We have been meeting more people lately at our workshops who are really interested in what sort of painting projects that they can do with their little ones, and we are more than happy to share. Painting not only improves their fine motor skills, but also encourages creativity and is a great tool to introduce them to new topics and objects. Part 1 gave some simple methods to get your toddlers painting, these are some more fun ideas that you could try with your little ones.
- Ice painting
Ice painting is especially fun to do on a really hot day. In Singapore, most days are hot days, so we do this activity quite regularly. I usually always have a small batch of ice paints in the freezer ready for use. To make the paints, simple freeze some water with either food coloring or liquid water colors (add more colors if you want the color to be more intense during use). Basically, you are making popsicles with colored water, and just use an ice cream stick as the handle. You could make it more interesting by adding glitter or sequins.
Once frozen, i like to roll out a long strip of paper and let the kids have a go. Super fun!
2. Splat painting
Splat painting?! What on earth is that you might ask, it really is as its called, you “play” with some paint by going SPLAT. Its a fun way to introduce paints to a toddler, especially if its their first time using paint. Put dollops of paint on a piece of paper and cover it with cotton wool so that they can’t see the paint underneath it. Get your child to hammer the cotton wool (i use my child’s plastic toy hammer), and it literally goes SPLAT and the paint will splat, and watch their faces go OOOOOOOOOO. I would suggest doing this activity in a tray so the paint splatter is contained. The final product is also really pretty and abstract.
3. Spray painting
For some reason, kids love using spray bottles. Before doing this activity, its well worth your effort to find and test out spray bottles that are small enough for their hands and also soft enough to use. Some bottles are either too large or too stiff for the children to use. Also, spray bottles that require little fingers to depress will be too hard to them to use.
I got these bottles from Daiso, and these are not too stiff and easy for the children to use. Just fill the bottles up with diluted paint or water colors and you are ready.
You could just let them spray onto blank paper, or if you want to make it more interesting / educational, we like using nature as inspiration. Just pick some some leaves, twigs or flowers from the garden or road side. Arrange them on paper and spray away! You get a pretty silhouette of the different items.
If you are feeling adventurous, why not use fabric paint and spray on a tote bag. We did it for one of our workshops, and the children walked away with their very own uniquely “designed” tote bags.
4. Spice painting
This is an extremely sensory activity for your toddler. Not only do they have a chance to mix and make their own colors, the aroma from all the spices are very stimulating for them. It is also a great way to introduce them to spices. All you need are two ingredients, white paint and your spices. Most spices will be of the yellow to brown spectrum, and you can take this opportunity to teach them about the different color shades. Spices that are great for this activity are Nutmeg, turmeric, five spice, ginger, cinnamon and even garlic powder, whatever you have in your pantry. If the children are a bit older, you could use some curry powder, but be careful not to get them in your eyes are they play with it!
5. Salt Painting
This one is our new favorite, and again its a simple activity just requiring three ingredients, glue, salt and water colors. Just drizzle glue onto some paper (stiffer paper will hold the weight better and not tear easily), sprinkle some salt on and shake off any excess. The kids love the texture of salt and pinching and sprinkling them on. After that, we used water colors, or to make it easier, you can use liquid water colors so that you don’t have to use the palette. The key to this activity is to use lots of water so the color can flow along the salt lines.
The kids LOVE watching the colors run out of the brush and along the salt lines, always lots of OOOOOOOOOsss and AHHHHHsss…..