Abstract art isn't just about random objects drawn or painted onto a canvas. It is an expression of the artist's emotions at the time of the piece's creation; it is intended to evoke an emotion in the viewer, as well. This can seem like a concept that would fly over the heads of many adults, let alone children, but with a few fun projects, kids can learn about this expressive form of art quite easily.

Emotion of Color

Step 1

Have your child sit down with some bottles of paint of various colors.

Step 2

Ask her what each color makes her feel. There are no right or wrong answers. Renowned abstract artist Wassily Kandinsky believed that color was powerful, and that it spoke directly to the soul.

Step 3

Explain to your child that in abstract art, you paint what you feel and that sometimes colors can represent what you feel as a way for others to see how you feel, too.

Step 4

Let your child use the colors to paint on the art paper. Tell her that she should just paint how she feels. It doesn't need to look like anything in particular. You may be surprised at the results.

Shape Shifting

Step 1

Have your child paint shapes and lines on a piece of art paper and let the paint dry.

Step 2

Instruct your child tear the painting into shapes that he thinks is interesting.

Step 3

Help your tot glue the torn shapes onto another piece of art paper. Abstract artist Willem de Kooning often used this method to create his works of art. This exercise teaches kids that abstract works of art use shapes to create compositions.

Drip Painting

Step 1

Fill small containers with paint.

Step 2

Allow your child to dip items such as sticks, rocks, plastic knives, and other found items into the paint.

Step 3

Tell your tot to use the item like a paint brush. Each item will produce different effects on the art paper.

Step 4

Explain that this method is like the painting style of abstractionist Jackson Pollock. He, too, used found items to drip and drag paint across his canvas. This process is known as "drip painting."