One of my favorite programs to do is an Open Art Studio. The initial cost can be a bit high, but the materials are usually enough to last for several programs. While the program is advertised for students in fifth through twelfth grades, I have had participants as young as second grade join the fun. This is a chance for the artists to try different mediums and to let their creativity flow free.
I usually set up three different stations: painting, drawing and sculpting. For the most recent program I set up two painting stations. One station was for acrylic paints; the other station was for guache and water color paints. The drawing station includes colored pencils, markers, charcoal, chalk pastels, oil pastels and crayons. The sculpting station has two types of clay and, for the next program will also include plaster pieces to be sculpted. Appropriate tools for each of the stations are also available.
Drawing and Sculpting Stations. Note that there is paper available to keep the tables relatively clean!
Painting stations. I found a plastic drop cloth in our supplies and used it to cover both tables. Made cleaning up much easier!
Idea station. I always display several instructional and informational books on a variety of aspects of art. I also go and fetch other books as the need arises. For example - one boy's painting was very abstract. Since he wasn't sure what abstract art was, I found a book on it in our collection and brought it in the room for him to see.
Some of the artworks created that day:
A closer view:
Artists at work: