This day and night art is perfect for preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten children. Once you’re done here, be sure to check out my epic list of art projects for kids.
I think you can incorporate the night and day art activity into a variety of your lesson plans. We loved including it as part of a preschool Pajama Day. But it would also work well during a space theme or a unit on the sky.
You can easily make adjustments to the day and night canvas art based on the ages and needs of your students. What we did worked very well for pre-k kids, and the sky art activity was such a hit!
The kids really liked exploring a couple of different art techniques while creating these collaborative canvases.
You can even switch things up and try something different with your students! Maybe there’s a particular art style or technique you’ve been wanting to try with them. I say go for it!
Day and Night Art
Below, I share how we created the day canvas and the night canvas. The children have really been into collaborative art, so we worked together to make both pieces.
You can definitely set the night and day art up as individual invitations, too. That just depends on your preference and the needs of your kids!
Day and Night Art : Daytime Sky
Let’s kick things off with the daytime portion of the day and night art project. First, have a chat with your students about what they notice in the sky during the day.
This might lead you on a side discussion about weather, but that’s okay! When we first created the day art, it was a sunny day with a bright blue sky. There were wisps of clouds in the sky as well. Of course, we talked about how the sky isn’t always exactly the same.
Once your discussion has come to its natural conclusion, it’s time to get into the art. You can brainstorm with the kids about what this piece of art will look like. Or you can come in with an idea to share with the children.
Prepping for the Day Sky Art
First, grab the supplies you need for the day half of the day and night art. I purchased all of our supplies locally (or they were already on-hand in our school work room). But I’ve created a list of links for your convenience. I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post:
Then prep a few shades of blue by mixing blue paint with varying degrees of white paint. Your students can even help you with this part of the prep work!
How to Create the Day Sky Art
First, create a small white circle in the middle of the canvas (or paper). Then add different shades of blue paint around the outside of that original white circle. This portion of the day and night art was inspired by our nativity art for kids project.
Let the blue sky dry and then paint a yellow sun in the middle of the canvas. For the clouds, add small sparkly white pom poms with tacky glue. You can also use a hot glue gun if that’s easier for you and the kids.
Since this was a collaborative piece, I had small groups of children work together at each step of the process. I loved seeing how focused they were on creating the blue sky and the sun. And they were so precise when it came to deciding where the pom poms went!
The finished result is a bright and cheery daytime canvas! Great as part of a day and night art project or even as a standalone piece. We loved hanging it in the classroom for the rest of the year!
Day and Night Art: Night Sky
The next part of the day and night art project is of course the night sky! Just like with its daylight counterpart, have a discussion about what the sky looks like at night.
You can point out that, even at night, the sky doesn’t always look exactly the same. For example, the phase of the moon changes or clouds hide the stars for a while.
Once you’re happy with the conversation, introduce the night sky art to the kids. Ask them to share some ideas for how to make it!
Prep for the Night Artwork
As with the day sky art, I recommend grabbing the materials ahead of time. I had most of these materials on-hand already, although I did choose to grab a black canvas from the local craft store:
The prep was super easy for this one – place the yellow paint in a container and put the star cookie cutters nearby!
How to Create the Night Sky Canvas
Start off with a blank black canvas for this part of the day and night art. Have your students place star cookie cutters into yellow paint. Then have the kids stamp the cookie cutters onto the black canvas.
Once you and the children are happy with how many stars are on the canvas, sprinkle some fluorescent glitter over the stars. Make sure to do this while the paint is still wet so the glitter dries as part of the stars.
My students really wanted stars in a dark sky for the night sky canvas piece. They placed the cookie cutters in the yellow paint, then stamped the cookie cutters onto the canvas. At first, they were very particular about the placement of the stars. Then they decided to be more adventurous and stamped stars all over!
The coolest part about this part of the day and night art . . . the glitter makes the stars GLOW when a black light shines on it! I’m just as entertained by this as the children are.
My students and I absolutely loved this sky art project. What do you think about it? Be sure to save this post for future reference!
Weather Dramatic Play
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I think our weather dramatic play pack would be a fun alongside the day and night art project:
Here are even more resources you might like:
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More Day and Night Activities for Kids
Here are more ideas to use when exploring the concept of day and night with your students:
Originally published March 3, 2015.