Home Schools & Teachers 39 Second Grade Art Projects Full of Imagination and Creativity

39 Second Grade Art Projects Full of Imagination and Creativity


By second grade, students have a better grasp of basic art concepts and will therefore love a chance to try out new techniques and materials. That’s why they’ll embrace these imaginative projects, which use a wide variety of media to create amazing results. Whether you want to introduce a famous artist like Monet to your students or introduce a concept like 3D sculpture, there really is something for everyone on our list. And parents will be impressed by the beautiful masterpieces their kids bring home to display!

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1. Try “painting” with yarn

Colorful yarn arranged in an abstract pattern to create art (Second Grade Art Projects)

Looking for a way to use up yarn scraps? Try this cool idea! Use pieces of clear self-adhesive shelf paper, and this second grade art project is a breeze.

Learn more: Picklebums

2. Pull string through paint

Painted designs made by pulling paint-covered string along black paper

String-pull painting has become a trendy craft in recent years, and second grade art students will love getting to try it. The abstract designs they’ll create will definitely wow everyone.

Learn more: One Little Project

3. Tear paper to create landscapes

Artwork made by tearing construction paper to create a cityscape.

First have kids draw landscapes, cityscapes, or seascapes on manila paper. Then show them how to tear construction paper into pieces to fit their designs and glue into place. Finally mount the masterpieces on large pieces of construction paper.

Learn more: Tru-Ray® Construction Paper

4. Paint paper flowers

Paper flower made from petals cut from painted paper (Second Grade Art)

Start by having kids create their own colorful patterned paper using paints. Then, cut out petals and assemble these gorgeous flowers.

Learn more: Color It Like You Mean It/Paper Flowers

5. Carve ancient rock art

Clay tiles with cave-painting inspired designs

First, spend some time learning about cave paintings in places like the American Southwest. Then, use terra-cotta clay to make your own.

Learn more: Deep Space Sparkle

6. Experiment with crayons

Four crayons are taped together. Lines are created on paper from the taped crayons (second grade art)

This is the perfect second grade art project to do in a pinch since all you will need are crayons, tape, and paper. In addition to taping crayons together and coloring with them, you can have your students experiment with crayon etchings and mixing colors by overlaying them.

Learn more: Crayola/Creative Coloring

7. Float paper hot-air balloons

Hot air balloon made by weaving strips of paper

Once kids learn the trick to making these 3D hot-air balloons, they’ll weave them in no time. Then, they can spend time adding details to the background, like clouds, birds, or kites flying by!

Learn more: Easy Peasy and Fun

8. See yourself in the abstract

Photo portrait of a child against an abstract background (Second Grade Art)

Kids start by painting an abstract background. Then they add a photo of themselves with a collage of text strips about their favorite things, dreams, and wishes.

Learn more: Abstract Self-Portraits/Art With Mrs. Filmore

9. Assemble 3D paper robots

Colorful paper robots mounted on construction paper

Kids love robots! These 3D paper creations are so fun to create, and kids can use a variety of materials to make them.

Learn more: Paper Robots/Art With Mr. Giannetto

10. Take a bite out of this craft

A blue plastic fork lays beside a crafted piece of pie made from tissue paper and cotton balls.

This would be the perfect craft do do around Thanksgiving, but we think it would work anytime. Bonus: If you have a toy kitchen in your classroom, this craft can double as a toy!

Learn more: A Night Owl/Pumpkin Pie

11. Illustrate an underground world

Children's illustrations of underground worlds (Second Grade Art)

Dream up an imaginary world deep beneath the soil. Kids can take inspiration from illustrators like Beatrix Potter and Garth Williams.

Learn more: Underground World/Mrs. Knight’s Smartest Artists

12. Mix up a color wheel umbrella

Illustration of an open umbrella shaded like a color wheel, with lower body and feet at the bottom

Mixing and contrasting colors are key concepts for young art students to learn. These cute umbrellas are a fun way to see the color wheel in action using liquid watercolors.

Learn more: Leah Newton Art

13. Plant spring flower boxes

Clay planter box with paper flowers (Second Grade Art)

Start by having second grade art students paint an oblong cardboard box with terra-cotta paint and fill it with paper shreds for soil. Then, craft paper flowers and plant a fresh display of color!

