Mason Jar Shadow Drawing Prompt

Mason Jar Solar Light Shadow Drawing Prompt

After we made a Mason Jar Solar Light, we noticed that our non-frosted mason jar lantern created a loopy, squiggly, and sharp pattern of shadows when illuminated on the table.

To turn this into an art activity, we added a few supplies (a piece of paper and pencil) and played around with this fun and creative shadow drawing prompt.

Care to join us?

Drawing Prompt: Capturing Shadows

Try this fun and quick drawing prompt for boosting creativity with a mason jar, solar light or tea light, and a pencil. Supplies for Shadow Drawing Prompt

If you don’t already have a solar light mason jar, you’ll need these supplies:

Note: This post includes affiliate links

  • Wide Mouth Mason Jars. These Mason Jars by Ball are awesome.
  • Solar Path lights. I found ours at Osh for $3.99 each. I searched at our local hardware store first, but the lights I found there didn’t fit into the Mason Jars.
  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Darkened Room

Click over here for the Mason Jar Solar Light tutorial.

If the room isn’t dark enough for the solar panel to activate the light, place a square of dark paper over the panel. Voila!

What we did

We placed the clear mason jar over a sheet of paper and looked for the darkest, crispest lines to trace. Simple as that! The finished pieces looked like something from space, and now we’re talking about the possibility of adding some color.

Mason Jar Drawing Prompt for Kids  |

More Drawing Prompts

White Drawings on Black Paper

One-minute Drawings

Sketchbook Prompt: Circles and Watercolor Paint

Join the March Sketchbook Challenge for daily prompts

Drawing Ideas: One Minute Drawings

I’m always looking for drawing ideas and have a fun creativity prompt to share with you today. My family tested this out on Day 8 of the first TinkerSketch sketchbook challenge, but I didn’t take time to share the results of the process.

This drawing prompt invites you to draw as much as you can in one minute!

Drawing Ideas: Make one minute drawings to spark creativity

My 4-year old and I spend a lot of time at our art studio while her older sister is in school, and today she suggested that we make some one-minute drawings. It’s been a few months since we’ve tried this fun creativity prompt, and I was game. I also enjoy the challenge of making art with my kids, and when they have an idea I try to run with it.

Of course she wanted to use Sharpies (affiliate), so we covered the table with fresh paper. We use Pacon Kraft paper (affiliate), in case you’re looking for something similar…it’s great stuff!

I cut up 9″ x 12″ sheets of drawing paper into four pieces, gave us each a stack, and we were ready to go.

Drawing Ideas: Make one minute drawings to spark creativity

I set the timer for one minute and then we faced the challenge to draw as much as we could (or wanted to) in that time span. A minute goes by surprisingly fast!

So fast, in fact, that after that first lightening round, my daughter asked for more time. While she was on more of the 6-minute track, I continued to crank out 1-minute drawings. One of the best things about this exercise is how you don’t have time to judge your drawings — the point is not to be brilliant but to get some marks on the paper.

Benefits of 1-Minute Drawings

  • It’s fun!
  • You work too fast to be judgmental of your work
  • One idea leads to another. When the first drawing ends, it prompts new ideas for your next 1-minute drawing.
  • If you keep going on to make 40, 50, 60, or more drawings, you may start to run out of ideas which pushes you into new territory

I thought you might like to see the progression of a series of nine of these quick drawings, and how one idea lead to another: connected triangles led to connected circles, which led to connected quadrilaterals, ovals, more triangles, and finally dots.

Drawing Ideas: Make one minute drawings to spark creativity

While my little one didn’t stick with the one-minute drawing plan, she enjoyed creating the beginning of a book about panda bears, and working side-by-side is always something I look forward to.

One minute drawings collageDrawing Ideas: Make one minute drawings to spark creativity

More Drawing Ideas + Creativity Prompts

If you’re looking for more prompts like this for kids, you’ll enjoy this list of Simple Creative Invitations.

