Art Centers

Instructions for Art Centers

Art centers are a great chance for students to explore techniques and supplies that I have taught them while giving them control of personal choice on subject matter. Students of every grade love to do this. I can use this as an assessment tool as well be observing how well the students are able to work on their own without direct instruction. There will be different supplies at each table and they will rotate every 5-10 minutes (depending on the level of engagement observed). Students will start out in their assigned seats and rotate with their table group to the different tables. To make supplies easier for me to manage some students may need to be moved to a new table just for the day to try and keep it to 4 students per table.

Any drawings, paintings, or collages created make be taken with them. (Clay may not be taken. )


Station 1:Free Draw Center

Students may draw of picture of their choice using the supplies provided.


  • Basket of coloring supplies from free choice shelf
  • Box of copy paper (no more than 2 pieces per student)
  • Yellow box of how to draw books (remind younger students not to color IN books)
  • Blue bucket of pencils,scissors and glue)


Station 2:Clay Center

Students each get one tub of clay (should be 4). They may sculpt something of their choice. Clay must stay on the placemats to keep the tables clean.


  • 4 placemats (laminated pieces of 12X18 paper)
  • Black basket of clay and sculpting tools


Station 3: Collage Center

Students may create artwork by cutting shapes out of paper and gluing it down to their background paper. They are cutting and gluing rather than drawing. Remind students that the scrap paper is organized into three color types. Warm Colors (reds, yellows, oranges), Cool Colors (blues, greens and purples) and Neutral Colors (brown, black, white). They are expected to put away any unused scraps in the correct color boxes.


  • Warm Colors (reds, yellows, oranges) paper
  • Cool Colors (blues, greens and purples) paper
  • Neutral Colors (brown, black, white) paper
  • Blue supply bucket of pencils, glue sticks and scissors
  • Bucket of background paper (each student may only get one of these!)


Station 4: Dry Erase Board Drawing Center

Students may free draw on the dry erase boards. Remind them to be gentle with the markers and not push down too hard. Also remember to put the lids back on!


  • Dry erase boards
  • Green pencil box of dry erase markers
  • Eraser


Station 5: Painting Station

Students may use only one piece of paper to make a painting of their choice. Remind younger students to clean their brushes before painting with a new color.


  • Brushes – Kinder and 1st grade can only use the big chubby brushes and 2-5 may use green handle tempera brushes.
  • Paint – tempera cakes – located in black metal tower on counter next to sink
  • Water cups (filled just half way!)
  • Paper placemats to go under paintings to keep tables somewhat clean
  • Box of free paint paper (will be creme of grey – not nice thick white painting paper!!)
  • Pencils for writing names on back before they begin


Station 6: Sculpture Center

Students may build a sculpture out of wooden building blocks on the carpet or floor by the whiteboard. Remind students they must work together and share sculpture supplies.


  • Plastic box of wooden building blocks located on the bottom of free choice shelf (if not already out on floor)

You can print off my center signs to use in your own classroom!


Some of the fun creations my students have made in centers:


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