My family was so excited for our upcoming vacation to the Dordogne river valley region of France. One of the main attractions there are caves with prehistoric drawings, including the famous one at Lascaux cave. To make our trip more educational and memorable we did this fun and easy cave painting for kids activity. My boys, ages 6, 3, and 1, love it!
Cave Painting for Kids
What You’ll Need:
- Large cardboard box
- Finger paints (or washable tempera paints)
- Brown blankets or towels – to be like the caveman’s animal hides and truly get into the spirit!
First I watched this video with my children (ages 5, 3, and 1) about the caves in Lascaux. We then had an interesting discussion about how old art is, what art is used for (religious purposes, describing a hunt, teaching, to express emotions, for fun, etc.)
Then I had them take off their shirts and we ties the brown blankets around them to be animal furs/hides. The educational video had just explained to us that the cave paintings were probably done by nomadic people who did NOT actually live in caves or wear only furs tied over one shoulder and carry a cub like the cartoon cavemen. Instead they probably wore a full outfit of animals hide clothing and used tools like arrows and spears. But, seeing as we don’t actually own a full outfit made from animal hide, the stereotypical caveman fur over one shoulder outfit would have to do! Prior to this cave painting fun, I did google the question is acrylic paint safe on skin? Just to make sure that our little cavemen weren’t in any danger of damaging their skin. All the paint we had was thankfully non-toxic but apparently that isn’t true for all paints. So do your own research before you let your little ones repeat our fun experiment.
Next I gave them markers and encouraged them to draw pictures of animals. My 5 year old impressed me with his different animals drawings. I’m not the only parent who feels proud when their kids create art, even if it is something that you can’t make out what it is. It’s the creativity that is exciting to see. I have a little collection of my kid’s art work that they have created over the years, which I enjoy looking at from time to time. But I always have the feeling that I will end up losing it. My friend of mine has this same thought. After our chat, she recommended I looked into something like digital student portfolios by ClassDojo. This way, she said whatever work my children create, I can upload it online and create a portfolio to store the work. A lot of memories will be stores here too and it will be something worth looking back at when they are all grown up. This is something worth checking out if you do not have any more space to keep your kid’s creative pieces.
Then I gave my boys finger-paints to paint in the animals, or just decorate the cave however they like. This is when the cave drawing got really messy and fun!
Overall, my children loved this activity and it was a great way to get them excited for our trip to Dordogne and learn about prehistoric art we would see at caves like Lascaux.
Here’s a great book about Lascaux cave. Works perfectly with a cave painting for kids activity.
Keep us crafting and traveling by buying the book through this Amazon link. It won’t cost you anything, but will help us out.