Ultimate Guide to Painting with Young Children
The Bambini Art Project is focused on increasing art opportunities for all young children. Paint is one of the most common art activities. This is a great starting point for infants and toddlers, but is also full of potential for older children as well. Below is a huge collection of art ideas from bloggers around the world. At your fingertips are ideas for basic painting, different surfaces and tools to try, and more. But first some strategies for managing messes.
How to Manage Messes
Not wanting your child to make a mess is a common reason for not painting. I get this. I hate mess. Art, however, is too important to let this stand in your way. Here are some tips for managing messes.
*Have an exit strategy. This is my number one tip. Don't wait until your child(ren) are coated in paint to wonder how you are going to get them cleaned up without covering your space in handprints. Plan ahead of time for clean up and have materials on hand (wash cloths, tub of water, nearby sink, etc)
*Start young. I know this seems counter-intuitive, but as with most things, starting young is key. Start small and with lessoned expectations, but make art part of your normal activities. If art is normal, they will quickly learn your expectations and know how to work with the tools and materials.
*Have dedicated covering for your floor and/or table that you use each time. Store them with your art smocks. We use a large old curtain that I can throw in the laundry with the art shirts.
*Choose your space carefully. If it can be avoided, carpet is not ideal for painting. Tiled floor that can be easily cleaned is best or doing art outside. Especially for big art, outside is my favorite place.
*Set and be firm with expectations. In our house, art materials stayed in the art space. If they wanted to wander away from our project, as infants and toddlers often do, the brushes and paint had to stay at the art table. This was also true of markers and crayons. This gives them choice about where they want to be, but makes sure our home isn't covered in paint marks. Now that they are older, I am a little more flexible.
Inspiration for Art Activities
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When I'm looking for art ideas for our afternoons, I usually start with the books on my shelves. These are the ones I find most inspiring for art ideas.
The Language of Art: Inquiry-Based Studio Practices in Early Childhood Settings by Ann Pelo
Infants & Toddlers At Work: Using Reggio-Inspired Materials to Support Brain Development by Ann Lewin-Benham
The Artful Parent by Jean Van't Hul
Rapunzel's Supermarket by Ursula Kolbe
Art Lab for Little Kids: 52 Playful Projects for Preschoolers by Susan Schwake
Simple First Painting Activities
Single Colour Paint Exploration from Learn with Play at Home
Introduction to Watercolor from Bambini Travel
Toddler Outdoor Canvas Painting Project from Arts Crackers
No Mess Window Painting from Pink Oatmeal
Exploring Line with Tape Resist from Bambini Travel
Splatter Paint and Tape Resist from Buggy and Buddy
Different Kinds of Paint
Foamy Soap Paint from a Mom with a Lesson Plan
Sensory Color Mixing from Bambini Travel
Rainbow Shaving Foam Bath Painting from Adventures of Adam
Textured Finger Paints from Parenting Chaos
Neon Bath Painting by Adventures of Adam
Sparkly Mixed Medium Winter Paintings from Stay at Home Educator
Painting on Different Surfaces
Out of paper? No worries. Want to add a different sensory or motor element to painting? Look no further. Here are some creative and fun surfaces to paint.
BUBBLE WRAP: Bubble Wrap Paintings for Infants and Toddlers from Bambini Travel
BOX: Painting in a Box from Simple Fun for Kids
CARDBOARD: Cardboard Canvas from Mama Smiles
CONTACT PAPER: Painted Suncatchers from Creative Family Fun
FABRIC: Twinkle Star Blankets from Bambini Travel
FLOWER POTS: Kitchen Garden Art: Colorful Pour Pots from KC Edventures
FOIL: Painting on Foil from Bambini Travel
LIGHT TABLE: Painting on Light from Bambini Travel
MIRRORS: Mirror Painting from Bambini Travel
PACKAGING: Painting Air Cushions from Simple Fun for Kids
SHOWER CURTAINS: Shower Curtain Mural from Bambini Travel
TISSUE PAPER: Eric Carle Inspired Painted Tissue Paper Art from Bambini Travel
UNDER THE TABLE: Painting Like Michelangelo from Your Modern Family
Painting with Nature
Nature Art from Danya Banya
Painting on Ice from Mama Papa Bubba
Painting with Snow from Pleasantest Thing
Leaves and Watercolors from Bambini Travel
Painting with Nature (And a Peg) from Danya Banya
Painting Pine Cones from Simple Fun for Kids
Rain Painting from Pleasantest Thing
Painting with Tools
I am using the term "tools" very loosely here. These are painting activities that are using something out of the ordinary to apply paint to a surface. Everything from droppers and potato mashers to stamps and ice are included below.
DROPPERS: Painting with Liquid Watercolors and Droppers from Buggy and Buddy
COMBS: Comb Painting from Learn with Play at Home
CORKS: Cork + Gummy Painting from Best Toys 4 Toddlers
DIY PAINTBRUSHES: from Parenting Chaos
PIPECLEANERS: Pink and Purple Paint Print for Kids from Mini Monets and Mommies
POTATOES: Fun with Paint: Potato Stamps from Adventures in Wunderland
POTATO MASHER: Potato Masher Painting with Kids from In The Playroom
RIBBONS: Big Art Project for Toddlers: Ribbon Painting from Hands On As We Grow
ROLLERS + Other Tools: Painting Big with Toddlers from Adventure in a Box
RUBBER BANDS: Rubber Band Flick Painting from Creative Play Central
SOAP DISPENSER: Exploratory Art for Kids. Squirty Foaming Paint from Learn with Play at Home
SPONGES: Sponge Painting from Learning 4 Kids
SPRAY BOTTLES: Easy Negative Space Art from Kids Play Box
STAMPS: Valentines Stamp Art for Toddlers (with sensory play) from Danya Banya
TEA BAGS: Splat Painting from Messy Little Monster
TOILET PAPER ROLLS: Easy Fireworks Painting for Kids from Danya Banya
TOY TRUCKS: Construction Truck Messy Painting from My Nearest and Dearest
Active Painting Ideas
Are your kids especially active? Here are some fun ways to combine gross motor with art.
Boot Painting from Bambini Travel
Car Track Painting from A Mom with a Lesson Plan
Feet Paintingfrom Bambini Travel
Nature Shake Paintings from Bambini Travel
Pendulum Painting from Handmade Kids Art
Splat Paintingfrom Adventures of Adam
Other materials for specific activities below.
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