Do you need a recipe to do art? How about ART recipes?

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 So could or SHOULD kids create art through a recipe?

If you know my aversion to copy cat crafts I’ll bet you are thinking; Aha! I thought you don’t believe in copycat arts and crafts.

Well it’s true, I don’t, but this is not copycat arts and crafts  (even if it does say recipe) since its just a recipe for the ingredients not how to make it.

art recipe 1

This activity had a few goal aside from creativity and thinking:

  1. I wanted to see what the children could make if they confined themselves to using only exactly what I gave them.
  2. It’s partly a reading activity along with the art. Next to each material I wrote the name of the material to help them recognize those words.
  3. It’s also a math activity as they have to read the number and count out what they needed

art recipe 3

art recipe 2

I   only made 3 different recipes like you see here.

What happened was…the children did follow by taking the amounts of stuff they needed and put them on their trays to work with.

However, once they got to their trays, they really just chose from the materials they had to make what they wanted.

The older children’s work was of course, more representational as you see below, but it would be interesting if you told the children they had to use all the materials they took on their plates or trays. That would give them something more to think about.

Be aware also that the pictures below came from different recipes. ( don’t remember which came from which but, you could probably figure it out if you wanted to)


q tips and cotton from recipe
face with cotton balls
house out of straws

strings and straws from art recipe aluminum foil and straws from recipe house out of straws and yarn

Leave a Comment:

15 comments
maryanne @ mama smiles says May 3, 2013

What a fun way to get kids’ creative wheels turning! I really like this idea!

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gary says May 3, 2013

If you do it I’d love to see some images of how it worked for you

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Kylie @ Octavia and Vicky says May 4, 2013

I love using these ‘recipes’ with my 5, 6 and 7 year old students during our design and technology classes. It’s so cool seeing where their imagination takes them 🙂

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gary says May 5, 2013

How do you use them in the design and technology classes?

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Jyoti says May 6, 2013

Nice Post 🙂 Some very useful information in your blog. Very nice arts and crafts blog 🙂

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gary says May 6, 2013

Thanks so much

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Sarah says July 9, 2013

I love this idea! Will be trying this with my kids. Can’t wait to see what they come up with!

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gary says July 9, 2013

Great. Just be aware that they don’t always use all of the materials in the recipe

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Catherine Fuller says July 9, 2013

I love this idea! Often times I will give them a box of building supplies and ask them to…build a castle etc., but this is a great idea for so many reasons. Sometimes when I just give them the box they get stuck, other times they need to learn specific things along the way and this makes sure I don’t miss anything! love it ty!

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gary says July 9, 2013

Yes, Catherine. It is similar to give them just stuff to build with but, the difference here is making them focus a bit more and getting some reading and math skills in there as well.

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hsmominmo says July 11, 2013

love this! It’s art, and math and reading and boredom busting all rolled up in one.
thank you for sharing this!

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gary says July 11, 2013

and some direction following as well. Thanks

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Natalie says July 11, 2013

What an awesome idea. I want to try it during a playdate and see what 2 different kids would come up with. Pinning it now.

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gary says July 11, 2013

For every kid you’ll get different results

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Carrie says July 12, 2013

What a neat idea. Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!!

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