Make Cave Paintings Activity

3.6 based on 15 ratings
Updated on Sep 11, 2014

It's fun for kids to imagine how life for people who lived millions of years ago might have been. Thanks to cave paintings, which consist of some of the oldest known drawings and paintings in the world, we can get some idea of what went on in the day-to-day lives of ancient peoplesThe next time your kid inquires about how life was long, long ago, have him make his own version of a prehistoric painting. While creating his masterpiece, he’ll explore ancient motifs such as buffalo, bison, and hunters, all while bringing the past to life.

What You Need:

  • Butcher paper 11” x 17”
  • Charcoal or willow sticks
  • Card stock paper 11” x 17”
  • Brown or red Conte crayons or oil pastels
  • Pencil
  • Scissors

What You Do:

  1. Draw outlines of bison, deer, and buffalo on the card stock paper. Cut them out to use as stencils.
  2. Carefully tear the edges of the butcher paper.
  3. Place the stencils on top of the butcher paper and outline them with charcoal. Use as many stencils as you like to create your scene.
  4. Blend out the edges of the charcoal outline, working the charcoal smears away from the animal, but leaving the center of the animal empty.
  5. Use charcoal around the edges of the torn paper to make it appear ancient.
  6. Add symbols and smudges of red and brown Conte crayons or pastels between your animal shapes. These symbols can include stick figure hunters, bows, arrows and fire.
  7. Continue until you have a wall full of cave paintings. Before you know it your kid will have created her very own life-size, pre-historic scene.
Ellen Dean has worked as an art educator in Thailand since 2005, working with both children and adults. She has also been a professional artist working in painting, sculpture and photography since 1996.

How likely are you to recommend to your friends and colleagues?

Not at all likely
Extremely likely