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Kids Get Arty – Exploring Street Art & Banksy

| September 12, 2012 | 38 Comments

Kids Get Arty BadgeWelcome back to Kids Get Arty – where every 2 months, we explore an artists, learn about what they do and have a go ourselves. Here we are looking at the British contemporary street artists, Banksy. Now I know that this is a little controversial. Afterall, street art (and graffiti) is illegal and often associated with gangs and gang violence. However, as with Banksy, there is often some real art and skill involved and the artists is making a political or social statement, rather than inciting gang issues. (Read all about the day out and Exploring Banksy here)

The NEXT Kids Get Arty challenge and link up will be on 14th November 2012. Find an Artist. Explore an Artist. And GET ARTY!!!


Banksy – Child Labour

I have long been a fan of street art – amazed at the detail that can be achieved with a spray cans and on a large scale – and often in the dark!

Street art is found in most major cities all over the world. New York probably being  the best place for exploring Street Art, followed by Berlin in Germany (who will ever forget the Berlin wall, however street art there is now much much more than “just” the remnants of the wall) and of course London, UK. Here is a FANTASTIC article all about street art across the world. From Melbourne to Cape Town. From São Paulo to Tehran. Gosh, it makes me want to jump on a plane and explore it all!

Back to our street art today.

I spent a day exploring Banksy’s street art in London, with fellow blogger Me and My Shadow, as well as our girls (Red Ted was visiting Granny). It was a great, but long day. We saw a lot of Banksy’s art, as well as a number of other UK artists, such as Stewy and Otto Schade (Osch).

Exploring Banksy & Co

banksy london

Banksy – Prison Guard – Biscuit Break

How did the kids and I look at this? With Pip Squeak the day was more about discovery. What could we find. What could we see. Where was it. What colours did we find. Who could see something new. Brick Lane and Shoreditch (London, UK) were a street art tourist’s delight. With a huge selection of artists and art. We encourage the girls to look all around and discover things. And to our surprise they did. Pip Squeak found a dressed mannequin on roofs and skeletons in shop windows. We discovered little owls and Stewy Squirrels.

street artists london

When I got home, I showed Red Ted our photographs and I told him all about our trip and how we found art on the walls of houses. He had lots of questions (mainly about “why”?). And I answered them as best as I could. However, he mainly just loved the actual art itself. I think he  liked the simplicity of it. Some of Banksy’s art afterall is very similar to Red Ted’s drawings (Banksy – Phone Tap below – he ADORED that! Though the pun on words was lost on him).


Banksy – Phone Tap

PS I appear to have highlighted a lot of the Black & White street art… we so lots of very colourful art out there too… but those are for another post on Life At The Zoo.

Our Art Project

I then asked the children how they thought street art was made…. I told them about spray paint and about stencils. And about how lots of street art is then covered up again by the council or other artists, or how it simply fades with time (to much disappointment of Red Ted).

street art

Stencils & “Spray Painting”

A lot street art these days IS created with stencils and spray cans. I decided the best way to “have a go”, was to use some stencils we were given a while back. Both children find drawing around the stencil with a pencil hard work (and a little frustrating), so this was the ideal opportunity to use them differently.

street art with kids

We made our own “spray paint”, I mixed some black paint with water, so that we could use the spray head from a cleaning product (the cleaning product, ahem, was not yet finished, else I would have used the bottle too, but you can see in the photos, that we used a jar with paint/water and the spray head).

street art

We got our stencil out and got spraying. Between each artwork, I had to give the stencil a very good dry, as of course it got very messy and the paint did run under the stencil (stencils do work better with “drier paint”, but we wanted to have a go at spraying like street artists).

The kids ADORED it. I think it was like magic to them. We found we had best results when we were able to spray as “finely” as possible and not make everything too wet. Red Ted’s first attempt was actually the best, but then we knocked the black water paint over it… and spoilt it. Ho hum. Then in started raining… and we took the spray painting “indoors” (in the bathroom)! We had a fabulous fabulous session and the kids had much fun.

On a practical note: the spray head did clog up after a while and ended our art session. Also, some of our pictures were “very wet” and the colour ran everywhere. But I think this was part of the process of understanding “technique” and how tricky it is not get your piece of stencilled art to “run”. More respect to Street Artists!!!

Once we had finished I asked the kids how they found it. We talked about how if you had too much liquid it all got a bit messy and the paint seeped and ran, giving messy edges or distorting the stencil shape – an example of learning how to use a certain medium and “perfect technique”. I also told Red Ted that Banksy made ALL his own stencils and Red Ted was rather impressed by that.

banksy street art with kids

In a fit of over enthusiasm.. I took the children outside and we, ahem, added this little fella to our front wall… it threw up an interesting discussion about how other people feel about “street art” – especially when The Englishman saw it. Discussion is what all of this is about, right?!

I now can’t wait to show Red Ted “real Street Art” and not just photos of it.

Art for kidsSo.. now it is your chance! We woould love to see what Great Artists you have been exploring with your kids and how you approached your arty projects! Come link up. Kids Get Arty is co-hosted by The Imagination Tree, Imagination Soup,  Creative with Kids Tinkerlab and Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas.

