed and needed very little adult supervision for this group of 5-8 year olds.

Keeping little artists busy making Picasso inspired faces with different features cut out of magazines

I loved this one and her creative use of textures instead of actual ears and the addition of a hair bow!

Keeping little artists busy making Picasso inspired faces with different features cut out of magazines

Here are all 8 of the finished portraits complete with their paper frames.

If you are interested in this Picasso inspired collage activity you'll need:

Little Artists Making Bracelets

Art party place setting

Jewelry making was something my little artist was really excited about and we chose to display bead palettes on the table as part of the art party place setting.

Paint palette filled with rainbow colored beads. Keeping little artists busy at an art party.

Using paint palettes for the beads made for a beautiful table decoration as well as keeping each guests' bead supply nice and organized.

Keeping little artists busy making bracelets with rainbow colored beads and stretchy jewelry cording

Aside from the beads, the most important item is jewelry string that is nice and stretchy.

Keeping little artists busy with bracelet making

We tied an anchor bead to precut strings for each guest to make stringing easier. Without the anchor bead your guests WILL lose their creations as they all slide off the other side. Causing great frustration for everyone involved! Use a couple of square knots to keep it nice and tight.

Keeping little artists busy making bracelets with rainbow colored beads and letters

Then let your guests loose to use their imaginations and create rainbow necklaces and bracelets to their heart's content.

Keeping little artists busy making bracelets with rainbow colored beads

Art eraser favors inspired several necklaces, but personalizing jewelry with their own name seemed to be the winning design trend. Make sure you have an adult on hand to tie off the finished jewelry and see how proudly they wear their new accessories! This is a great filler activity that takes as much or as little time as you need. Once they finish a bracelet, encourage them to create a matching necklace if time permits. This was the only activity that our male guest wasn't super excited about but we came up with a beaded keychain for him instead.

To host a beaded jewelry making activity you will need:

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Art Party activities inspires by famous artists

Additional Reading

For more great art party ideas check out these other posts:

Halfpint Design, personal headshot, Bri Adams


  1. Beth

    This could be a fun party for “big” artists too! thanks for sharing!

  2. Holly

    Looks like these little artists had a blast! I love the activities and the creative juice!! Perfect!

  3. Susan

    You seriously always share the best ideas!

  4. Carolina

    Love crafting with kids!! Super cute and fun for sure!!

  5. Beth

    This is my kind of party! I wish I could attend one of these (even at my age!) Thanks for sharing!

  6. Lori Goldman

    These ideas are adorable! I’m totally doing the paint squirt gun with my daughter! We paint almost daily and she would love this twist on it. So fun!


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Gingerbread houses in a row as table runner centerpiece for a Christmas Cookie Exchange Party I’m Bri of Parties With A Cause. I’m a mother to three crazy awesome kids, interior designer, & party planning junky. I love reading, globe trotting, and frozen yogurt. And I’m elevating the party experience one cause at a time! Read More

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