Leonardo da Vinci’s creativity inspires both children and adults. His contributions to history as an artist, inventor, and engineer are outstanding. From art projects to science experiments, parents and teachers can use a variety of activities and resources to introduce children to Da Vinci’s world. Children can develop their imagination, curiosity, and love of creative thinking by learning about their life and work. Let us explore the world of Leonardo da Vinci together and inspire the next generation of innovators.
1. Build a Mini Catapult
Using popsicle sticks, rubber bands, and a plastic spoon, kids can build a mini catapult according to Da Vinci’s design. With the help of instructors, kids can use popsicle sticks to construct a frame. Atop the structure, they’ll secure the spoons with rubber bands. By applying some tension to the rubber bands, they can test their catapult and launch small objects.
Learn More: YouTube
2. Make a Glider
This activity is based on Leonardo Da Vinci’s flying object design. With simple materials like balsa wood, sandpaper, glue, and foam board, kids can make a glider following design instructions. They’ll cut the wood, paper, and foam board pieces, glue them together, and adjust the weight for flight performance.
Learn More: Instructables
3. Mona Lisa Puzzle Game
The famous Mona Lisa painting by Da Vinci inspires this game. Having seen a picture of the Mona Lisa, jigsaw puzzle pieces are scattered and kids will need to collaborate to piece all the jigsaw pieces back together accurately. While at it, kids will improve their coordination and learn about shapes and colors.
Learn More: Learn and Play Kids Toy
4. Feet-Forearm Measurement Activity
This activity involves measuring the body proportions of a person by comparing the length of their foot to their forearm. This activity was used by Leonardo da Vinci to study human anatomy and proportion and can help kids understand the importance of accurate measurements in both art and science.
Learn More: Easy Access Materials
5. Charcoal Wing Art
Charcoal Wing Art is an activity inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s sketches of birds. Kids outline a bird’s wing and use charcoal to shade and add texture to the feathers. The activity teaches kids about art techniques and encourages them to observe and appreciate nature.
Learn More: Susan Evans
6. Mural Painting
This mural painting activity is Leonardo Da Vinci inspired; following one of Da Vinci’s famous paintings, “The Last Supper”. Kids can start by sketching their designs on paper before using a pencil or chalk to transfer the design to a wall. They can finish the mural off by using acrylic or tempera paint to add details.
Learn More: Artful Parent
7. Popsicle Stick Bridge Building
In this activity, kids make a model of Da Vinci’s bridge design. Using simple resources like popsicle sticks and glue, kids can form multiple interlocking popsicle connections to make a sturdy structure that’s strong enough to support small weights.
Learn More: Teach Beside Me
8. Backward Writing
Backward writing is a mirror writing style that Da Vinci used to record his thoughts and ideas. Kids can learn this unique skill by writing letters and words in reverse or using a mirror to reflect their writing.
Learn More: Teachers Pay Teachers
9. Recreate a Vitruvian Man Model with Pictures of the Kids
Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man represents the idea of the perfect human body and its proportions. Instructors can take children’s pictures as they pose in various ways to recreate a Vitruvian man.
Learn More: Jo-Jacks
10. Coloring Pages Activity
Leonardo da Vinci coloring pages are a creative and enjoyable activity for kids to learn about and appreciate Leonardo da Vinci’s artworks. Children can color and customize the famous paintings, drawings, and sketches by Da Vinci; thereby promoting their artistic and imaginative skills.
Learn More: Twinkl
11. Build a Model of a Water Clock
With adult supervision, kids can build a clock by connecting a large container to a smaller container using tubing. A small hole is then drilled to allow water to pass through the smaller container consistently. The clock can then be calibrated and it’ll be ready to use.
Learn More: Steam Powered Family
12. Experiment With Light and Shadow in Art
Leonardo Da Vinci’s study of light and shadow in art opened humans to 3D-type mastery in depth in paintings. In this activity, kids can learn how to use shadows and highlights to create realistic art while practicing sketching and shading.
Learn More: Petit Loulou
13. Create a Model of a Parachute
This activity is inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci’s flying machine drawings and designs and is a fun activity for kids to complete in clusters. With materials like paper, string, and cloth, kids can create miniature parachutes and customize them. Each group can then test their parachute’s functionality using small weights.
Learn More: Ama Flight School
14. Build a Model of a Submarine
Based on Da Vinci’s designs dating as far back as the 16th century, with some guidance, kids can use plastic bottles, cardboard, scissors, glue, and paint to recreate a submarine model. They can cut the cardboard pieces to form the top part of the submarine and glue it to the bottom of the bottle. While at it, they can also try to make a periscope and propeller.
Learn More: Invent
15. Make a Kaleidoscope
This Kaleidoscope activity is based on Leonardo’s optics exploration. Kids can make a simple Kaleidoscope by cutting cardboard to shape, using mirrors, and using colorful objects for the mirrors to reflect. These objects will be positioned in such a way that a beautiful visual pattern is created when the tube is rotated.
Learn More: Darcy and Brian