Home » Blog » 15 Best Art Contests & Competitions For Kids

15 Best Art Contests & Competitions For Kids

The benefits of art contests for a growing young mind are numerous. Young artists can see a rise in confidence, higher self-esteem, and greater stress tolerance when faced with challenges. Children can get in on the action of competition, honing skills, developing new relationships, and improving their craft.

Finding art competitions is easier than ever thanks to all of the advances in technology. Children from all over the world can come together and display their best work in the hopes of winning not only prizes but the accolades of fellow artists. 

This amazing list of art contests for kids is open to everyone worldwide. There are several different subject matters, mediums, and completion dates to choose from, so you can help your child find a contest that suits them best.

Art Contests For Kids

Toyota Dream Car USA

The cars of the future may well be inspired by the fantastic imagination of today’s youth, and Toyota wants to encourage these budding creatives. Children ages 4-15 can take part in the Toyota Dream Car USA competition, where they will be asked to recreate their vision of what a future automobile might look like.

It’s more than just a drawing competition as you can use different art instruments like crayons, colored pencils, markers, and even digital computer tools. Children can create an original piece and submit it for judging. Each piece will be judged on the criteria of execution, uniqueness, and overall artistry.

The subject matter is entirely up to the individual and only needs to feature an unbranded vehicle of some sort. For all of the details including submission deadlines, format guidelines, and contest news, be sure to visit Toyota’s contest site.

Save The Frogs!

If your child loves frogs and wants to help them out while expressing their creativity, Save The Frogs is a fantastic opportunity to do both. Entering the competition is free, and submissions are accepted until November of each year.

There is a cash prize for the winner, as well as a post of the work on the Save The Frogs website and social media presence. Perhaps most important of all, the contribution your child makes helps to increase awareness and action.

Save The Frogs is open to anyone who would like to make a submission, so it’s a great chance to do something with your kid and help a worthy cause. You can work on the project together and make the world that much better. To get your children better at drawing or painting and improve their skills, get them started with one of these online art classes for children.

Google Doodles

If you’re familiar with Google, then you’ve no doubt seen the artwork that they use to jazz up their logo or to highlight important dates. These small works of art are referred to as Google Doodles and have become a chance for children to submit one of their own.

This isn’t a contest so much as an opportunity to submit a proposal for a Google Doodle that will be displayed on one of the most visited websites in the world. It’s an amazing opportunity for kids all over to bring their creative talents to the largest audience possible.

Anyone can submit one of these proposals at any time, and this includes kids of any age, but it should be noted that Google receives many requests every single day. It’s worth a shot for a chance to have one of your projects get a lot of attention.

Celebrating Art

Celebrating Art is dedicated to the promotion and encouragement of student art for grades K-12. Kids who register contest entries at Celebrating Art have the opportunity to win prizes, supplies, and public recognition for their work.

Every year, Celebrating Art produces an anthology with the collected works of student submissions. This provides students with a sense of accomplishment as well as a spot in a known publication that will look good on a future resume.

There are several contests throughout the year, and children are free to enter as many times as they would like. Individual students are welcome to make submissions for the spring, summer, and fall contests respectively. It’s also possible for entire classes to enter with sponsorship from their school.

NASA Commercial Crew

NASA hosts an annual STEM competition for ages 4-12 who love science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and also want to express their artistic sides. The contest themes are all ones that kids will love to work on, including astronauts, rockets, and spaceships.

Children who enter the NASA Commercial Crew contest can have their work featured in a calendar and displayed prominently on the NASA website. It helps to promote the expansion of NASA’s Commercial Crew program that enlists private space exploration companies to push the boundaries of our journey into the universe.

Contestants who enter can help promote the endeavor and through their efforts, increase the public interest in space exploration and study. It’s beneficial and free to enter for anyone. It’s also one of the most prestigious art competitions out there.

Wildlife Forever

Artists take inspiration from nature all the time and Wildlife Forever encourages children to do this with a Songbird Art Contest.

Kids get to choose from a long list of songbirds to use as the subject for their original contest entry. They’ll get the chance to learn all about their chosen bird and make a difference for those same birds in the wild.

Wildlife Forever is an organization interested in the conservation and preservation of countless animal species. Contestants can feel good knowing they help spread the important message and be a part of the solution for a better planet.

In addition to the Songbird Art Contest, Wildlife Forever also hosts a competition that is centered on fish as a subject. All contestants who participate receive a certificate and winners can have their work displayed to a vast audience.

NRMCA Kids Art Contest

The National Ready Mixed Concrete Association hosts an annual kid’s art contest for anyone who is sponsored by an NRMCA member. The theme is specific to the ready-mixed concrete industry and original works should feature a concrete truck.

Children are free to let their imagination run wild with their preferred medium of oil, watercolor, pencil, and pens. It doesn’t matter so long as the piece features a ready-mix truck. Entries are accepted from all those K-12 with an NRMCA sponsor and will be in several different age groups.

