Make a window picture

Attention all parents who currently have the kids (unexpectedly) at home! I know that everything feels so overwhelming right now. You are probably thinking ‘how the hell am I going to keep them entertained?’ I get that. It is such a weird time for everyone.

So, I am going to do my best to help. I plan to share some different kid’s art projects that you can do at home over the next few weeks. These will all be simple, creative projects that can be done using things you have around the house.

First up…

Create a window picture

The window picture I created in my kitchen!

The first kid’s art project I am sharing is so simple but so much fun… creating a window picture! All you need is foil, paper, water and a window. This activity is perfect for children aged 2 years and up.

What materials you need

  • Foil
  • Lightweight papers like tissue paper, newspaper, magazine scraps, cellophane and wrapping paper. Colorful plastic document holders also work really well in this activity.
  • Water spray bottle or a wet sponge
  • Scissors
  • A window

Setting up the activity

  • Step 1: Collect lightweight paper from around the house. Your recycling bin is a perfect place to start. Old magazines, newspapers and junk mail are perfect.
  • Step 2: Use the scissors to cut the foil, paper and plastic document holder into smaller shapes such as triangles, circles and squares (pictured below). If you don’t have any scissors, just rip these materials into approximately 3 x 3 cm shapes. Older children can do this step themselves. Young children may need to be supervised when using scissors or an adult could cut the shapes for them.
Cutting up the foil and paper into funky, geometric shapes
  • Step 3: Find a window, or shower screen, in the house that your child can stand in front of. If the window is too high, place a children’s step or stool in front of it. Place a towel below the window if you don’t want the floor to get slippery.
  • Step 4: Using the water from the spray bottle, ask kids if they would like to stick the foil/paper to the window. You may need to demonstrate how to use the spray bottle to younger children before they have a go. 
  • Step 5: Let kids arrange the shapes on the window how they like. If some of the paper won’t stay up, you could suggest to kids that they soak it in water first. Try your best not to tell kids what sort of arrangement they should make, let them use their creativity and imagination as much as possible.

You can then scaffold kids learning further by:

  • Naming the different shapes with them
  • Asking open-ended questions such as ‘can you tell me about what you are making?’
  • Demonstrate how they can layer different papers/foil over one another to get different creative effects.
  • Young children often tell stories as they play with materials. Listen to these and join in the storytelling where possible.

So there you go! A step-by-step guide for creating a colorful window picture using funky, geometric shapes. It should also stay up for a few days, or until one of the siblings peels it off!

More hot tips for making your window picture!

  • Tip 1: If you find the paper/cardboard shapes are not sticking to the window, let them soak in some water for a while. Lightweight papers, like printing paper, might need around 5 min of soaking and heavier papers, like cardboard, 30 min.
  • Tip 2: You can also use paintbrushes, or a cooking brush to apply water to the shapes.
  • Tip 3: Draw on or decorate the paper using crayons before you cut it up. 

(My friend Kelly Boucher gave me these tips, thank you Kelly)!

I would love to hear any other ideas that people have for extending this kids art project. Please post them below!

Art Play Children Learning on Instagram

If you are keen to get some more kids art projects to do at home, please make sure you are following the Art Play Children Learning on Instagram as I will be posting lots of stuff there in the coming weeks.

My friend Sara del Rio who runs the children’s art space Maria Brinca a Sombra, and I have also started a hashtag #quarantineplayideas on Instagram. Lots of parents from all over the world are uploading play ideas to do at home. You can search this hashtag in the Instagram ‘search’ function to see all the posts.

If you also upload any pics of kids art projects to your Instagram account, please add the hashtag so we can find you!

Big hugs to everyone right now and happy making!

Louisa xx

Related Posts on Kids Art Projects

Setting up a cardboard art activity for kids

The Nature of Play: A Handbook of Nature-based Activities for all Seasons

Five key early childhood educators! A post for parents

Kids art projects: Make a window picture


  1. Cassie
    March 19, 2020 / 2:38 pm

    Thanks for this Lou! We cut out animals and dinosaurs from magazines and old wallpaper to add to the display, which my 4yo loved! We also talked about where the animals would live and he sorted them into habitat zones.

    • louisapenfoldblog
      March 19, 2020 / 2:52 pm

      Hi Cassie – I love this idea and it extends it out so the kids might stay entertained for longer. Using cut outs of animals might encourage storytelling more too! Thanks for sharing xx

  2. Rachel Lehner-Mear
    April 3, 2020 / 7:55 am

    This was a lovely activity for a 3 year old. Even the cutting part was great for FMS and discussion of shape, colour and texture. We learnt which paper needed more or less water to adhere and then it morphed into consideration of how height and how high up the window we could stick our shapes. Thanks.

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