Dream Worlds: Imaginative Mixed Media Art for Kids

The perfect mixed media art for kids. Collage a photograph & paint an imaginary world on plexiglass in this creative self portrait project by Catalina Gutierrez of Redviolet Studio.

Dream worlds - mixed media art for kids

I love to spark children’s imagination with a book before we start an activity. I find it to be a great way of connecting and silently starting to provoke them while I read and share the illustrations.  

The book that inspired this fun activity is “A World of Your Own” by Laura Carlin, an amazing children’s book that I love. If you ever get your hands on it, you will be surely captivated by the beautiful illustrations and the magical story behind it.

It narrates the life of a child who imagines a world of her own. In this world, houses are off the ground, factories are the shape of whatever they make (for instance a pencil factory, has the shape of a pencil), attendance to school is only once a month, passengers sit on top of trains…and so on.

Boy posed next to finished mixed media artwork on plexiglass

It’s the most wonderful imaginary world one can think of.

After reading this book, we got into a really fun conversation that started from one question: “What would a world of your own look like?” As you can imagine they were on a roll!

I had to curb their excitement a little, because they had lots and lots of ideas as to what their worlds would look like.

Anything from faucets running with chocolate instead of water, unicorns as pets, showering once a month, rainbow trees, living in a jungle home surrounded by wild animals, eating popsicles for breakfast and ice cream for dinner…

I jotted down just a few but the list was never ending and oh-so mind blowing!

Boy creating self portrait for mixed media art for kids

How to Create Mixed Media Art for Kids

I really hope you give this mixed media art for kids a go, because it is so much fun!

You don’t have to have the book I mentioned to get the kids into the fun of it. You can talk about what your own ideal world would look like. Then ask them to think about what theirs would look like and portray these ideas on the plexiglass. 

MATERIALSThis post contains affiliate links.

  • Paint markers
  • If using acrylics instead of paint markers, you will need a palette, brushes and jar with water.
  • Black fine point Sharpies
  • Clear plexiglass sheet or any photo frame with plexiglass 
  • B&W photo print out of the child
  • Contact paper
  • Stickers (optional)

1. Print photo

Begin by printing out a B&W photo of the child. Cut around the edge of the photo. Add clear contact paper to the back of it (sticky side up). Leave a border of contact paper so you can stick the photo to the back of the plexiglass.

Creating mixed media art for kids on plexiglass

2. Draw outlines on plexiglass

Give each child a sheet of plexiglass with his/her picture stuck to the back of it. Invite them to start creating their Dream World around their photo using black Sharpies.

Boy drawing self portrait for mixed media artwork

Talk about outlines, and let them know this is just the first step. They will be filling in their drawings with paint markers.

Boy drawing creating mixed media artwork on plexiglass

3. Paint with paint markers or acrylic paints

Bring out the paint markers and encourage them to cover the whole surface, except for the part that has their photo, adding even more details to their Dream Worlds. 

Note:: If you want to use acrylics instead of paint markers, they work great too. We did both and loved them.

Boy creating self portrait for mixed media art for kids

Ask questions about their worlds to engage them even more:

  • Which animals live there?
  • Is it cold?
  • Are there trees?
  • Does your world have flowers?
  • How about insects?
  • What do people eat? etc, etc.

Dream worlds – creating mixed media art for kids

4. Add stickers

Finally, bring out any fun stickers you may have around. Animals, insects, fairies, flowers, geometrical shape–anything works!

Dream Worlds– mixed media art for kids

Invite the children to add any stickers they want to include in their Dream Worlds.

Girl standing next to finished mixed media artwork self portrait

We really enjoyed this mixed media art for kids activity! I hope you enjoy it just as much!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Catalina is the founder of Redviolet Studio

Catalina is the founder of Redviolet Studio, a mobile art experience for children. She is originally from Colombia but has been based in Miami for the past 10 years.

Catalina teaches after school art classes for preschool and elementary kids and sensory art & play classes for toddlers. She is very interested in the Reggio Emilia approach to education where the children lead their own learning process with the teacher being more of a facilitator rather than a voice who shows them where to look and what to find.  She loves crafting with her boys and a good process art session.

Follow Catalina on Instagram and Facebook.

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The perfect mixed media art for kids. Collage a photograph & paint an imaginary world on plexiglass in this creative self portrait project by Catalina Gutierrez of Redviolet Studio. #kidsart #artforkids #kidsactivities #artsandcrafts #paintingideas #kidspainting #drawing

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