10 Leonardo Da Vinci Projects for kids – learn about Leonardo da Vinci’s biography. Renaissance man of many talents including artist, science, and inventor.
Art is never finished, only abandoned – Leonardo Da Vinci
This quote probably sounds a little strange to us, but when it’s from the master of art himself, we have to accept it! But it isn’t that strange for Da Vinci, who was known to take ages over a single painting or work of art, leaving onlookers wondering if it was ever going to get finished. His most famous work of art is probably the Mona Lisa, though he was quite an all-rounder, and was also a great engineer and an expert on the human body. If you’d like to introduce your child to the original Renaissance man, we’ve got
10 Leonardo Da Vinci Projects for kids
Pick one and get going!
Da Vinci’s famous painting, The Last Supper, was done on fresco, which translates into ‘fresh plaster’. Try out your own fresco painting by making your own plaster! This is an art form that the kids will love; so much more interesting than painting on paper!
This is a unique activity for kids. All you need is several large white paper squares and lots of colors. Ask the kids to color each square and put them together for a very non-traditional, but beautiful result! This is perfect for a group activity, so bring friends over!
One of Da Vinci’s most popular designs was that of an ornithopter – a flying machine that flapped its wings like a bird. This model features a working ornithopter that can be easily made with household items. A perfect craft for older kids on a long weekend!
Da Vinci’s Vitruvian man sketch is art and education rolled into one. His intense observation and study of the human body made him realize that it follows certain proportions and fits in a circle with the belly button at the centre. Test this theory yourself by measuring and logging your results with this Vitruvian man worksheet. Great for siblings to try out on each other!
This is an extremely easy but very good diorama replication of Da Vinci’s painting, The Last Supper. All you need are the printouts from the site along with colors and egg carton cups. This is a very detailed painting, so ask kids to study the original and try to get the details as matched as possible.
One of Leonardo da Vinci’s sketches show a self supporting arched bridge, which didn’t require anything else to hold it up. Make your own bridge with things like popsicle sticks, rulers, pencils – experiment! Once complete, test it’s strength with different objects – each one heavier than the last!
7. Paper Glider
Like we mentioned earlier, Leonardo Da Vinci was quite the inventor and made designs for several machines that were actually made centuries later. Try one of your own by making a Da Vinci inspired glider model. Just print, cut and fold according to the instructions.
Encourage kids to learn all about the great inventor and try out some cool Da Vinci projects from this amazing book. There is a lot of information about the man as well as a bit of history. The chapters are clearly marked and there are plenty of images to keep kids entertained.
Make a Mona Lisa that is far cuter than the original – by creating a costume! This costume is surprisingly easy; the only challenge is getting a print of the painting large enough to fit your child. Add on some extra details like a veil and black skirt, and you’ve created a masterpiece!
10. Coloring Pages
This site has many coloring pages featuring works of famous artists, and this includes a few from Da Vinci too. Besides the Mona Lisa, the Lady with an Ermine is also a famous painting of Leonardo Da Vinci. The best part – you don’t have to print it out; you an even color it online!
Here are some trivia about the very interesting man:
1. He wrote from right to left; yes he wrote backwards!
2. He was vegetarian, which was very rare in those days
3. He used to spend a lot of time dissecting corpses and drawing very detailed and accurate diagrams of the human body
4. He drew plans and diagrams for many machines that were invented much, much later, such as cars and gliders.
5. He was an illegitimate child, and a resultant lack of career options landed him as an apprentice with a famous artist. The rest, as they say, is history!
As you can see, Leonardo da Vinci was extremely talented, and kids can learn a great deal from him.
To all the kids out there, don’t forget to observe! Remember that Leonardo Da Vinci had very little formal education and most of his learning was by watching the trees, birds, water and clouds for hours on end. As he said, “Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.”