And if you’d like to join the fun, experimental TinkerSketch sketchbook challenge that I host on Instagram and Facebook, you can find more info here.

You might also enjoy slide drawing, drawing with art dice, and the word drawing game.

What do you think? Will you try this?

Art Prompts | White Drawings on Black Paper

I’m not a fussy person and often like to keep things as simple as possible. What about you?

I’m happiest with an amazing recipe that comes together in under 30 minutes and I can’t really be bothered with a high maintenance haircut. So if you’re in my camp, you’ll especially appreciate today’s art prompt to use white paint markers on black paper.

Art Prompts: White Marker on Black Paper Creativity Booster for Kids |


  • Black Paper. We used a large roll of kraft paper (see below), but you could also use smaller sheets of black paper, found in any art supply store.
  • White Paint Markers.

Supply Recommendations

This list contains affiliate links.

Pacon Kraft Paper.  This paper is amazing. It comes in an ultra-wide roll that will cover most tables. It’s not super heavy like a lot of brown Kraft paper, but thinner and semi-smooth. The roll is large and I know that we’ll get a lot of use out of it.

Permaopaque Fine Line Markers. These are the colorful markers that you’ll see in this post. They work right out of the box and the colors are vibrant.

Sharpie Paint Pen. This was my 4-year old’s favorite pen for the broad, sweeping lines you see in the pictures.

Mala White Pen from IKEA. I’m always curious about IKEA art supplies and had to try out this set that comes with a white pen. It was less opaque and vibrant than the other choices, but fun because the white color shows up seconds after drawing with it.

White Opaque Pens from Ranger. These work like a ballpoint pen and the ink doesn’t flow from them as evenly as it does from the other pens, above. Take a look at the little owls that my 4-year old made here, to see how they look.

White marker on black paper creativity prompt |

The Set-up

  1. Roll your paper out on the table. If you’re not using a large roll of black paper, place the paper in front of the child.
  2. Place white markers nearby and invite him or her to draw and make marks.

Easy, right?

Note: I can’t guarantee that this will work for you, but the suggestion to draw with white on black is enticing, and gets kids excited simply because it reverses the tradition of black on white.

Art Prompts: White Marker on Black Paper Creativity Prompt |

I also placed some colorful paint markers on the table, but she was 100% invested in the white-on-black drawing.

Art Prompts: White Marker on Black Paper Creativity Booster for Kids |

And finally, a little owl family emerged after she turned one of the flowers that I drew into an owl beak.

White marker on black paper creativity prompt |

While she didn’t use any of the colorful markers, I was sooooo curious to see how they worked and tested them out. They’re far more brilliant against the black paper than I expected, and I would wholly recommend them if you’re looking for a marker that will show up on dark paper.

Art Prompts | Paint markers on black paper creativity prompt |

More White and Black Art

White paint on black paper, The Artful Parent

Christmas “Chalkboard” Packaging This post is where I got the Kraft paper recommendation!, Going Home to Roost

Process Art: Experimenting with Black and White with Toddlers, Meri Cherry

Painting with Pom Poms + Black and White Paint, Fantastic Fun and Learning

Black Paper and Masking Tape, Irresistible Ideas for Play Based Learning

Printed Leaves on Black Paper, A Faithful Attempt

Opaque White Glue on Black Paper, with Chalk Pastel, Art in the Middle School

Join the TinkerLab Community

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TinkerLab Newsletter

In case you blinked and missed it, TinkerLab rounds up all the great stuff on the internets on keeping you and your critters creative and wraps it up for you in a tidy newsletter! (And throws in some secret giveaways for good measure!)  – Yuliya P., San Francisco, CA

Join our community and you’ll learn:

  • How to simplify your life and make more room for creativity
  • How to make hands-on making a part of your everyday life
  • Easy, actionable ways to raise creative kids

Circular Patterns + Creative Thinking

Despite the thousands of ideas you’ve seen floating around the internet, do you ever feel like you’re at a loss for an art activity that your kids will enjoy, while also challenging them to think?


