CMA Stories

Musical Drawings + Environmental Water Paintings — Creative Art Projects for Children Under 5

Bring the magic of stART Studio into your own home with two fun art projects from stART Studio Teaching Artist Lynn Roselli. CMA’s creative hub for children under the age of 5, stART Studio’s special art stations and early learning professionals nurture children’s creativity, curiosity, and developmental growth through a range of stimulating activities. Join the conversation using the hashtag #cmanychallenge.

Musical Drawings

Great for practicing listening skills!


  • Blank paper
  • Drawing supplies such as markers, crayons, pens, and pencils
  • Your favorite song!


  1. Gather drawing supplies and a blank sheet of paper.
  2. Select a drawing utensil, such as a crayon.
  3. Turn on your favorite music!
  4. Start drawing once the music starts. As soon as the song stops, put down your drawing utensil.
  5. Select a different drawing utensil, such as a colored pencil.
  6. Start the music again and begin drawing!
  7. Repeat until you have filled the page with drawings.

Environmental Water Paintings

A thoughtful way to teach young children about the effects of water pollution. 


  • Blue paint or food coloring
  • Water
  • Baking pan
  • Cooking oil
  • Sheet of paper
  • Art materials such as paper scraps, felt, or glitter


  1. Fill a baking pan with water. 
  2. Add drops of blue paint or food coloring to the water. Have your child describe what they see and talk about the importance of water for humans, animals, and the environment.
  3. Next, dirty up the water with cooking oil. Add a few drops of oil to the water and ask your child to describe what they see. Continue to dirty up the water with glitter, scraps of paper, and other “contaminants.” 
  4. Time to clean the water to get it back to its original state! Gently lay a sheet of paper over the top of the water mixture to pick up the scraps. Your child will likely find it very challenging to “clean” the water. 
  5. Once dry, these pieces of paper make a great painting, or use them as drawing paper!

While our doors are closed, CMA is here for you and your family with at-home art projects to keep children entertained and engaged. However, every day we’re closed puts the future of CMA in further jeopardy.

Will you be there for us? Every dollar you donate directly supports the Museum and ensures that CMA will remain a pillar of educational and artistic leadership in New York City. Click here to donate.

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  • Brooklyn-via-California artist Daniele Frazier creates public artworks that focus on themes of ecology, climate change, natural history, and social critique. Her large-scale outdoor artwork Giant Flower (Daffodil) is included in CMA’s 2021 Art Auction and Fundraiser Exhibition, Now is Not… Read more

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