Disclaimer: by joining the Kids Get Arty linky – you give us permission to highlight any projects on Red Ted Art or share your craft ideas on Pintrest – we will always link to your site! If you have been aty with your kid’s please link up!

I hope you enjoy Kids Get Arty and that you are inspired to go off and Explore another Great Artists yourself!



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Category: Art with Kids, Daily Creativity, Kids Craft, Kids Get Arty

Comments (38)

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  1. Ali says:

    What a wonderful day and a wonderful project. This is a really interesting post and looking at street art as a temporary art that changes as a city changes is fascinating. And what a great idea to use stencils outside to create your won street art. Love it :)

  2. Red Ted Art says:

    Thank you Ali. We founds a “Banksy fake” when out with Red Ted shortly afterwards and it was great to show him a “real” piece of Street Art. He was fascinated and at so many questions about it.

  3. Jennifer says:

    That’s a great idea, I need to try stenciling with mine. He would love the spray painting!

  4. Red Ted Art says:

    A great way to use stencils with small hands that can’t do them yet. We also had a go with brushes and paints and that worked too! But of course your stencils do get very messy!

  5. Wonderful I love the homemade spray paint :) and it’s way cooler than the “street art” that we see around here

  6. Oh WOW I love your Banksy project – definately trying with Molly. Spraying or splatter art is always a big hit with the kiddos :)

    Will you put a note on that everyone is welcomed to upload their finished project to the KidGetsArty Gallery on The International Childrens Gallery so that we have a permanent ‘all together’ place for our little master’s work.

  7. Red Ted Art says:

    Thank you Molly Moo! And thanks for reminding us about the Children’s Gallery again – a fabulous project/ concept of yours!!! :-)

  8. Roopa says:

    This is a wonderful post! Love your idea of using stencils. Need to try this. Thanks for the inspiration.

  9. amber says:

    This is so awesome just pinned!

  10. Arlee says:

    LOVE this post! Your images of the street art are brilliant! And can I tell you again ho much I love this series!!? GO KIDS GET ARTY!!

  11. Red Ted Art says:

    Roopa – Do have a go! Stencils can be tricky, but great for kids to learn how to use them!

    Amber – Thank you, much appreciate the pin!!!

    Arlee – Aaaaah that is so cool, have to say, we are rather enjoying it too and having this every two months, really helps US focus to have a go 😉

  12. Penny says:

    Your art project is just amazing. Not only does it use Aussie animals (which I obviously have a passion for) but the pictures look so funky. Love the roo on the wall!

  13. I live near Banksy’s home town so we see a bit of his art around.

    I hope its ok to link up my aboriginal dot art. I realise that its more about a style of art rather than one artist.

  14. Gaby says:

    I love Banksy and street art, and I love what you did with the kiddos; it looks like so much fun! I am totally doing this with my little girl, and might even incorporate it to her birthday activities (in the form of butterflies :D). Thanks as always for the inspiration!
    P.S. Have you seen Exit Through the Gift Shop?

  15. Wow! What a fab idea! Love this Maggy – especially your very own street art kangaroo! :-)) x

  16. Red Ted Art says:

    **phew** my Father in Law spotted it the other day and I quickly glossed over the topic.. I didn’t know what to say!! Ha.

  17. Liz Burton says:

    What a great post. I’m trying to find time to write mine up. We had such a brilliant day and it’s really opened Ruby’s eyes to hat’s around her. x

  18. Red Ted Art says:

    I know, I love how the kids are constantly pointing things out to me now – we found a “fake” Banksy in Camden the other day to much excitement!! Can’t wait to see what you guys did.

  19. Loving that you put some street art on your wall – what a cool mummy you are!

  20. Red Ted Art says:

    **grin** some may say crazy!!!

  21. Galina says:

    Love your Banksy project, very stylish. Once my little man is older, we’ll be more adventurous with our art activities.

  22. Amanda says:

    Do you know, it’s really opened my eyes to Banksy, reading your and Lizzie’s post about your day together. I’ve a new found respect for the Art he produces. I’ve always love the mystery and the messages, but the actual art really is beautiful.
    P.S I love the kangaroo!

  23. Kristina says:

    Finally got around to doing my Kid’s Get Arty post attempt! Loved yours! What a great activity you did with your kids!

  24. Charlie E says:

    Hey Maggy,

    I’m working with a huge household name brand on a nationwide kid’s craft project and would really love to talk to you about it. If you’re interested please do drop me an email at charlie.elliott[at]newcastuk[dot]com and I’ll send you some more information.


  25. Megan says:

    I love this post! I recently saw a post on Oh Happy Day about chalk spray paint- you can spray it over stencils, it has the finish of chalk, and it washes off with water! It would be a great medium for children’s street art. Here is the link to the post where I saw it:

  26. I love your kid friendly version of street art. I watched a documentary just last night, “Graffiti Wars” about Bansky and Robbo. Fascinating stuff. I also wanted to say how much I LOVE your redesign. So bright and lovely.

  27. beverley says:

    Wow just loved reading this … helping with sons homework on pop art funny how Banksy comes up as pop art and street art. Hope his teacher gets it. ( but then again she doesn’t seem to look beyond the box!)( I don’t work in the same place!)
    Fantastic would love to get my Pre-school kids on the case and create their own.
    Mmmm might mention it to the Head.
    Thank you for sharing you day

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