Activities for Early Finishers

Activities for Early Finishers

Creation Station

Kids work at different speeds-some are fast, some are slow. We must be proactive and provide engaging and enriching activities for students to do when they have finished projects. A few years ago, I made one central location for early finisher activities. Students know that when they finish their projects they can go choose an activity from the “creation station”. We discuss the guidelines for using the activities at the beginning of the year.



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creation station Art Classroom Layout OrganizationTips for a Successful Creation Station

Discuss guidelines for beginning the station at the beginning of the year.

  • Students must show me their artwork and ask if I have any suggestions for improvement before they can begin At the creation station.
  • Students can only choose one activity to work on per class period.



Activities for Early Finishers

Creative Shapes Drawing Exercises

Exercising your creativity will make a better artist and an excellent problem solver. These exercises are geared towards developing creativity and helping to think outside of the box! I have done these with 2nd grade-High School! The kids LOVE doing these!! There are endless possibilities and combinations of shapes to imagine something new! Creative Shapes are also perfect sub lessons!

Creative shapes drawing exercises

Drawing Books

Art-Related Reading Books

van Gogh and the Sunflowers


Camille and the Sunflowers Hardcover by Laurence Anholt


Funny Machines for George the Sheep by Géraldine Elschner


Emily’s Blue Period by Cathleen Daly and Lisa Brown

Antsy Ansel: Ansel Adams, a Life in Nature by Cindy Jenson-Elliott


Cool Crazy Connectors

Cool Crazy Connectors – Curriculum Projects & Activities & Blocks & Manipulatives


I have 6 small containers of Legos at the creation station. Students can get one box to create anything they want. They must take apart their creations at the end of the class.

LEGO Classic



Caydo 50 Vivid Colors 200 Sheets Origami Paper 6-Inch by 6-Inch for Arts and Crafts Projects

Play-doh or Non-drying Clay

Clay and play-dough creations are popular with ages up to my middle school classes.

 Play-Doh Modeling Compound 10-Pack Case of Colors

Sargent Art Plastilina Modeling Clay, 5-Pound, Cream


Make someone’s day by creating an encouraging card to lift their spirits! I have scrap construction papers and left over painted papers that students can use to make their cards (scissors and glue are already at their tables). Elementary art teacher Rachel H. calls these cards “kindness cards” and also provides stamping supplies-LOVE this idea!


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This post is a part of The Art Ed Blogger’s Network: Monthly Tips and Inspiration from Art Teacher Blogs. On the first Tuesday each month, each of these art teacher blogs will post their best ideas on the same topic.

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