Sunday, October 4, 2009

5 Painting Activities (Not at the Easel)

I love painting with kids. Painting is a great way for kids to express their creativity and experiment with color, shape, and ideas. We paint a lot in my class. We paint at the easel almost every week. And we use other painting activities instead of the easel to provide more fun and learning. Here are 5 fun ways to paint in your class.

Cotton Swab Painting
Provide cotton swabs, paint, and paper. Kids can swab, dot, swipe,
and create. Kids often create a variety of designs and have a different experience than they do with a brush.

Cookie Cutter Prints

Choose cookie cutters that relate to your session's focus--letters, animals, shapes, or whatever. Fold a paper towel to fit into an aluminum pan and pour the paint on top of the paper towel. This makes a "paint pad" so paint will more easily adhere to the cookie cutter. Kids will love experimenting with making designs or spelling words.

Slinky Painting

Kids can dip slinkys into
paint. Then they can press the slinkys onto paper or bounce the slinkys onto the paper to create different designs. Small slinkys seem to work better; they are not as long and don't create as much mess. Look for slinkys of different shapes to create a variety of prints.

Shoe Prints

Locate small shoes with different tread patterns. Fold paper towels to put in the aluminum pans and pour paint on the towels to control the amount of paint that gets on the shoe. Encourage children to print and overprint to create designs.

Marble Painting

Marbles can be used in different ways to paint. Here's my favorite way. Place paper inside an oatmeal box. Roll a marble in paint and scoop it out with a spoon. Drop the painted marble into the oatmeal box and put the lid on the box. Roll the box back and forth. (Two children can roll the box to each other.) Open the box, pour out the marble (back into the paint). Repeat with the same color or another color if you choose. When complete, remove the paper and set aside to dry.

Painting is fun! Remember, when painting, the doing is more important than the end result. Preschoolers and kindergartners like the process of putting paint on paper in different ways. They may paint a picture; they may create a design; they may just experiment without any plan whatsoever. Encourage the creativity!

What are some fun ways you like to paint and create with kids?

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