Colorful Math Art Project for Kids Inspired by the Artist Klee

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.

art activity for preschoolers
Let’s make math art inspired by the artist, Paul Klee!

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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Shapes were cut out from strips of paper ahead of time.

Art Supplies Needed for This Math Art Project

Prep for Kids Math Art Project

  1. I cut strips of construction paper that were 1 and a half inches thick.  
  2. 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″).  
  3. From some of the squares, we cut them in half to make triangles, mini-rectangles and tiny squares.

Directions for Art Math Project

Step 1

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.

Step 2

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.  

math through art project

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.

art activity for preschoolers

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.

Yield: Multiple Pieces

Math Art Project for Kids

Art & Math: A Fun Educational Project Inspired By Klee

This super simple art project for kids of any age was inspired by the colorful shapes created in masterpieces by the artist, Paul Klee. Emphasizing the geometry in the basic colorful shapes, kids can do this math art project and create amazing art pieces while learning math skills. This works great as a group math art project even if you have students at different math and art skill levels.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Active Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Difficulty easy
Estimated Cost $1

Materials

  • Multiple colors of construction paper to be cut into shapes
  • White construction paper to be used as a base of the art project

Tools

  • Scissors or preschool training scissors
  • Glue or glue stick

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Kids will glue pieces onto white canvas base of construction paper or poster board.
  4. (Optional) Look at the fractions within the finished math art work and discuss.
Math Art and Drawing Games for Kids by Karyn Tripp book from Amazon - 40 fun art projects to build amazing math skills
What a fun way to explore math art concepts!

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.

math art project

More Math & Art Fun from Kids Activities Blog

How did your Klee inspired math art project turn out?

7 Comments

  1. So fun! I have to figure out how to use this with Daisies and Brownies because I think they would love doing something like this.

  2. How creative! I say what a great way to begin introducing the idea of fractions at a younger age. It’s tactile, colorful and fun. Thanks!

  3. such a great way to learn math. Thanks for linking up at Tell Me About It Tuesday. We hope you hop over and share with us again next week.

  4. I love being able to turn a fun activity like art, into a learning experience as well. Very creative. THANK YOU for sharing with us on the Friday Frenzy link up, and we hope you’ll join us again this week!

    April

  5. Judy Robotham says:

    Such a great activity. Will be trying it with my kids. Thank you.

  6. Kristen Yard says:

    Enjoy, Judy! You are so welcome!

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