Engage with art through play, and let your imagination run wild!

Check out the activities below and learn to play with stamps and printmaking, challenge yourself with a “spot the difference” game, stretch yourself like artist Evan Penny, create your own artist trading cards (with a Surrealist twist!), transform a simple box, build your own playground and much more. And remember, creating a perfect final product isn’t the goal. The goal is pure creativity.

Don’t just make art. Play with it!


Play with Printmaking

Who likes stamps? We do! And we bet you'll love playing with printmaking too. Watch AGO Artist Instructor Melissa Pauw use household objects to create your very own art prints with your family and friends.

Watch the video

Melissa Pauw displays her print

Photo Fun!

Grab a camera or a phone and get inspired with AGO Artist Instructor Amanda Arcuri to play with reflection, scale and stretch yourself in new and wild ways!

TRY THE ACTIVITY HERE (PDF 397.08 KB)

Mirror reflections in the park

Live Conversation: Drawing With Ani Castillo

Wednesday July 15th 10am
Learn how to bring play into the creative process of drawing! Join Tiana Roebuck, Associate Curator, Studio Programming and Learning in conversation with special guest, Ani Castillo, a multidisciplinary artist and cartoonist featured in both Mexican and Canadian newspapers. Ani’s first book, Ping, was selected by the CBC as one of the best books of 2019 and she'll share her tips and tricks to draw awesome characters and play with drawing at home.

WATCH THE VIDEO

Ani Castillo drawing

Cardboard Creativity

What does this landscape painting of a summer day by Group of Seven artist AJ Casson and this box have in common? They’re both made out of cardboard!

Why paint on cardboard? Artists like Casson sometimes painted on cardboard because it’s inexpensive, you can cut it to any size, you can find it almost everywhere, and it's light and easy to travel with. Take a look around your home. See that cardboard box in the corner? Don't ignore it, play with it! Sure you could paint on it, but how many different ways can you experiment and reinvent a cardboard box?

We bet there are a million (and one!) ways to express your cardboard creativity and here are 20 of our favourites.

TRY THE ACTIVITY HERE (PDF 560.72 KB)

Alfred Joseph Casson, Lake Rosseau, Muskoka

Alfred Joseph Casson, Canadian, 1898 - 1992. Lake Rosseau, Muskoka, 1927. oil on cardboard. Overall: 23.6 x 28.7 cm (9 5/16 x 11 5/16 in.) Gift from the McLean Foundation, Toronto, 1961. 60/16 © Art Gallery of Ontario

Cardboard box

The Art of Magic - Spot The Difference

Take a close look at this awesome poster from the exhibition Illusions: The Art of Magic, on now at the AGO!

Adolph Friedländer, Comedians de Mephisto Co. Allied with Le Roy-Talma-Bosco

Adolph Friedländer, Comedians de Mephisto Co. Allied with Le Roy-Talma-Bosco, 1905. 186.5 × 266.5 cm. M2014.128.318. McCord Museum

We've played with it a bit! There are 12 differences between these 2 posters. Can you spot them all?

Adolph Friedländer, Comedians de Mephisto Co. Allied with Le Roy-Talma-Bosco

 

Did you spot them all?

Click here to see the solution!

1. cat replaced rooster, 2. tiny devil added, 3. missing bird, 4. bows changed colour, 5. water changed colour, 6. added bird, 7. missing design on fan, 8. missing feather, 9. twisted tie, 10. missing ring on bucket, 11. owl added, 12. title changed colour

test

Adolph Friedländer, Comedians de Mephisto Co. Allied with Le Roy-Talma-Bosco, 1905. 186.5 × 266.5 cm. M2014.128.318. McCord Museum

AGO Makes Summer Edition - exhibition call out

 

 

Shadow Puppets

Play the afternoon away in your very own shadow puppet theatre! Watch Tiana Roebuck, AGO Associate Curator, Learning & Studio Programs, make paper shadow puppets inspired by Toronto artist Ed Pien. Instead of drawing on paper, try drawing WITH paper and create your own shadow puppets using recycled materials found at home.

See the full activity here


Paper Playground

Transform paper into a miniature 3D Playground! Experiment with templates created by AGO Artist Instructor Olia Mishchenko, inspired by the AGO’s Grange Park playground and the works of Henry Moore and Yayoi Kusama. Play with spirals, geodesic domes, accordions, and sphericons and cut, fold, and glue your very own miniature playground!

TRY THE ACTIVITY HERE (PDF 796.86 KB)

Grange Park

Artist Trading Cards

Surrealist artists made art by combining unexpected things together. Check out these surrealist inspired artists trading cards where a pair of lips can have eyes and polar bear can wear a suit! Collage and draw miniature works of art that you can trade with friends and family! Make a limited edition card series of your very own.

TRY THE ACTIVITY HERE (PDF 475.97 KB)

Artist Trading Cards

Post-It Pixel Art

Canadian artist Jill Crossen-Sargent created abstract works of art that remind us of the inside of a computer, or a microchip, or even pixels (the little squares that make up a digital image). Get inspired by her piece Space Alterpiece No. 1 and create your own Post-It Pixel Art!

Activity

Step 1. Choose your Image!

Simple video game characters or other retro pixel art is a great choice to start out!

Step 2. Get your Post-it Notes!

Each post-it represents one pixel of your image. Use the colours that are closest to the ones you want, or give it a fun remix based on what you have. 

Step 3. Think about The Grid

Take a closer look at your image. How many pixels wide and tall is it? Does your wall or window have enough room? 

Step 4. Get Sticking!

Start placing your post-its! Make sure you place them evenly for your final image to stay straight. 
 

Step 5. Post your Pixel Post-it Creation!

Congratulations, you’ve finished your Pixel Post-It artwork! Take a proud photo with your creation and share with us! #AGOmakes

Jill Crossen-Sargent, Space Alterpiece No. 1

Jill Crossen-Sargent, Canadian, born 1930, Space Alterpiece No. 1, 1968, plastic and aluminum. Frame (integral): 60.4 × 60.3 × 3.3 cm (23 3/4 × 23 3/4 × 1 5/16 in.) Gift of Jill Crossen-Sargent, 2005 2005/125 © Art Gallery of Ontario


AGO Let's Play: Simcity Modernism

Wednesday July 15, 4 PM
Hey adults! Are you interested in gaming and art? Check out AGO Let’s Play a series of discussions that investigate the intersection of art history, game arts and design. In this first episode they’ll talk with scholar Paolo Pedercini and discuss a pioneering work of game arts, SimCity (1989).

Find out more

Picture of computer screen with pixelated city.

#AGOmakes

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