Everyone Has a (P)Art to Play! 

Creative projects, like a community mural, can bring people together!

A communal art project is a great way to nurture community togetherness.   

Everyone wants to be part of a community. Everyone wants to feel the sense of security and friendship it provides. Working together on a communal art project is one way to let belonging happen naturally—the way it does with Julia and her friends in the video Princess Paints-a-Lot.   

A mural is a fun and easy way to begin creating together. Gather supplies, such as a large paper roll or a long piece of butcher paper, and some paints, crayons, or markers (choose the washable varieties!). Use the suggestions below for your community mural—or brainstorm ideas of your own.  

  • Julia loves gardens. A big, bright garden makes a great mural theme. Each child can contribute trees, flowers, rainbows, or whatever else they like. Even bugs!  
  • Julia also loves music. An adult can choose some evocative music to put on: something fast and swingy, slow and moody, or loud and rhythmic. Invite children to draw however and whatever the music makes them feel.  
  • Create a sensory painting experience: A grown-up can put some big plops of paint on the paper. Whoever feels comfortable doing so can go barefoot and glide around, using feet—or hands!—as paintbrushes.  
  • Collages are fun, too. Kids can cut or tear shapes from colored construction paper or use pictures from old magazines. Or try sponge painting: Cut sponges into shapes, dip them in paint and dab onto paper to create a scene.
  • Get kids thinking about their favorite neighborhood spots. The park? Library? Firehouse? Their own home? Ask them to draw it in. The finished project will be a good reminder of all the things that make the community special.  

When the mural is finished, make sure all the artists sign their names—or even their handprints—to the project. Then together, figure out the best place to hang it up. Ta da!