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Painting Activity for Kids
- Prep your materials:
- Pour different colors of tempera or (ideally) nature-based paint one third to halfway into mason jars, or other containers you don’t mind getting colorful. We use Nature Earth paints in our Tinkergarten classes.
- String a rope through the holes in your shower curtain or liner, and tie each end around a tree or pole. If you want to use a sheet or cloth for canvas, cut holes in one of the long sides so you can weave your rope through, or use strong clothespins or clips to attach it to a rope or piece of twine.
- You can also simply wrap your canvas around a tree or lay it on the ground if stringing it up is frustrating to you or your explorers!
- No matter where you string or lay it, will want to put a tarp or newspaper down underneath your canvas so you don’t paint the grass. You can use a couple of bricks or rocks to weigh down the bottom of the shower curtain so it stays straight while the kids create.
- Read a great story all about catching colors: Read Swatch: The Girl Who Loved Color by Julia Denos or watch our read-aloud with your wee ones. After you have finished, ask your explorers in a hushed tone, “I have a little surprise. Can I share my surprise with you?” Tell them you love color too, and you caught some this morning. Then, bring out the jars of paint and pass them around.
- Inspire empathy: Ask the explorers, “How do you think these colors are feeling in their jars? Do you think we can free them? Do you think we can make a masterpiece?”
- Free the colors: Give your wee ones paintbrushes and bring them to the shower curtain you set up. Welcome your explorers to free the colors and have at it! Encourage them to paint on both sides if you use a shower curtain, and explore new ways of painting (with hands, sticks, leaves, and elbows). Take a step back and let them get as messy and creative as they want.
- Behold your masterpiece with joy!
Why is this activity great for kids?
Want more ideas about how to use stories to spark play? Check out our latest Just Between Us Grown Ups video.