String art is such a great way to practice fine motor skills and sneak in some math skills. It is also a lovely project that involves creativity and can keep your kids entertained creating something beautiful. Using rainbow colored yarn/string gives it that extra touch of color! But unfortunately we did not have this at home which gave us the perfect chance to expand the project and practice some DIY and color mixing! Replacing materials with stuff you have at home is a great practice for resourcefulness and modeling this for your kids is a great way to teach them to work with the resources they have. So in this post I will explain how we prepared some rainbow colored string and will then describe the string art project itself.
Rainbow String Preparation
We didn’t have any rainbow colored yarn or string at home, but we did have food coloring so I thought we could try and color some string with it. The results were not exactly the same as the store-bought one but it added a new layer to the project and it was also fun to do!
- Food coloring
- Plastic cups or containers
- String or yarn
Prepare the cups with water and food coloring. We poured about 2-3 fingers of water into the cups and squirted some food coloring into it until we got a color we liked. Perfect time to practice color mixing! We ended up with seven cups: blue, purple, green, red, orange, yellow and black. Next we added the string to the cups, we kept the string connected and just used each color once. You could probably go back and forth, feel free to experiment! Then leave the string to soak up the colorful water. In our case we left it a couple of days, our string took a very long time to soak up the water, but we kept checking it once in a while. This is how the preparation and what the end result looked like:
Once the string was out and drying we used the colored water to play a bit, stretching this project out even more! We combined colors and poured them into different containers which is quite entertaining for toddlers. Once the rainbow string is dry you can start the string art project!
String Rainbow Art Project
- Some sort of base: wood, corkboard…
- Nails, toothpicks (make one side blunt if they are both pointy!), or straight pins
- Rainbow string or yarn
- Hammer if you use nails and wood
String Art Project
**Younger children should be supervised around pins, toothpicks, and nails, which have sharp points and are choking hazards.**
The first step in this project is to create a grid. Grab your base and place the nails/toothpicks/pins to make a grid. If you are using a corkboard you might want to double it up if it is too thin. We actually used an old corkboard that we didn’t want to cut up and just placed it over open boxes to give the toothpicks space to go through. Find what works for you.
For the grid, depending on your child’s age you could let them measure and mark the grid points themselves or mark them beforehand. Have your kids place one nail/toothpick/pin on each grid point. Use a smaller grid for younger kids and increase the size for older kids. My daughter enjoyed placing the toothpicks more than playing with the string!
Once the grid is set up, allow some free play. Explain to your kids how to weave the string and give them some time to experiment weaving the string and see what happens. You might need to help toddlers and guide the string with them a bit. It is the perfect time to talk about shapes that appear as they play with the string. This is definitely enough for toddlers. They practice their motor skills and you can talk about the shapes they create as they experiment.
Sneak In Some Math
For older kids, you can try to sneak in some geometry. Start off by asking your kids to create as many different shapes as possible. Then you can challenge their mind a bit! Here are some suggestions:
- On a 3×3 grid, how many (same size) triangles can you fit into a square? What about a 4×4 grid?
- On a 4×4 grid, how many (same size) rectangles can you fit into a square?
- Divide a shape up into smaller shapes (check out the photo below) and then ask your kid how many squares/triangles/rectangles they see. Ask them to do the same for you.
Playing around with shapes like this is great to give kids a feeling for geometry and even fractions!
Time For Creativity
Once your kids have played around with the string and explored the world of shapes, you can ask them to create their own design if they are still interested. To do so, draw the grid on paper first and ask them to draw something (a heart, a star…). To replicate the design with string use nails/toothpicks/pins to create the outline of your design. Then weave the string through them. Experiment with different designs and create some beautiful string art!
Hope you can spend some quality time together as a family discovering string art and exploring shapes!
More Fun Activities and Games:
- Water Use Experiment: Teach Kids About Saving Water
- Movement and 5 Senses Scavenger Hunt
- Stay At Home Discover: Fun Ways To Use Straws
- Stay At Home Math: Fun Games For Movement And Learning
- STEM Game: The Sound and Feel of Materials
- DIY Math Game with Playdough
- STEM challenge: The Tower of Random Things
- Sensory STEM jello experiment
Make sure to Bookmark the Stay At Home STEM post which will be updated with all our fun STEM activities that are perfect for doing at home.
Happy STEM learning!