There are very few children who truly don’t want to try painting. Whether young or older kids, painting is a popular craft time activity, and you can make it even more fun than it normally is. Everyone knows you can paint with different paint brushes, but there are many other ways to paint, too, and some of these will thrill your child while he or she creates a masterpiece.
Make sure any paint you use is non-toxic. Purchase giant canvases or let them paint on ordinary cardboard. No matter what the child is using for a canvas protect your child and the surroundings by laying down plastic and even hanging plastic on the walls. Dress the child in old shoes and clothes, and even consider a hat or other head cover.
One fun way to enjoy custom painting is to just let the child dip his or her hands into the paint and smear it on the canvas. They can stamp their hand prints or shake paint off their hands and onto the canvas. They can use one finger to draw or their entire hand to create the image. They’ll enjoy this method but it’s not appropriate for children who still put their hands in their mouths. Any and all painting should be supervised by an adult.
Perhaps a little neater method, which is just as much fun, is to fill a squirt gun with paint. Purchase several cheap squirt guns, fill each one with a different color of paint, and let the children squirt the paints onto the canvas. They’ll love the trails and splatters they can make by stepping closer or further from the canvas. Girls love using the squirt gun method just as much as boys do.
Place lengths of string, yarn or twine directly into the paint. Let kids use a disposable fork to scoop the strings out of the paint. They can wear disposable gloves to retrieve the strings. Place canvas on the floor and let kids stand over it, allowing the string to fall where it may, a little at a time, until the entire piece of yarn is twisting and turning all over the canvas. Now remove the string and leave the painted design that the string made. They can use different colors or the same color, all on a solid background. They can make swirls, stripes and other designs with ease. If children are very small parents will need to remove the strings from the paint and wipe excess paint off of them so they don’t drip.
Messy but fun, kids can dip large paintbrushes and sling the paint at the canvas. Let them stand pretty close to the canvas and they’ll make some awesome designs that are colorful and unique. The will be proud to display their final creation in one room of the house.
You can always let kids paint the traditional way and give them an assortment of paintbrushes. Horsehair brushes, foam brushes, wide ones and narrow ones – give them one brush at a time or let them hold several in one hand for a totally different painting.
Foam shapes are easy to find at craft stores, and you can also cut your own shapes out of ordinary sponges. The shapes can be dipped into the paint and stamped onto walls. Use things from around the house as patterns, like plastic silverware, medicine bottle lids, soda bottle bottoms (makes a flower shape), and similar items.
If weather permits parents might consider allowing the children to do their artwork outside. Remember to cover any surface (including grass) that is close to the project. When the projects are done set them aside to dry, then purchase or make a frame, or hang as-is.