Musical Chairs Art: inspired by The Artful Parent

Before sharing the super fun process of musical chairs art, let me start by telling you a little bit about Jean Van’t Hul. Jean has an impressive background in art history and studio art. She is a mother of two and writes a blog called The Artful Parent where she shares her amazing insights, ideas, and beautiful photos demonstrating simple process-focused art especially appropriate for young children…

Musical Chairs Painting inspired by The Artful Parent book

I recently had the opportunity to review the beautiful book “The Artful Parent: Simple Ways to Fill Your Family’s Life with Art and Creativity.”

Musical Chairs Art inspired by The Artful Parent

Jean included Musical Chairs Art in the section of her book titled, “Action Art.” She describes action art as “the antithesis to working carefully at a detailed drawing in a sketchbook. It is big, bold, and active.”  In preschool, we like big, bold, and active!

Musical Chairs Painting inspired by The Artful Parent book

Jean’s instructions are simple to follow and understand. To show you how simple her instructions are to follow, I have written below exactly what she says to do in the book…


  • Paper
  • Paint in cups, one color per participant
  • Paintbrushes
  • Music (CD, digital music player, or Pandora)


  1. Set up at a table large enough to hold the group (this version of musical chairs does not eliminate participants). Place a sheet of paper, a cup of paint, and a brush at each child’s spot.
  2. Have participants take their places.
  3. Explain the game. Tell them that they will paint during the music and to the music. When the music stops, they will stop painting, pick up their paint cup and brush, and move around the table clockwise, stopping at a new painting spot when the music starts again. At their new spot, they will once again paint to the music (however they interpret that).
  4. If desired, use different kinds of music each time and let the kids try to match their painting to the style of the music (however they interpret that).

I was in charge of starting and stopping our music and our kids were in charge of the rest…

Musical Chairs Painting inspired by The Artful Parent book

The children kept adding to each painting as they went around the table…

Musical Chairs Painting inspired by The Artful Parent book

This was a wonderful exercise in action process art as well as listening,  cooperation, and communication…

Musical Chairs Painting inspired by The Artful Parent book

And when we were done, we took a few minutes to talk about our paintings and left them out on the table for anyone who wanted to keep adding more paint…

Musical Chairs Painting inspired by The Artful Parent book

This book is also available on Amazon!

Links to Grow On

How to fit art and creativity into into your everyday busy life by Creative with Kids

Beat the April Showers With Some Rainy Day Fun a news video by Inner Child Fun

This was a review of The Artful Parent book – I was given a copy of the book to use in my classroom and I was not compensated in any other way for this review! This give-away is void where prohibited by law.

By |2018-11-03T19:57:53+00:00April 14th, 2013|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.
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