Art projects for kids — from toddlers to teenagers — from the Philadelphia Museum of Art

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Quarantine parenting is partly about figuring out how to fill each day — without relying solely on endless streams of TikTok, cartoons, and video games.

We asked staff at the Philadelphia Museum of Art to share some of their favorite at-home projects — for toddlers to teenagers. All rely on everyday items that can be found around your house.


Art All Around Scavenger Hunt and Photo Challenge

This project is in two-parts: first, a mini scavenger hunt of everyday objects, followed by a photo exhibition.

“One of my favorite parenting hacks, especially now, is moving forgotten toys to new and unexpected places,” says Liz Yohlin Baill, the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s collections interpreter for youth and families. “Many artists are experts at this — recontextualizing the mundane in new and inspiring ways, and we can apply those same ideas to keeping kids busy while helping them think creatively.”

Pick a theme for your scavenger hunt such as a color, shape, and/or pattern, like “blue” or “striped and square.” Move a few toys, or just regular household items, that fit the theme to new places in the house. It can be as simple as moving the basketball from upstairs to downstairs, or placing a kitchen spatula on your living room coffee table.

Search and gather. Tell the kids to wander around your home to look for objects that fit the theme and gather them together.

Power up the camera on your phone. With the objects laid out in front of them, this is your kid’s opportunity to discover what it means to be a photographer. Give your child your phone, and let them capture the treasures from your scavenger hunt.

“Shape, color, and patterns are key to early childhood development,” says Baill. “Have fun organizing the materials in different ways.”

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