30+ Ways to Teach Art Without a Textbook

Pictures are worth a thousand words – and teaching art doesn’t have to be boring! Here are 30+ hands-on ways to teach art without a textbook!
Pictures are worth a thousand words - and teaching art doesn't have to be boring! Here are 30+ hands-on ways to teach art without a textbook!

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30+ Ways to Teach Art Without a Textbook


Videos are a great way to learn about art. Since video is visual, like art, it just makes sense to turn to this form of instruction. There are many videos out there that will teach you all about art. Here are my top picks. These were chosen based on how well they are laid out and by how easy they are to follow along with.
*Amazon Prime: I love my Amazon Prime membership! For only $99 a year (half the cost for students with an .edu email!), I have access to commercial-free music, free two-day shipping, and thousands of free videos.

*Netflix: For those of you who have Netflix be sure to check out these options below. For those who do not have Netflix yet it is $8 a month. Netflix has so many wonderful educational videos and I find the price to be well worth it. Here are some of my favorite art shows currently on Netflix.

  • Color Crew
  • Color Inspirations
  • Art and Music

*DVD’s: DVD’s are a great option for learning art. The DVD’s listed below have options that are geared toward specific age groups and learning needs. These will also have a more educational tone and will usually also include some art history as well.

*Youtube Channels: Youtube is an amazing resource for your educational needs. There are so manyFREE videos to watch. The channels listed below were picked for quality, easy to follow steps, and for being kept current. Most of these channels are adding new videos each week.

  • Art For Kids Hub – Family-centered and kid-led, these art projects involve art history as an extra bonus!
  • Cartooning 4 Kids – Brings a modern approach to art, with emphasis on cartoon animation.
  • Scribbaloo – Learn about motivation stop motion in this channel for kids.
  • All Free Kids Crafts – Crafts for kids, inspired by adult Pinterest crafts. (ie DIY Mason jars, painted canvases, etc.)
  • Hoopla Kids How To – Arts and crafts in a kid-friendly way.
  • Hoopla Kids Doodle Websites – Learn how to draw different things – kid-friendly!

Online Resources

You can also find a lot of great art resources online. Many websites offer free tools that you can use and some offer some really great step by step tutorials. Websites are another great choice because most offer an in-depth look at art and its history. The websites below were chosen because of the quality of the site and the usability of their tools.

Just about everyone has a smart phone or tablet these days so I wanted to include some options for those. Kids love to play games on these devices so it only makes sense that some of them are educational. I really love the apps below because they are easy to use and most of all fun! You’re kids are going to love playing these apps!

  • Mama Art Lab
  • Touch Van Gough
  • Art Of Glow
  • Faces I Make
  • Inspire Pro
  • Procreate Pocket Other


Books often bring subjects to life more than textbooks can, and are often filled with rich stories and more in-depth information that textbooks just don’t have.
This Is NOT a Math Book by Kane Miller
As the name implies, this isn’t a math book! This hands-on book filled with whimsical geometrical designs explores the ways that math and art can collide.
Art Lab for Kids: 52 Creative Adventures in Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, Paper, and Mixed Media by Susan Schwake
As its name implies, this book is hands-on; and provides a plethora of drawing tips for kids.
Picasso and the Girl with the Ponytail by Laurence Anholt
Part of the series Anholt’s Artists Books for Children, learn about famous artists through the eyes of children in these compelling picture books. Learn about Degas and his famous dance paintings, or Vincent van Gogh and his sunflowers, or Claude Monet‘s garden!
Who was Claude Monet? by Ann Waldron
Part of the Who was? beginner chapter books, this book explores the life of artist Claude Monet.

Other Ideas

There are so many ways to learn about art. Art is all around us just waiting to be discovered. Here are some simple ways that you can incorporate art into your day.
Recreate famous artists.
Here are 25 art projects inspired by famous post-modernism artists!
Check your local craft supply store for art classes.
JoAnn Fabrics sometimes has different classes!
Check your local pottery shop for hands on classes.
Visit an art museum.
Many cities have small art museums, and you can also check out Metropolitan’s online art museum.
Create an art collage using paper scraps.
Create an art studio in your home and let your kids use their imagination to come up with their own projects.
Things to stock your studio with: paint, glue, safety scissors, popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, stickers, construction paper, computer copy paper, googly eyes, paper towel and toilet paper rolls, glitter, paint brushes of different sizes, and stencils.

Enjoy teaching art without a textbook? ALSO CHECK OUT:

30+ Ways to Teach History Without a Textbook

30+ Ways to Teach Science Without a Textbook

20+ Ways to Teach Math Without a Textbook

20+ Ways to Teach Spelling Without a Textbook

This post is brought to you by Jenny from The Relaxed Homeschool. Jenny blogs about homeschooling tips and tricks. She offers lots of resources, motivation, and support to her readers. You can also find her on Facebook where she gives out homeschooling advice every day.


  1. Check out ‘The Animator’s Sketchbook’, to be published by Focal Press in August. It will give students a chance to learn how to animate, simply by observational drawing. Not a textbook. Its a book about ‘seeing’ and ‘understanding’ through guided 3-5 minute sketches. 🙂

    • Dear Anonymous I am a mom and I enjoy reading this positive young lady’s posts. You should be ashamed of yourself and I really hope you’re not an educator, if so I hope to God my children Never have you as teacher. My children are not home schooled, but I love reading about how to expand their education outside of school!

    • Anonymous, What an unnecessary and misinformed thing to say. I do hope your comment does not effect Samantha in a negative way. That sort of attitude can prevent so many potentially great people reaching their goal. 🙁

  2. I guess Anonymous on 8/26 is not a ‘genius’ as they though! Plus knows nothing about home-schooling or wouldn’t have made such a ‘genius’ well thought out comment….?? Think again…’genius’
    Samantha- I love what you’re passing on to us…the moms who take their kids & home school..my case..grandkids!! ?


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