Cardinal Winter Art Project

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Bright red cardinals are sure to catch your eye as they frolic in the snow. Today we’ll bring some of nature’s beauty inside as we make a cardinal winter art project using a variety of shapes and art techniques. Young artists will tear paper, create and identify geometric shapes, and use non-traditional painting tools. This bird themed art activity is ideal for art at home or in the classroom and works well with a variety of ages and ability levels. It also goes along nicely with winter theme activities.

Cardinal Facts for Kids

  • The male cardinal has bright red feathers.
  • Cardinals have long tails.
  • Cardinals have orange beaks.
  • Cardinals eat seeds, insects, and fruit.
  • Cardinals are great singers.

Art and Nature

Before beginning this art project head outside to see if you can spot a cardinal. Look for a bird with bright red feathers. Did you find one? Identify the parts of the bird including the head, beak, crest, wings, and tail. Can you spot any other birds? Maybe a sparrow, a goldfinch, or blue jay are sitting on a branch, hiding in a nest, or hanging out by the birdfeeder.

Materials for Cardinal Winter Art Project

  • Construction Paper
  • Glue Stick
  • Scissors
  • White Tempera Paint
  • Clothespin
  • Cotton Ball or Pom Pom
  • Black Marker
Materials 2 for Winter Cardinal Art Project

Step By Step Directions

Draw a circle for the cardinal’s head and an oval for the body on a piece of blue paper.

Teacher Tip: Give the artist the choice of drawing the head or tracing a small cup to make the circle.

Materials 1 for Winter Cardinal Art Project

Rip red paper and glue it on the two shapes. Tearing paper is great for fine motor skill development, but can be challenging for little fingers.

Teacher Tip: I recommend cutting the red paper into strips and cutting small snips down the side. The small cuts will start the tear for your child and eliminate frustration.

Pieces to cut for winter cardinal art project

Add the other parts of the cardinal including the wings, crest, patch, beak, and tail.

  • Wings: Make a red circle and cut it in half to make two wings. You may choose to add one or two wings.
  • Crest: Make a small red triangle.
  • Patch: Make a small black triangle.
  • Beak: Make a small orange triangle
  • Tail: Make a long red rectangle

Glue all of the cutouts onto the bird. Add an eye.

Assembling bird

Create an environment for the cardinal. Cut a variety of brown rectangles and glue them down to make a branch for the bird.

Pom pom painting winter cardinal art project

Use a clothespin to hold a cotton ball or pom pom and paint snow. Use an up and down hopping/stamping motion. If paint is not available cut out small white circles and glue down for snow.

Complete winter cardinal art project

Talk About Art

  • Identify the parts of a cardinal.
  • Identify all of the geometric shapes in your artwork.
  • Identify all of the colors in your artwork.
  • Describe the season.
  • What does your cardinal like to eat?
Winter Bird Craft for Kids

Art and Literacy

The board book My Colors Book Early Birds by The Cornell Lab Publishing Group is a bold and bright companion to this art activity. The reader is introduced to a variety of different color birds to engage color identification while also connecting nature to learning.

Winter Cardinal Art Project for Elementary Art

We would love to see your creative cardinals! Please tag @fantasticfunandlearning as well as @youngschoolartwithmr.g on Instagram


Learn more about Vin here on his author bio page. Follow along with him on Facebook at Young School Art with Mr. Giannetto and on Instagram @youngschoolartwithmr.g for art project ideas.


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Get a Full Week of Bird Theme Learning and Play

Save time and get right to the playful learning with our printable lesson plan sets. Each set includes over 30 playful learning activities related to the theme, and we’ve provided different versions for home preschool families and classroom teachers so all activities are geared directly toward your needs.

This pack includes editable lesson plans and hands-on activities for a week full of math, reading, & science learning activities about birds. Watch this short video to see just a few examples of the types of activities and printables included in this set:

This set includes active hands-on learning ideas and the following printables:

1) B and N Sound Sort
2) b and d Sorting Cards
3) Bird List (for phonemic awareness and other activities)
4) Bird Color Sorting Mats
5) Bird and Not Bird Sorting Cards and Activity Mats
6) 0-35 Bird Number Cards
7) Dot Counting Egg Cards
8) Bird Emergent Readers
9) Feed the Bird Math Game
10) Bird Ordering and Patterning Cards
11) A to Z Uppercase Bird Cards
12) a to z Lowercase Nest Cards

Get Your Lesson Plans

Home Preschool Bird Theme Lesson Plans

Preschool Classroom Bird Theme Lesson Plans

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