Hey guys! Today I have a super fun and creative art project for you. If you follow me on Instagram you’ve already seen it, if you don’t follow me there you should because I post lots of pics that never make it to the blog! An awesome reader found this fun activity on the Make and Takes website and recommended it to us for our Expedition Earth China week.  It looked like so much fun so we gave it a whirl. Thanks for the idea Tiffany!


So if you don’t know Zentangle® is a technique used to create beautiful images using repetitive patterns. And though the term Zentangle is a relatively new one, I suspect that this type of art work has been around for centuries. As a matter of fact, it reminded me of some of the Illuminated Manuscripts that we learned about today in our Middle Ages history curriculum!

And since we just happened to be learning all about China I thought this went along great. So we decided to try out this style for ourselves. First I printed a panda coloring page. You can print any animal or design you want, or even make your own. We chose a panda since it went with our curriculum.

I also printed a Zentangle Idea sheet from Tiny Rotten Peanuts to help give my kiddos some ideas. They were instructed to also try and come up with some of their own designs as well.

Next I had the kids do a watercolor wash for a background. You could also use tempera paint, or even draw a background with colored pencils. You get the idea. Be creative.



Once our backgrounds were done, we set them aside to dry while we started on our pandas.



We used fine tip sharpies to draw the designs, but you could always use pencil, then draw over it with sharpie. I kind of like the ‘no erasing’ allowed method for this though.



Tip: We used a clipboard behind our paper to keep the sharpie from going onto my counter top. Yes, we have strict sharpie rules in this house!



Here is Turbo’s panda part way through. He actually loves this type of design work, an has doodled like this on several of his papers for years now. So he was thrilled to have an assignment where he actually got to do it.



Here’s an up close of Strawberry Shortcake’s panda in progress. She loves to draw, and took her time with this one. Actually she draws in her room almost every night before bed. I’ll have to show you all her drawing notebook sometime. Its amazing!



Finally we cut out our pandas, and glued them to our background pages. Here are our finished pieces.



We didn’t color them in, but you could also always color in the designs with colored pencils or fine tip markers for a rainbow look.



Tinker Bell’s panda turned out really cool, she ended up drawing a bunch of little hidden images in it, so when she was done it was like one of those Highlights Find the Hidden Image games! Can you find the bananas? A flower? A bamboo stick? A snake?



And here is Turbo’s final panda. He did a great job and also colored the leaves the panda is eating green, which was kind of a cool contrast to the black and white. It’s  kind of hard to see in the picture.


And that’s it! Our Zentangle art project ala Expedition Earth China week!

Supply list:

I hope you enjoy this project! And if you end up doing it in your homeschool, make sure to share it with me on social media via Facebook, Pinterest, or tag #expeditionearth on Instagram.  I love to see what you all create!


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