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Easy Earth Day Art Project with Watercolor Paints

Integrate a little fine art into your Earth Day lesson plans with a simple (and sweet) watercolor painting. I completed this Earth Day art project with my own kindergarten students last week and it was a huge hit. This blog post breaks the entire process down into small, easy steps that will give all students a feeling of success!

watercolor painting project of a heart shaped earth with the text "earth day art project: kid-friendly watercolor tutorial"

I love, love, LOVE the simplicity of this project and I know that you will too!

Earth Day Watercolor Project Supplies

One of my favorite parts of this Earth Day watercolor art project is how simple all of the supplies are. No fancy templates or downloads are required! Here is all that you need:

heart template, blank white cardstock, watercolor paints, pencil and black crayon to create earth day art project
  • white cardstock
  • watercolor paints
  • pencil
  • black crayon
  • heart-shaped template (I created mine from from an old manila file folder)

Creating the Earth Day Heart Picture

Once you’ve gathered your materials, you’re ready to get started!

1. Trace the Heart: have students place the heart template in the center of the cardstock and trace around it with a pencil.

tracing heart template onto blank white cardstock

2. Draw land areas: Use the pencil to add a few “blobs” to the heart and create the appearance of land.

heart shaped earth with land drawn on it

3. Add radiant lines: draw lines that extend from the heart to the edges of the pages. This will give the appearance that the heart-shaped earth is shining.

heart-shaped earth drawing with radiant lines around it

That’s all the drawing that’s required! Now it’s time to trace.

4. Trace lines with a black crayon:  Use a black crayon to trace on top of each pencil line. Encourage students to add a little extra pressure and make nice dark lines with the black crayon. This step is simple but oh-so-important to help prevent the paint colors from running together.

heart-shaped earth art project for kids drawn with pencil and traced with black crayon

Painting the Earth Day Art Project

Once all of the pencil lines have been traced with black crayon, your students will be ready to paint!

In my kindergarten class, I gave step-by-step painting directions so the students would be mindful of using the proper colors. Keep scrolling for simple painting instructions!

heart-shaped earth drawing for kids project for kids on white paper traced with black crayon that's ready to paint

5. Paint the land: paint all of the blobs in the heart green to represent land

using green watercolors to paint the land on heart-shaped earth drawing

6. Paint the water: use blue paint to represent the oceans in the heart-shaped earth

earth day art project of a heart-shaped earth painted with watercolor paints

7. Paint the background: paint the sections around the earth by alternating red, orange, yellow and purple. The completed project is quite stunning!

kids watercolor painting of a heart-shaped earth

Now that you have seen the tutorial, let me share a few photos from when I did this activity in my own classroom. We completed this painting during VIP day so each of my children had an adult by their side for the project. 

Having an extra set of hands is not necessary, however. I would gladly do this same project even on a day without any classroom volunteers. As long as you provide step-by-step directions and only give one or two instructions at a time, kindergarten students can have success completing this project independently.

Here you can see students carefully tracing their pencil marks with a black crayon.

child drawing heart shaped earth art project
child using black crayon to trace heart-shaped earth drawing
child drawing earth shaped like a heart

Then it was time to paint! Notice that the students used green watercolors to paint the land first, then added blue oceans to the picture.

child using green watercolor paints for earth day art project
child painting earth shaped like a heart with blue and green watercolor paints

It’s important to tell students how to use watercolors successfully. They don’t intuitively know how much water to use. I always give plenty of reminders to keep the paints wet, but not soaking wet. I remind the class that if they want dark colors, the paints should only have a little bit of water in them. The lesson is worthwhile because every single painting that my students created was just as vibrant as this one!

child painting earth shaped like a heart with the text "earth day watercolor"

I mounted the completed paintings on black construction paper.
Isn’t this just gorgeous?!?

child holding up completed earth day art project in classroom

Interactive Sight Word Readers for Earth Day

Integrate literacy into your Earth Day lessons with the Interactive Sight Word Reader “We Can Take Care of OUR World.” Students will work to spell the sight word “our” while reading about many items that we can recycle to care for the Earth.

More Ideas for Earth Day

Need a few more ideas for classroom Earth Day projects? Use handprints from the entire class to make a giant painting of the earth. Or create a pretty “stained glass” window decoration of the Earth with tissue paper. 

Get Your School Involved

Teach your students an authentic lesson in ecology… create a school-wide recycle center! Many standard classroom supplies (such as glue sticks, crayons and markers) can be recycled! Read all about my school’s Recycle Center and discover resources to establish one at your school too!

What are your classroom plans for Earth Day?

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Maria Gavin

Maria is a former kindergarten and first grade teacher, with 13 years of teaching experience. Her love and passion for all things early childhood is now fulfilled as a mom to two amazing kids. She loves sharing practical and creative tips and ideas that are perfect for young learners – in the classroom or at home!

Leave a Comment

10 Responses

  1. I love this idea! Thank you so much for the thorough step by step directions. Did you use watercolor paper or just regular (construction/cardstock) paper? Thanks again!

  2. Check out the book The Earth and I to read before this project! There is a page in the book similar to this with the rays in such. We do a similar project and it always turns out amazing!

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Hi, I'm Maria.

I’m a former kindergarten teacher turned work-from-home mom. I still love sharing ideas and resources to make teaching easier, so you can focus on what really matters in the classroom. When I’m not working on the blog, you’ll find me chasing kids around the house with a cold cup of coffee in my hand (some things never change even once you’re out of the classroom!)


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