Learn more: Planter Boxes/Use Your Coloured Pencils

14. Trace and color circle art

Abstract art of circles in bright colors (Second Grade Art)

Take inspiration from artists like Kandinsky and Frank Stella and make bold geometric art pieces. Kids can trace around lids or plates to make circles or try them freehand.

Learn more: Circle Art/Art Room Blog

15. Create some beaded wind chimes

A paper plate is painted pink and has strings with beads on them hanging down from it (second grade art)

This is a second grade art project that will take multiple classes to complete, but the end result will totally be worth it. Be sure to really bring it in the supply department with different-colored straws, a variety of beads and pipe cleaners, and some jingle bells.

Learn more: First Palette/Beaded Wind Chimes

16. Surprise them with ferocious creatures

Illustrations of creatures that reveal their fanged mouths when the paper is unfolded

The best art provokes a reaction—in this case, surprise! Fold the paper and sketch your figure’s face, then open it to add a gaping mouth full of teeth.

Learn more: CraftWhack

17. Piece together mosaic fish

Paper fish mosaics (Second Grade Art)

Mosaics take a lot of planning, but the results are always so cool. This is a terrific project for using up scraps of construction paper too.

Learn more: Fish Mosaics/Art With Mr. Giannetto

18. Dive deep for underwater portraits

Illustrations of children underwater with snorkels and masks

Art is all about encouraging kids to see themselves in unique new ways. Underwater self-portraits allow kids to imagine themselves enjoying life under the sea!

Learn more: The Artsy Fartsy Room

19. Float sponges to create sailboats

Two sailboats are constructed from sponges, toothpicks, and paper as sails. They are seen floating in a bowl of water (second grade art)

These sailboats are easy to replicate with just sponges, wood skewers, card stock, and glue. You can even race them in a big tub of water by having students blow air into a straw to push their boat across the water.

Learn more: Easy Peasy and Fun/Sponge Sailboat

20. Replicate Monet with tissue paper

Monet-style lily pond made from tissue paper pieces (Second Grade Art)

Tissue paper art replicates the soft lines and translucent colors of Monet’s impressionist style. Use this technique to create your own peaceful lily pond.

Learn more: 123 Homeschool 4 Me

21. Sketch springtime bunnies and bears

Black and white drawings of a bear and bunny with colorful flower backgrounds (Second Grade Art)

The soft and colorful flowers in the background contrast sharply with the patterned lines of these friendly creatures. Take the pressure off kids by letting them trace the animal shapes so they can focus on adding texture instead.

Learn more: Bears and Bunnies/Art With Mrs. Filmore

22. Hang a wreath collage

Paper wreath with tissue paper flowers

One of the best things about this second grade art project is that you can really tailor it to the seasons. In addition to spring flowers, consider fall leaves and paper acorns, or holly leaves and poinsettia flowers.

Learn more: Wreath Collages/Use Your Coloured Pencils

23. Draw a stuffed animal still life

Drawings are shown of stuffed animals (second grade art)

Your students will definitely be excited to bring their favorite stuffed buddy to school. They will be even more excited when they realize it is going to be the subject of their next art project!

Learn more: Art Is Basic/Stuffed Animal Still Life Drawing

24. Draw windy-day houses

Drawing of a house and trees bending in the wind (Second Grade Art)

Watch trees blowing in the breeze on a windy day. Then take a look at the work of Gustav Klimt and emulate his style for the bendy trees in this project. Then let your imagination take hold and add leaning buildings too!

Learn more: Art at East, Union and More

25. Sculpt birds in their nests

Clay birds in clay nests with eggs

This is a cool project to do if your students are also studying birds in science class, but they’ll enjoy it even if they’re not. Kids can try to re-create real birds, or let their imagination fly and dream up an entirely new species.

Learn more: BES Art Blog

26. Make Not-a-Box sculptures

A cottage scene sculpture is shown. (second grade art)A basketball court scene is shown made from paper (second grade art)

Before beginning this project, read the book Not a Box with your students. Be sure to set aside multiple class periods to work on these since your students will likely get carried away, in a good way!

