Children's Art Day 2010: Activities for your class

By Rachel Hayward | 14 July 2010
Showing Children's Art Day logo against a purple circle background

(Above) Children's Art Day 2010. Courtesy engage

There are over 180 participatory events for families and children taking place across the UK to celebrate Children's Art Day (July 12 - 18, 2010). To find out what's happening in your area, click on the engage website link.

Arty activity suggestions for your class

From the Design Museum, London
Make The Most Amazing Machine in the World!
- Take one plain white box and a lot of imagination.
- This white box will be The Most Amazing Machine in the World and it's your job to design it. As the designer, you will need to consider the following... What does the machine do? For example, it could be a Cloud Chaser which stops rainy days, or a Super Telescope that allows you to see other countries, or even into the future.
- Ask yourself some questions: Does my machine need buttons? Does my machine need dials? what do the buttons and dials do?
- Make a sketch of your machine
- decorate the box to create your machine

- Imagination
- A plain white box (you can either make this yourself from white card or buy one from an art shop
- Scissors
- Felt pens
- Anything else that you find inspiring: pipecleaners, glitter, sequins, buttons...the list is endless…

The Design Museum's Children's Art Day event: Sketch the City is this Sunday July 18, 2010.

From Rufford Craft Centre, Newark, Nottinghamshire
Make a Camera Obscura
- Choose a room in your house with a pale coloured wall opposite a window. This experiment works best on a sunny day.
- Using card, bin-bags or tinfoil and black tape, completely block out all the light coming from the window(s).
- Use a hole punch to make one hole in a small piece of black card.
- Using a pair of scissors, cut a hole a little smaller than this piece of card in your blackout, and tape the card over, leaving just the small circular hole visible. Cover this hole with a little flap of black tape.
- Having made sure the room is completely lightproof, get your mates round and sit them on the floor. Switch the lights off and wait for five minutes to let you eyes adjust.
- Remove the tape flap. You will now be able to see a projected upside down image of the scene outside your room, with people walking across the ceiling, and clouds drifting across the wall!
- The device you have just made is called a camera obscura (Latin 'dark chamber') and was first constructed by Alhazen, an Iraqi mathematician , in the 10th century. It relies on the fact that light rays travel in straight lines, and by making the rays small (using a small hole) they pick out an image inside the room.

Rufford Craft Centre's Children's Art Day event is Camera Obscura Drawing. It's this Sunday July 18, 2010, from 11am - 4pm behind the Abbey and is a free drop in activity with artist Jon Legge.

From firstsite, Colchester
Lifecycle: Making, Using and Reusing Objects
Think about the life cycle of the things in your bag or in your pocket. The life cycle of an object will start when the materials are created or found and may end with it on a rubbish dump, or you may use it for a long time.

Artists and designers think about this too and reuse or recycle objects into new objects or new works of art. What could you turn your object into next?

Have a look in your bag or pocket and choose an object to investigate…might be a pencil case, a book or a plastic juice bottle.
- Take something out of your bag now, put it in front of you and answer these questions to see where Lifecycle takes you.
- What are the materials used in making of your object? (Don't forget things like glue or thread that you might not be able to see) List them here.
- Do you think any of the materials are natural or are they made by people? Make a list with these titles Natural / People Made.
- Do you think anything is recycled in your object?
- Who do you think made the object? Draw them or it here.
- Did anyone design it? Draw the design if you can imagine it.
- Can you tell where it was made? Does it say 'Made in…………………..'? (write down the name of the country or town).
- How did it get from that place to your bag? Write or draw the journey it took and think about the transport it used.
- How many miles do you think it has travelled? Have a guess if you don't know in miles.
- Now think about what you would turn it into next so that you can make the object have another life after you have finished using it. Draw and name the thing you have created.

firstsite's Children's Art Day event is Lifecycle, with artist Jevan Watkins Jones and it's on this Saturday July 17, 2010, 11am - 4pm as a drop-in activity.

Share your pupils' work
If you would like to share your pupils' work then firstsite would love to see what they have created. You can send their work as an attachment to and firstsite will display it.

More online resources from firstsite
We're impressed by the fun, cross-curricular online make and do activity suggestions from firstsite.

A competition too!
New this year to celebrate Children's Art Day is Look Out London, a competition for London schools in co-operation with The Big Draw.

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