Children get excited about solving real problems, and the problem in this project lies in figuring out how to circumnavigate a paper plate with color and patterns. While tackling the challenge of working in the round and developing a series of patterns, you can also feel good knowing that this helps with spatial reasoning and math skills too!

Further, this project is great for building creative thinking skills and the imagination.

Oh, and did I mention that the set-up and materials are ridiculously simple. You don’t need a lot of art know-how to make this work for you.


  • Paper Plates
  • Markers or Paint

paper plate mandala

We cleared off the coffee table and I gave each of my children (Nutmeg is 4 and Rainbow is 21 months) a paper plate and a caddy of markers. Simple, right?

I started by talking about how we were going to draw around the plate in circles, and then began by drawing on my own plate (in the foreground). I started with a small green flower, and then surrounded it with a circle, another circle of dots, a circle, and so on.

Nutmeg quickly caught on and plotted her own take on a circular pattern. Baby R didn’t draw in circles, but happily did her own thing with plates and markers.

paper plate mandala

Most likely because I initiated my own plate with a flower at its center, many of N’s designs looped around a flower too. The power of suggestion is strong, and I think children can learn a lot from their parents and teachers, but it’s smart to be mindful of this phenomena.

paper plate mandala

Later in the day while Baby Rainbow napped, Nutmeg wanted to try this project with paint. So I set her up with yogurt containers filled with a little bit of Liquid Watercolor Paint (such a great product, from Discount School Supply).

All in all, we created about 12 plates this day. Because they were all colored on the back side, I saved them and we’ll use them on a picnic one day soon.

paper plate mandala

What do you think? Do you have a stack of paper plates that could use a little bit of color? Or maybe you could try this on your next picnic?

More Circular Challenges

Tracing Circles, Tinkerlab

Painting Around the Hole, The Artful Parent

Leaf Mandalas for the Wall, The Artful Parent

Spirograph Mandalas, Paint Cut Paste

Easy Art for Kids – Circle Printing, Picklebums


Easy Peasy Rock Painting

rock painting

This is such an easy project and my kids (almost 4 and 20 months) have gone crazy for it. And I have to confess that I really enjoyed it too. Very addictive. I chalk their enthusiasm (and mine) up to a couple things:

  1. Painting or drawing on a 3-dimensional surface is a fun challenge
  2. The colors of the paint markers are vivid and opaque (i.e. pretty), and very easy to use.

rock painting

There are lots of ways to paint a rock, for example, we recently painted a big rock with watercolor paints. But the method I’m sharing today is so easy and the mess is minimal.


  1. Selection of smooth river or beach rocks
  2. Paint markers. We used Elmer’s Painters Pens
  3. Covered table (the markers leave a mess on the work area that you’ll be happy that you prepared for it).

rocks rock painting

If your markers are new, you’ll want to shake them a bit and depress the tips until the paint starts to flow. Just follow the directions of your paint. 3-year old N wanted to make each of her rocks unique.

rocks rock painting

And her sister, Baby R, enjoyed the challenges of learning to hold the marker and controlling the lines as they hit the rock.

rocks rock painting

N was so proud of her creations, and actually hid her favorites (not seen here) in a closet for Father’s Day. Phew, guess I’m off the gift-giving hook.

The rocks really are spectacular and seeing them makes me so happy.

A small clean-up caveat: the ink will get all over your kids’ hands, but don’t fret. The mess would have been much worse if you’d given them a bowl of acrylic paint and brushes. And it will all come within a day or two.

More Rock Painting

rocks magnets

Jen at Paint Cut Paste shows you how to make thumbprint rock magnets. Tweet Tweet.

rocks rock painting

This is one of my first posts: Rolling Rock Painting. It’s like rolling ball painting, but a little bit more unpredictable.

rocks rock painting

I love homemade games, and this rock domino set from Martha Stewart would make me so happy.

Have you or your kids painted rocks? If you’re a blogger, feel free to share a link in your comment.