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Art Club Ideas for KS1 and KS2

What is a school art club?

Art clubs are an important part of many children's education. Art is often squeezed into the packed school day and attending an art club outside of lesson time gives children a chance to enjoy art without needing to fit into the expectations of the National Curriculum. Art clubs often happen at lunch time or after school and make up part of the extra curriculuar learning available to children.

So whether you are setting up an art club or you are looking for new ideas for your established club continue reading for lots of easy art club ideas for KS1 and KS2 children. These ideas provide some fantastic art activities that are both fun and educational.

Children taking part in a group art activity top down display

Art Club Activities KS1

Art in KS1 should enable children to experience and experiment with a variety of different media and techniques. Here are our favourite activities for KS1 using clay, beads, masks and artists' work as inspiration.


Although messy, clay sculptures are perfect as a KS1 Art Club activity because they can be left for a whole week to dry before painting and varnishing. If children can’t quite manage standing structures, challenge them to roll a flat ‘plate’ of clay to work from. They could print leaves or shapes into the clay, or imprint their own patterns, pictures or designs.

Clay self-portraits is also a fun one! Check out this ready-to-teach activity from our Self Portrait scheme of work:

Rock Painting

Grab some pebbles and challenge your class to create their own pet rocks! You can add pipe cleaner tails, card wings, googly eyes – anything!

Alternatively, challenge them to make story rocks by painting the characters, props and settings of a well-known story onto various pebbles so they can retell the story.

Piet Mondrian Paintings

Piet Mondrian’s simple style is perfect for little artists to recreate. Challenge them to stick lines of masking tape across an A4 page, then paint in the gaps. Once the tape is removed, use a ruler to draw some black lines and voila! A perfect Mondrian replica.

Kandinsky Circles

Kandinsky’s famous circles are another great work of art that can be easily replicated by younger artists in lots of different ways. Using a coloured grid background, children can use cut-out circles of coloured paper layered on top of each other, as shown in this Colour Creations art lesson:

Paper Beads

This fun, simple activity will teach your KS1 Art Club how to make paper beads from triangles of paper. Once they’ve created the beads, they can string them together to make necklaces, keyrings, bracelets and loads of other things!

Making Masks

Making masks is a versatile Art Club activity that you can adapt to suit almost any purpose. Once you have the main template for a mask, you can create masks for story characters, animals, festivals, famous people...anything!

This activity from our African Art scheme of work provides mask templates for both traditional African masks and some African animals if you want something to start you off!

Art Club Activities KS2

Art in KS2 should enable children to build on their enjoyment of the subject and develop the skills they have.

Wassily Kandinsky

Learn all about the life and work of Kandinsky, with this free 3-lesson mini-scheme. Challenge children to sketch and develop their ideas for an abstract work of art of their own by simplifying drawings of people, animals, places and objects.

Photo Cut-Outs

This simple activity works with practically any photo or picture. Mask part of the photo and challenge children to complete the picture. These could be photos of the children themselves, famous portraits, pictures of animals, photos of buildings, flowers, landscapes...anything!

This lesson from our Tudors topic challenges children to complete Tudor portraits. Or why not try these free ‘Finish the Picture’ resources?

Step-by-Step Drawings

KS2 Art Club is the perfect place to help children really develop their drawing skills, and using step-by-step instructions to draw different objects, people or animals always goes down well! Check out these ‘Draw your own rainforest animals’ sheets from our Rainforest Topic or learn to draw Chinese dragons from scratch.

Palette Knife Painting

Painting with a palette knife isn’t a standard KS2 Art activity but it’s one that children will love and which can produce some fantastic results. In our Cityscapes scheme of work is a lesson that explores the palette knife technique used by Leonid Afremov. There are palette knife templates that children can cut from card to recreate these incredible works of art.

Still Life

Drawing from observation is a skill that any keen artist should spend time developing. The best way to do this is to physically put different objects (leaves, flowers, vases, fruits, vegetables, books… anything!) on the table in front of them and challenge them to draw what they see. If you don’t have time to gather these bits and pieces beforehand, high-quality photos will suffice, like the ones we provide in our William Morris scheme of work.

Another good challenge for still life observational art is to give children one colour, along with black and white, and challenge them to paint an object using tints and shade, like this activity from our Still Life lesson pack.


Ahh, Pointillism! Children love it and it’s easy to see why. There’s something very satisfying about all those little dots!

There are lots of ways you can create Pointillism artwork in your Art Club – give them cotton buds, the end of a pencil, the end of a paintbrush, or even a felt tip pen and challenge them to create or colour in anything at all! You could try landscapes, people, letters, patterns… the possibilities are endless. If you want a starting point, check out this Pointillism lesson pack which has some templates for the children to colour in using dots.

Vanishing Word Art

I remember learning this technique when I was about 10 and I was obsessed with it for a good few years! Not only does it create a lovely effect but it also helps teach your Art Clubbers about perspective and vanishing points. Download the full lesson here.

Op Art

Learning art ‘tricks’ is always fun and an activity your KS2 Art Club children will love. Try this simple hand art activity where, with just a few lines, children create the illusion of a hand popping out of the paper.

Or, teach them how to make circles that pop out of the page!

And if all else fails, try these super simple Art Club ideas:

    • Children to draw a series of lines all over their A4 page. These can be swirly lines or straight lines drawn with a ruler. Either way, they should overlap across the page. Once they have their outlines, challenge them to colour in each section, making sure to never have two sections of the same colour next to each other.
    • Provide each child with a mirror and tell them to draw their own self-portrait. To give this a twist, challenge them to colour in or paint their self-portraits using one colour only.
    • Provide each child with a sheet of dark blue or black paper. Demonstrate how to drop small blobs of paint onto the page, then blow into a straw to move the paint around. Instant firework art! Challenge them to see what happens when they drop two different colours in the same spot.
    • Ask children to get into pairs. Each child draws a simple squiggle on a sheet of paper – nothing massive, just a few lines. They then pass these squiggles to their partner who then has to create a picture out of the squiggles.
    • Take children into the computer room and challenge them to use a painting program to create a piece of digital art (abstract works well for this). Once each child has finished, print each one onto acetate and frame with black paper or card to create stained-glass windows.
    • Let them loose! How often do we let children just let their creativity flow? Provide them with paints, chalks, pastels, sketching pencils and any other resources you have around. You may also like to provide some prompts, like photos or famous works of art, and just see what they produce. You might be surprised what happens when they aren’t prescribed an activity!

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