Give Your Students a Winter Break Art Challenge!

I distinctly remember my Elementary art teacher giving us a winter break art challenge. She sent home a slip of paper with all of the students with an optional creative activity or drawing task for each day. If we turned in the slip upon returning from break, we would get a prize. I remember working so hard each day to complete the assigned tasks. I remember how it felt to be handed my first paint palette as the prize, and I remember how one of my drawings impressed her so much, she laminated it for me (woo hoo) I still have that drawing today. (Did I mention this was when I was a 1st grader?)

Obviously this whole art challenge ordeal had a huge impact on me. So, what did I decide to carry on when I became an art teacher some years later? The winter break art challenge, of course!

This doesn’t take a lot of time or money, but will be a hit with so many of your students, who truly do get bored during break and crave the structure that school assignments bring. Here is a sample of the daily activities I’ve given to my students to use over break. I am sure you can think of a million other ideas to add to this list based upon your student population, their ages, and interests. Feel free to download mine as a PDF, or use it as inspiration to make your own.

Giving a winter break art challenge can help signify to students and parents that art is important. It reminds kids that practicing their craft (just like any other sport, hobby or career) will help them improve. It also helps advocate for your art program by keeping “art” at the “heart” of family priorities both in and out of school.

Do you send home a winter break art challenge, or something similar?

What other ideas do you have for keeping art “alive and well” with your students and their families?

Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.


Jessica Balsley

Jessica Balsley is AOEU’s Founder and a former AOEU Writer and elementary art educator. She is passionate about helping art teachers enhance their lives and careers through relevant professional development.

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