Math with art takes two of my favorite things and combines them together into lovely math art projects! The math art activities we are doing today are great for kids of all ages and all grades and work well at home or in the classroom because it uses simple art supplies, can be done with a group (even at different grade levels) and results in beautiful, colorful, creative art made by kids.
Let’s Make Art with Math!
We love all art & craft activities for kids, but especially those that mix learning with art. In this shape art project inspired by the artist, Paul Klee, kids innately learn geometry, fractions and measurements while creating beautiful art.
Kids can mix colors and shapes in a way that expresses their artistic flair while absorbing math concepts.
Math Art Project for Kids of All Ages
This art math activity was done with a group of kids ranging in age from 3 years old to 3rd graders. It was fun being able to do a learning activity together, that multiple ages can learn from at the same time. I found it to be the perfect math art project for kids of all ages and levels in a group setting.
Shapes Inspired by Artist Paul Klee
We were inspired to create our project by the Castle and Sun work of Paul Klee:
More About Paul Klee, Artist
Paul Klee was a Swiss-born German artist. His highly individual style was influenced by movements in art that included expressionism, cubism, and surrealism…His works reflect his dry humor and his sometimes childlike perspective, his personal moods and beliefs, and his musicality.
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Art Supplies Needed for This Math Art Project
Prep for Kids Math Art Project
- I cut strips of construction paper that were 1 and a half inches thick.
- I then made squares from those strips (1 1/2″ x 1 1/2″) and rectangles by cutting double-wide squares (1 1/2″ x 3″).
- From some of the squares, we cut them in half to make triangles, mini-rectangles and tiny squares.
Directions for Art Math Project
Start by showing the children Klee’s work. Discuss how he fit a variety of shapes into a space to create a castle scene.
Introduce that we will be using the principles of creating larger images from smaller shapes and using a lot of visual space. They will be encouraged to completely fill their page with the shapes!
Give each child their base sheet of white construction paper.
Give kids access to the variety of shapes already cut from multiple colors of construction paper to glue onto their white construction paper base.
The rule: No overlapping pieces (or try to not have overlapping) and “fill” all the white.
Older students had to use a variety of shapes, they had to have one or more of each shape in their picture.
Younger kiddos could use just squares or squares and rectangles to fill their sheet.
Practicing Math Through Art
Without even realizing it, your kids are learning basic principles of geometry and how shapes and area interact. Show them how obvious some fractions are when the pieces are all the same shape, but notice how other shapes start appearing in fractions as well.
In the example pictured above:
- The upper left corner green square is 1/12th of the entire page.
- The upper middle red is 1/6th size
- And when you combine the 3 different shapes in the lower row, it is 1/3rd
If you want to add another learning element to the page for your older kids, ask them to explain in fractions how much a row or a particular shape or color takes up in the “space” of the image.
Finished Math Art Project: Beautiful Colorful Art
We have our math lessons hanging proudly on our wall as art…isn’t this just the best?
I am inspired to create more art this way.
- Multiple colors of construction paper to be cut into shapes
- White construction paper to be used as a base of the art project
- Scissors or preschool training scissors
- Glue or glue stick
- Prep for the art project ahead of time by cutting the colorful strips of construction paper into strips and then squares and rectangles that are multiples of those shapes: single wide and double wide with some that are cut as fractions of the original strip like 1/2 and 1/4.
- With a stack of colorful shapes, kids will fill in their paper creating a consistent space between the shapes and use the different size shapes for different art forms. The only rule is no overlapping pieces.
- Kids will glue pieces onto white canvas base of construction paper or poster board.
- (Optional) Look at the fractions within the finished math art work and discuss.
More Math Art Resources
I found a great little book with even more Math Art for Kids! It has 40 fun art projects to build amazing math skills.
Some of the projects include making pixel art, explore symmetry art, use equations, counting, addition and multiplication to create Fibonacci and golden rectangle art.
More Math & Art Fun from Kids Activities Blog
How did your Klee inspired math art project turn out?