Learn more: Art With Ms. Em/3D Not-a-Box Paper Sculpture

27. Explore culture with Native totem poles

Paper totem pole of an owl (Second Grade Art)

Begin by learning about the importance of totems and totem poles to First Nations people of the Northwest Coast. Then have kids choose symbols that are meaningful to them to create their own paper totems.

Learn more: Totem Poles/Jamestown Elementary Art Blog

28. Scream for these ice cream sculptures

A little girl is shown holding a sculpture of an ice cream sundae (second grade art)

A little boy is shown working on his ice cream sundae sculpture (second grade art)

Pick up some model magic, then grab your markers and paint and let your students’ imaginations run wild. They will definitely get a kick out of how realistic their ice cream sundaes look!

Learn more: Saint James School/Ice Cream Sundae Art

29. Cut out paper collages

Collages of colored paper shapes (Second Grade Art)

These collages may just look like random scraps of paper, but there are actually multiple art concepts in use here. Kids should be able to identify organic vs. geometric shapes and primary vs. secondary colors.

Learn more: Art Room 104

30. Fold origami whales

Paper origami whales on a blue construction paper background

Origami whales with curling paper water spouts add dimension and texture to these compositions. Second grade art projects that use folding and cutting give kids a chance to improve their fine motor skills too.

Learn more: Origami Whales/Art With Mr. Giannetto

31. Print symmetrical tigers

Symmetrical tiger faces printed with paint on colored backgrounds (Second Grade Art)

Second graders might be a little young to understand the “fearful symmetry” of Blake’s Tyger, but they’ll enjoy using the paint-and-print technique to make these wild faces.

Learn more: Tiger Prints/Mrs. Knight’s Smartest Artists

32. Paint reflected fall trees

Painting of fall trees reflected in water

Kids will be fascinated to see how wetting the bottom half of the paper changes and mutes the paint colors. Use oil pastels to add lines and water effects.

Learn more: Elements of the Art Room

33. Coil up some snails

Snails made by coiling clay for the shells (Second Grade Art)

Clay can feel a little intimidating, but it’s not too difficult to roll a long “snake” and coil it up. Add a body with eyestalks, and the sculpting is done!

Learn more: The Clever Feather

34. Fill watercolor vases with tissue flowers

Line drawings of patterned vases on watercolor backgrounds with tissue paper flowers

The watercolor wash in the background is set off by the geometric-patterned lines of the vases in the foreground. The tissue paper flowers add another bit of texture to this mixed-media project.

Learn more: Watercolor Vases/Art Room Blog

35. Plant a pumpkin farm

Colorful drawing of pumpkins on a striped hillside

These unique pumpkin patches are so fun to make. Ask your students to make the pumpkins as realistic as they can. Then, they can set their imagination free and make the rest of the composition as unrealistic as they like!

Learn more: Color It Like You Mean It/Pumpkin Patch

36. Craft reading self-portraits

Self-portraits of students reading books (Second Grade Science)

This is one of our favorite twists on a self-portrait! Kids can include their favorite book or make one up that tells the story of their own life.

Learn more: Reading Self-Portraits/Use Your Coloured Pencils

37. Walk among a birch tree forest

Child's painting of a birch tree forest with small animals

These landscape paintings help kids understand the concepts of foreground, middle ground, and background. They’ll also use techniques like wax-crayon-resist and cardboard printing.

Learn more: Birch Forest/Art With Mrs. Filmore

38. Escape to a silhouette island

Silhouette pictures of desert islands, ships, and dolphins against a sunset sky (Second Grade Science)

Take a trip to a tropical isle and learn art concepts like warm colors, silhouettes, and horizon line. Each piece will be unique, but they’ll all be masterpieces!

Learn more: Silhouette Islands/Art With Mr. Giannetto

39. Paint some snakes

A painting shows a tree stump with a snake painted around it (second grade art)

It will be fun to see how different each of your students’ paintings come out despite starting with the same premise. We love that this second grade art project teaches about perspective as parts of the snake’s body will be visible while other parts will be hidden.

Learn more: Expression of Imagination/Snakes

What are your favorite second grade art projects? Come share your ideas in the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.

Plus, check out 35 Collaborative Art Projects That Bring Out Everyone’s Creative Side.

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