Monday, 13 June 2011

Let's start with paint........

All children love paint. The brighter, the bolder, the messier the better! With youngers children especially, painting is more about the process than the end result - experimenting with tools, brushes and colours and just having fun seeing how it turns out!

You can use a painting session at home to encourage your child to look at everyday things in a different way - ditch the brushes and use fingers, sponges, fruit and veg, toys.....I know though that many parents are put off by the amount of mess they think painting at home creates so heres's my top tips before you get started :
  • cover the work surface before you start. I have a huge plastic table cloth I bring out for all our painting activities. Really cheap from Dunelm Mill, local market etc.
  • cover up clothes and roll up sleeves! A big old T shirt, plastic pinny etc
  • get the wipes handy for spillages
  • squeeze out the paint ready to use - I use old dinner plates at home instead of traditional palettes or pots. That way we can mix, squish, print with large objects.
  • run a bowl or sink full of warm soapy ready so you can wash hands straight away when needed and get a towel handy
Now you're ready to get started!

Use the session to talk about colours - what happens if you mix blue with red? Or white or black to a colour? Try mirror painting - fold a piece of paper in half then open it, paint on one side leaving the other blank then fold the paper and give it a good press down. Try painting with toy cars - whizz the wheels through the paint and onto the paper (this is a great way to get boys engaged in the process as often toddler boys are less keen to engage in art and craft activities than boys). Or give bouncy ball painting a go - one of my personal favourite and pictured below at one of our sessions! Get a shallow tray, pop a piece of paper on it and dip some small bouncy balls in some paint. Get your child to hold the tray and roll the balls accross the paper making a fab and funky pattern. It's a great experiment in cause and effect (what happens if I tip it this way?....) as well as great for coordination skills. And if the weathers good and you've got a big roll of paper try this outside with tennis balls or a football!

Bouncy ball painting!

Hopefully this might give you a few ideas to get started - more painting ideas and techniques to come including ice cube painting for the summer we're expecting (!) and adding smells and textures to paint!

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