ACTIVITIES & CRAFTS

Cave Painting Art Project for Kids Using Cardboard Box

Learn about prehistory cave painting with our easy and educational cave painting art activity! This craft is for children of all ages and can be modified for a mess-free version using crayons. Whether at home or in a classroom setting, this engaging activity promises a blend of artistic expression and educational fun for children of various ages.

Finished cardboard box cave painting art craft for kids  - Kids Activities Blog
Let’s learn about prehistory with this fun and engaging Art Activity!

Cave Painting Art Activity for Kids

With this art activity, you will be able to teach your kids about prehistory in an exciting and engaging way. It will challenge them to think outside of the box and to put themselves in the shoes of those who lived in prehistoric times. You can also modify this art activity to be mess-free by using crayons instead of paint.

Related: More cardboard box activities for kids.

You can adjust this craft to be more challenging for older children. Ask them to explain a story about their day with just pictures. They can show their cave painting to their friends and try to determine which story they are telling with clues from their drawings. To learn more about prehistory before beginning this craft, take a look at the information at the end of the article!

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Supplies Needed for Cave Painting

Image of supplies needed to make this cave painting craft: a large cardboard box, on top of the box is scotch tape, a box cutter, Crayola Crayons and a paint palette with black, white, red, and yellow paint.
This is what you will need to make this cave painting craft
  • A Large Cardboard Box – check your recycling bin
  • Red, Yellow, White, and Black Paint or Crayons for a mess-free activity
  • Scissors or box cutter (Adult handling only)
  • Tape

Instructions for Cave Painting Activity

Steps to make cardboard cave painting activity. Step 1: Gather Materials, Cardboard box, box cutter, tape, crayons, red yellow white and black paint. Step 2: Tape Box, cardboard box is taped shut. Step 3: Trace Entrance, a semicircle drawn in pencil over top of box. Step 4: Cut Out Entrance, the traced semicircle cut out of the top of the box. Step 5: Paint or Draw, Inside of the box is finger painted with stick figures or drawn with crayons. Step 6: Print or Trace, paint hand prints on left side of the box, crayon hand traced on right side of box.
These are the easy steps to learn about prehistory with this fun art activity

Original Version: Cave Painting

  1. Gather the materials you need for this craft.
  2. Tape the box closed.
  3. Trace a shape for the cave entrance.
  4. Cut out the shape for the cave entrance.
  5. Paint using your fingers inside the box to tell a story about your day without words.
  6. Handprint the front of the box.

Mess-Free Version: Cave Painting

  1. Gather the materials you need for this craft.
  2. Tape the box closed.
  3. Trace a shape for the cave entrance.
  4. Cut out the shape for the cave entrance.
  5. Draw with crayons to tell a story about your day without words.
  6. Trace your hands on the front of the box.

Our Experience creating this craft

Finished cardboard cave painting art activity for kids.
The left side is the original craft and the right side is the mess-free version
  • Preparing this arts and craft project only took a few minutes, and it was really easy to prepare.
  • This art project made me take my time when it came to decorating the inside of the box. It will keep kids busy for a while since it requires patience to paint or draw a story on the inside of the box. It is a great way to help children develop their fine motor skills, put themselves in the shoes of others, and get creative.
  • Printing and tracing my hands on the box at the end was my best part. Finishing this craft with a handprint as a signature was very exciting and personalized this craft.

More Information on PreHistory Paintings

How do we learn about prehistoric times?

Long before people had built cities there was a time when people couldn’t write or read. The time before people formed written language is called prehistoric times. We learn about many different creatures and plants from fossils, which are like clues left behind in rocks, and using the clues from those fossils we have to guess what life was like during that time. Since people during prehistoric times didn’t have written language developed, they left behind clues like the tools they used and cave paintings that we have to investigate so we can make an educated guess of what their lives were like. We like this website for more information about prehistoric times.

Prehistory Artwork

The most fascinating part of prehistory is the artwork left behind by early humans. One of the best examples is the cave paintings in places like Lascaux France. 15,000 years ago, our ancestors created many interesting images of animals like horses, deer, bulls, and bison deep inside caves. They used charcoal, and pigments from the earth to make their art, painting with their hands, building scaffolding out of sticks, and only using small fires to see.

Left wall of the Hall of Bulls, Lascaux II (replica of the original cave, which is closed to the public), original cave: c. 16,000–14,000 B.C.E., 11 feet 6 inches long
The left wall of the Hall of Bulls, Lascaux II (replica of the original cave), original cave: c. 16,000–14,000 B.C.E., 11 feet 6 inches long

Learn more about prehistory at Smarthistory.

Making connections Through Art

Through things like cave paintings, we can make connections to understand how they might have lived. You can try your hand at creating your very own cave paintings using cardboard boxes, and paint (or crayons for a mess-free activity). How could you tell others about your life using your paintings or drawings? Just like the early artists, use your imagination to bring prehistory to life, and embark on a journey back in time to explore the life early humans might have lived.

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What story did you tell in this cave painting art activity? Tell us in the comments below!

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