Each age category has a set of prizes and all winning works will be on display at the NRMCA’s Annual Convention. It’s a great way for the children of folks in the industry to show off their artistic skills and promote the business for the future. 

Festival of Owls

If you’re into owls and want to enter a real hoot of a contest, check out the Festival of Owls. K-12 students compete against others from around the world in this contest that seeks to raise awareness about owls and preserve their way of life.

This is an international contest with nearly 2,000 participants annually from over 30 countries. It’s a great chance for your child to see their art displayed next to that of someone else on the other side of the globe. Art provides these contestants with a way to close the gap and find common ground with complete strangers.

Entries are currently underway for the next year’s contest and will be accepted until August 15. There is still plenty of time to be a part of this worthy contest and cause.

Living Oceans Foundation

The Living Oceans Foundation hosts the annual international competition, Science Without Borders for ages 11-19. This year’s theme is The Sixth Extinction and although it sounds heavy, it’s an attempt to bring awareness to the many endangered species around the world and the attempts to help them.

There are very clear guidelines to follow and it should be easy for most participants to create an acceptable entry. The top three contestants in both age groups are awarded scholarships and have their work recognized and displayed on the Living Oceans Foundation website

Works are judged based on a six-point scale that focuses on adherence to theme, good technique, and whether or not the piece invokes a response from the viewer.

World Photography Organization

Children under 19 who love photography are encouraged to submit an entry of up to three images to the World Photography Organization. The theme this year is Through Your Eyes which seeks to show the world how this generation sees itself and the world at large.

The prize package for the overall winner is impressive including a Sony digital imaging package, airfare and accommodation to the awards ceremony in London. It’s an international art competition providing contestants the chance to show their work around the globe.

Participants who wish to enter more than one set of photos for judging can opt for an image bundle which allows them to pay a little to get additional contest entries. This is a great option for children who have more than 3 images they believe are relevant and competitive.

Alliance for Young Artists and Writers

The Alliance for Young Artists and Writers has contests in the broadest range of categories that cross all artistic and creative disciplines. It’s a great way for creatives of all stripes to submit their work. 

There are 28 categories including ones you might think of as traditional art, such as drawing and illustration, painting, and sculpture. In addition, you can find there are categories for those who love writing of all types including essays, poetry, and novels.

Grades 7-12 are welcome to submit an entry or portfolio of entries for a small fee. This is a small price to pay for scholarship prizes that can be up to $12,500 for National Medalists. 

All fees go to the Alliance, which is a non-profit that seeks to further the causes of art and writing for future generations.

Progressive Young Artist Awards

Progressive Young Artist Awards hosts an annual art contest that covers the categories of painting, drawing, photography, mixed media, and sculpture.

As the name of the organization suggests, the central themes of the Progressive Young Artists Awards are forward-thinking and inclusive. These themes are gender rights, LGBTQ+, equality, sustainability, and personal progression. Children who submit contest entries here should be mindful of these values and express them in some way with their work.

Participants in grades 7-12 from around the world are invited to submit their work for consideration in this year’s competition. There are three scholarship prizes up for grabs and international recognition among the progressive art community.

Contestants are encouraged to be authentic and bold in their presentation of progressive ideas. Judges look for thought-provoking and well-executed pieces.

International Green Crescent Cartoon Contest

The International Green Crescent Cartoon Contest is held every year to bring attention to a worldwide problem with addictions of every sort. Through up to three submissions, children express their take on the problem and are encouraged to include an element of humor to bring light to this issue.

The contest is open to children around the world and includes cash prizes and recognition at an awards ceremony. Travel and accommodations are included for all winners as a part of Green Crescent’s prize package.

Green Crescent was established in 1920 in Turkey as a means to help families combat addiction of all sorts. Since the beginning of their organization, things may have changed but the mission remains the same.

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation

Year after year, the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation sets new heights with its Global Canvas Children’s Art Competition. This international contest has attracted over 4,000 talented young artists from 57 countries to submit their best work for the chance at recognition and to help this worthy cause.

Conservation and the protection of endangered wildlife populations are the key focus of the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation. Themes have included biodiversity, habitats of the world, and our role in the natural environment as a species.

The competition is free to enter for children between the ages of 4-16 and includes the use of several types of media, such as painting, sculpture, collages, and textiles. Kids are grouped and judged within three separate, age-appropriate groups. Winners are awarded vouchers for art supplies and certificates. 

U.S. Kids Mags Cover Art Contest

U.S. Kids Mags sponsors an annual contest to give kids ages 2-12 the chance to see their art on the cover of one of two popular children’s publications: Humpty Dumpty and Jack and Jill.

Every year has a new theme and this year’s theme is Make My Dream Come True. Children are asked to recall a dream they had and produce an original piece of art based on what they remember. This is a chance for kids to literally see their dreams come to life.

The first-place prize is a cover feature on either Humpty Dumpty or Jack and Jill depending on your child’s age group. Second and third-place contestants also receive a feature in the same issue on the interior of the magazine. Contestants who rank high secure a donation to their school’s art department.