When it comes to art, my boys couldn’t be more different. Big has no interest in sitting down to draw. Little can’t get enough of it and feels every surface is a canvas (which makes me ever-so-grateful for washable crayons/markers/paint). I did notice about a year ago, if we turn painting into an activity, Big is much more excited about diving in and getting creative. Here are some of our favorite spins on the craft (watch out MOMA):
Art in the Driver’s Seat
Getting Big to paint: difficult. Getting Big to play with Matchbox cars: easy. Combine the two and you’ve got a winner. You can either draw a race track for your kids to paint, cut the paper in the shape of a car or just let them go for it. I always put the paper on a baking sheet so the cars don’t go off-roading.
Don’t just paint pictures of flowers. Use the flowers as a paint brush. You can give different types of blooms a try, but we’ve found we get the best results with mums. And if the petals come off, we leave them in the paint to give the piece more intrigue and texture. Bonus points: next time you go to a friend’s house, take them some flowers and share this fun activity with their family.
Wine corks (yes, this is an everyday object in my house when I’m not pregnant…I have 2 young boys), marbles, kitchen utensils, fly swatters—all of these make really interesting patterns. You can put a bunch of different things out for your kids to explore, or focus a project on one of them. For instance, draw a bunch of flies on a big piece of paper and tell your kids to swat them. Just realize that this clean up may be even messier than if you got the real thing.
Ok, I wouldn’t eat the paper (unless you use a tortilla or piece of bread), but try using different foods as paint. Baby food, pudding, jelly, pasta sauce…anything liquid will do. Fill muffin tins with a variety of foods and have your kids guess what’s in each spot as they paint.
What are your favorite painting projects for kids?