How to get creative with children



Share stories

Look under the “Community” section of the Stratford Literary Festival website, where you can learn how to draw the anti-crime heroine from What the Ladybird Heard or recreate your own Grumpycorn. (

Palm Art Hacks

A series of short films on YouTube show how, by drawing around your hand, you can create, for example, a dog, Santa Claus, a bird.

Art history books

The Lonely Puppy, by Yoshitomo Nara

Nara is one of the coolest artists working today known for his sweet yet sinister paintings of animals and children. This story is about a puppy so big that no one notices it until a determined little girl climbs high enough to be her friend.

A story in pictures by David Hockney and Martin Gayford

An adventure through the history of art, from cave paintings to video games. Also, Meet the Artist: David Hockney is a great activity book (I like the page where you have to draw different types of splashes on the surface of a swimming pool).

Meeting with Cézanne by Michael Morpurgo and the Anholt’s Artists series

Older children will enjoy Michael Morpurgo’s Meeting Cézanne, in which the War Horse author adapts the true story of a young boy who accidentally threw a tablecloth that Picasso had scribbled on in a fireplace. Each title in the popular Anholt’s Artists series – Leonardo and the Flying Boy, is one – also has a real child as its protagonist, “so that a young reader can make their way through the story,” explains the author and illustrator Lawrence Anholt.

ABCs of Art by Sabrina Hahn / And Wasn’t Sorry series / The boy who bitten Picasso

For the younger ones, Sabrina Hahn’s excellent ABCs of Art uses some of the world’s most iconic paintings to learn the alphabet, and Phaidon’s “and Wasn’t Sorry” series is wonderfully irreverent – Jackson Pollock splashed with water. painting and was not sorry etc. We also enjoyed the Boy who Bit Picasso by Antony Penrose (son of Lee Miller and Ronald Penrose).


Art with Mati and Dada

Artists from Degas to Canaletto receive cartoon treatment on Youtube. (I’m sure if you watch enough they’ll grate, but the two or three I tried were quite charming).


Twenty kid-friendly audio tracks animated by images depicting various works of art, including The Lights Going on and Off by Martin Creed, which is likely to wow their little minds.

Tate children

Unsurprisingly a gold mine. What is surrealism? What is Pop-Art? Who was Robert Rauschenberg? Jacqueline Wilson on her favorite art. Paint with chocolate. You can also download coloring pages. (


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