A Wonderful Way to Engage Students At Home

Before winter break, our principal reminded us that breaks can be an uneasy time for some of our students. Their day-to-day routines and structures may not be as consistent as they are during school weeks.

Lightbulb!  I remembered Jessica’s Winter Break Art Challenge article!

In it she mentions the (extremely) cheap activity of creating an optional ‘art-challenge-a-day’ list for students to complete over break.  If each activity is completed and turned in after break, students receive a prize.  For this challenge’s prize I tied together four different colors of construction paper crayons from my refill box.  I also put their names into a drawing for a grand prize: some cool swag I’d gotten from art conferences like palettes, paints, cool markers, etc.  I liked the idea that the prizes were items I already had.


I used a list very similar to Jessica’s challenge suggestions.  Some of my kiddos REALLY got into the challenge. They especially got into involving the whole family in the challenge to design a game board.  It was also nice to see illustrations that told me a little bit more about each individual student.  I received extremely positive feedback from the participating families, and loved hearing about the continuation of art and creativity at home!  I will definitely be sending home a Spring Break Art Challenge!

Do you have break challenges or other challenges throughout the year? What do they look like?

What sorts of creative “prizes” have you or could you come up with?

Alecia Eggers Kaczmarek

Alecia is an elementary art teacher in central Iowa who is passionate about teaching and reaching her students with an innovative and meaningful arts education.


  • Lisa

    I did this last year and the kids who did it, LOVED it. The darn snow day right before break made me unable to pass out the sheet so I put it up on my teacher site AND wrote a newsletter to parents telling them where to find it and not one student did it! I was really bummed! So, definitely need to make sure students get the information well in advance. I think I’ll do a spring break one this year too because of it. For my “grand” prize, I went to TJMAXX and got a great little art set that included a wooden mannequin, how to draw people book, sketchbook, pencils, sharpener, and kneaded eraser for only $9! The student who won this last year LOVED it! She was so excited. I went back after the holidays and they had all their art sets on sale so I picked up a couple other things super cheap to have on hand for other prizes. But I love the idea of bundling items on hand for the “every participant gets something” prize.

  • Carl

    Hey ive heard that there’s a debate on whether or not to keep art education in school. Here’s a really well done article on it http://thenebula.org/the-arts-and-education-debate/