While school may be back for many folks, extracurricular activities are thin on the ground. Luckily, many art instructors have stepped up big time, providing free or low-cost online art classes for kids to keep them engaged and provide a creative outlet. These online art classes for kids combine the necessity of drawing instruction for kids with, well, those classes being free. And while online art classes aren’t a perfect replacement for in-person art classes, these classes will still help your kid get creative again.
These largely free online art classes for kids are for children of a variety of ages and provide instruction on everything from simple craft projects and beginner drawings to intermediate activities like water color painting and portraiture, using drawing videos, and creating classes that involve art for kids they’ll actually like.
Let’s face it, providing free classes that teach art for kids is no easy feat, and won’t replace them altogether environment of summer camp or claymation school. But these classes are classic, simple, and not too involved. The online art classes supply kids with a chance to brush up (get it?) on their art skills while stuck at home by using painting, drawing, and crafting skills to create beautiful, fun art. Here are eight of the best online art classes for kids that are either free or extremely affordable.
Skillshare Online Art Classes for Kids
Skillshare has 13, free online art classes for kids that range from a course on doodling for kids with an hour-long, 25 step drawing lesson, or 15 minute courses simply on how to draw one giraffe, also step by step. The courses teach kids how to draw a kitty cat and a puppy dog. They also focus on different materials, like how to paint with acrylic and watercolors. Stock up on some art supplies and set your kid in front of the computer.
Sparketh’s Kids Classes
Kids aged 6-18 can enjoy up to 1,000 free online art classes for 30 days on Sparketh. Kids can take nature drawing classes, animal drawing classes, learn how to draw and paint portraits, and more and can upload their art into a central portfolio on Sparketh and even create a student artist’s profile. There are dozens of courses on Sparketh, so any kid could find just about anything they want to create.
Lunch Time Doodles with Mo Willems
Every day at 1 p.m. ET, Brooklyn-based artist Mo Willems, illustrator of Knuffle Bunny, and the television series Sheep in the Big City of Cartoon Network, host a live class where Willems creates a new doodle. Kids (and adults, obviously) are invited to join along and doodle with him. The course is less ‘instructional’ and more focused on open-ended, creative play. It’s less of a class and more of a great post-lunch brain break than a lesson in mastery of basic art principles. The last class was uploaded on May 31 —but there are 20 awesome classes to choose from.
Carla Sonheim’s Kid’s Week
Carla Sonheim, the author of Drawing Lab, has a series of art classes that involve six lessons taught not just by Sonheim but also fellow artists and teachers Lynn Whipple and Diane Culhane. The classes, which all last less than an hour, only require a bit of time and basic art supplies. Lesson one? Drawing Picasso Dogs. Lesson three? Leaf printing. Lesson six? Modigliani Portraits. The classes are cool because they combine real artistry and artist style with basic, fun tasks that kids of any age can get behind.
Kitchen Table Classroom
The Kitchen Table Classroom, a free art website run by a 20-year-veteran art teacher, has a trove of online, completely free classes. There are printable crafts (parents can print out woodland animal masks to put together or a DIY unicorn headband kit) as well as painting classes, tutorials, and drawing courses. New courses, crafts, and materials are added regularly so parents can continue to check back to see what types of arts, crafts, and lessons are posted online.
Nature’s Art Club
Nature’s Art Club isn’t a free service, but at $10 a month, it’s a steal. The service features a monthly painting tutorial that is provided in either a PDF form or an online, step-by-step video tutorial for kids, a series of watercolor outlines to paint in, coloring pages, and worksheets to make the whole affair a bit more educational. As the courses are nature-based, there’s also educational material provided that helps kids can learn facts about what they are painting.
Thrive Art School
Thrive Art School is an actual art school that operates out of Seattle, Washington. Last week they uploaded a wide variety of art lessons on YouTube for the first time for parents who are stuck at home with their kids. The lessons are divided between beginner and intermediate artists. The beginner videos help younger kids learn how to draw tropical fish, creative castles, puppies, and dogs; the intermediate lessons provide instructions on how to draw octopi, water lilies, and lions.
Video School Online
The vaguely titled “Video School Online” offers tons of different types of classes for students of all ages — from photography to 3D printing. But, for those who just want to have some creative fun time, parents can enroll their child in Lori Lee Ebiner’s art class for beginners and kids. The $10 course contains eight different art projects that cover different skills from drawing, painting, to mixed media work. As far as supplies are concerned, kids only need a pencil, eraser, watercolor paint set, colored pencils, oil pastels, paper, scissors, and glue, and will get to work on projects titled ‘Entertaining Elephants,’ and ‘Brewster the Rooster’ among others. Each class contains an introduction to the project, a supply list, and a printable instruction sheet so students can follow along with, and pause, Lori’s videos as necessary.