I love teaching art and finding a new, creative art project for kids to do. I also love when the art activity is simple enough that all children can be successful doing it. The added bonus to this art project is that it is inexpensive and easy to prepare.
I have been using this art project for kids for many years, with many grade levels of children. I continue to use it because it creates a beautiful piece of art and children always enjoy creating it.
You don’t need a lot of materials for this project. One thing you will need, if you want to create a large friendship wheel, is large paper.
- Large White Paper (Or a roll of paper – Link below)
- Markers, Crayons, Pencil Crayons (Use what you have available)
I typically use a large roll of paper that I purchased years ago. The roll has lasted me years and many friendship wheels.
If using a roll of paper, measure out two strips of paper, about 1 metre long. I tape the sheets together along the bottom to create one thick sheet of paper.
Then, I cut a large circle into the two taped sheets. Next, fold the circle into sections. If your circle is quite large, folding it into 8 slices gives each child a good size.
If you are using a smaller sheet of paper, you can fold it into less slices. Even 3-4 slices can work.
Keep in mind, the bigger the section, the longer and more detailed children will need to be to fill it.
I like to give children the choice for what medium (crayon, pencil crayon or marker) that they want to use. I have an assortment available to them.
Once you have the paper and something to colour with, you are ready to create!
Art Project for Kids Steps
I often use this art project for kids at the beginning of the year in one of our first art classes, however, you can do it at any time of year.
The first thing that I suggest every child to add to their slice, is their name. They can choose any spot, but I suggest that they make it big.
Once the child’s name is on the slice, then they begin adding drawings that reflect all about them. As children add pictures about themselves, they can talk to the other members in their group about their pictures.
As children draw, they cannot go outside of their slice. However, they can take part of a drawing that the person beside them started, and change it, using the same basic shape and turn it into something about them.
For example, a leaf to show a love of nature, can turn into a basketball for another child.
The circle from a watermelon becomes a soccer ball. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it does need to connect in some way.
Children draw their favorite foods, sports equipment, hobbies and even animals.
This twist on this art project for kids, is this added challenge of connecting their drawings to the person beside them.
It can be challenging to find a way to connect their pictures to their elbow partner, but when they are done, there is a beautiful flow to the picture as though it was made by one artist.
My favouite thing about this project is the conversations that happen when children are drawing. They talk about what they are drawing and tell stories to their group members about their pictures.
This is why it is a wonderful team building art project for kids. The friendship wheel encourages children to talk about themselves as they learn about each other.
This is why I love to do this project at the beginning of the year. Children not only have to work together to make their final project, but they learn about each other when doing it.
I also love the fact that this art project for kids requires materials that are usually available at school or home or at least inexpensive to buy.
If you are not able to have children all sit close together, this art project for kids can also work in the same way, but you can cut each slice out of the circle for each child.
Once children have completed their slice, all pieces can be put together.
The pieces will not connect up the same way they would if children were sitting together and working together; however, the completed piece of art is still one of the most beautiful pieces of children’s art I have had children create in class.
When I did this activity with an older group of children, we did it in the same way to begin. Children connected pictures on their slice with with the people beside them to create one huge circular picture.
However, I gave children the opportunity to add to their picture by using as many mediums to colour with – crayons, paint, markers, pencil crayons.
I also set out construction paper for them to add some extra details by cutting out images with the paper and glue them onto their slice.
I typically use this art project for kids in the classroom, however, it also creates a beautiful piece of art for families to create together.
The page of paper that I used is quite large, but the size gives children the chance to have enough space to create and draw. However, you can create the friendship wheel using a smaller piece of paper.
Another way that I have tried this art project for kids is by having the circles cut out and ready and having children walk around and add a drawing to each circle, or each slice.
As they move from each friendship wheel, they leave a little bit about themselves.
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More Hands-On Teaching Ideas
If you are looking for more great hands-on activities for kids to do at home or school, check out my other activities including art, science, printables, and even escape rooms.
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