We cracked out the Christmas glitter paint and foam Christmas stamps to make some festive art.
Usually I would put the paint onto sponges so that the stamps don’t get overloaded with paint. Unfortunately we were out of sponges, so some of the pictures were a bit gloopy, but they still look nice. And importantly the kids had fun!
Paintings hanging up to dry.
We ran out of wrapping paper, so we broke out our little foam rollers, paint and a roll of plain brown paper and got down to having some fun.
Rolling paint onto the paper.
We used blue, purple, green and pink paint. I tried for one roller per colour, but the kids quickly put the rollers in all the colours…
A used the pink paint to make a heart, while L made long green and blue stripes. The boys dabbed the paint here and there, rolling all the colours together, and rolling paint onto themselves. Luckily I had stripped them down to just their undies in preparation for such an event!
Making a heart.
Fun with rollers.
During a morning at playgroup the boys did some cute little paintings using cotton buds (also called q-tips or cotton tips). Later, we tried it at home.
Painting with a cotton bud.
Paint on the tray.
I had cotton buds in the bathroom, so we got out enough to have one cotton bud for each paint colour. We put a blob of paint on a plastic take-away container lid, and the boys got started painting.
They had lots of fun spreading the paint with the cotton buds. After a while T1 also used his fingers to add some paint to his page, but mostly they stuck with the cotton buds.
Once they had finished, I threw the used cotton buds out, and washed off the paint trays. This was a cheap, simple and fun activity to do with my toddlers.
For Mother’s Day this year we made bookmarks using the hand-prints of the kids. I found some old scrapbooking papers that had pink or blue heart patterns on them to use as our base for the hand-prints.
Using the paint pad.
Each child chose the background paper to use, and the colour of paint for their hand-print. Predictably A chose pink on pink for her bookmarks. L used the rainbow paint pad for her hand-prints on the back on the blue paper. Unfortunately the rainbow paint didn’t come out as clearly as the other paint, but L liked it as it was. The boys used blue paint on blue paper. Using paint pads for hand-prints makes it easy to get a good amount of paint on the hand, and is much less messy than using conventional paint.
After the hand-prints were dry, I carefully cut around each hand. The kids wrote some lovely messages on the back of one of their hands using a marker. A pushed down her marker quite hard, and the ink is visible through the hand-print. She also drew a lot of love hearts! I love it because it is so unique.
Writing a message on the back of the hand-print.
To finish the bookmarks I laminated the hand-prints. I arranged the hand-prints so that A’s hands and Baby T’s hands were together to make a bigger bookmark each, while L’s hand-print was big enough as one. I also did a single print of my hand to make a bookmark for my mum. Once laminated, I carefully cut around the hand-prints so that there was a small amount of plastic laminate around each one. The kids were happy with their bookmarks.
One of the boy’s bookmarks.
A hand-print bookmark in my latest read.
Finger painting last week was so much fun, A asked if we could practice her sight words with finger paint. This time we used ordinary poster paint (Baby T was sleeping), and we squirted some into one of our play tubs. The tub was yellow, so we used green paint as it gave us a good contrast.
Squirts of paint.
Smoothing the paint around the tray.
A had a great time spreading the paint around the bottom of the tray, squishing and sliding in it. When she was ready, she smoothed the paint across the bottom of the tray, and then proceeded to use the tip of her index finger to write her words. When she had filled the tray with words, she smoothed the paint over, and wrote some more words.
Writing a word.
Writing more words.
There were some potatoes going soft at the back of the cupboard. I used two of them to make some stamps. Each potato I cut in half, and then cut a basic shape into the flesh of the potato. I used a small, sharp knife to cut away the extra potato, so I had to be very careful.
We used giant paint pads to apply the paint to the potato. These kind of stamping pads are great because they prevent excess paint getting on the stamp, and also avoids waste.
Potato on the paint pad.
A used the potato stamps to stamp randomly all over the piece of paper. It looked very interesting, and she had fun. We will save this paper as wrapping paper.
Finger painting palette.
In order to make finger painting available for Baby T, I tried making some home-made edible paint. It probably wouldn’t taste very nice, but I just wanted something that wouldn’t hurt him if he put it in his mouth! So I mixed up a runny mixture of cornflour, water and food colouring, making it thick enough to feel like paint but thin enough to spread. It’s just a runny version of the slime we like to have sensory and messy play with.
Dipping her fingers.
Drizzling paint onto paper.
The kids had a good time spreading the paint around in the tubs, drizzling it to make patterns, and swirling it together. They squished their fingers through it, and then made some paper prints from it. The paper soaked up the coloured water from the cornflour, leaving pretty patterns on the paper. They also used it to paint directly onto paper.
Paint in the tub ready to use for prints.
Once they were finished, it all washes off with soap and water. This was an inexpensive, easy and fun activity for a lazy Saturday afternoon.
L’s finger painting of a red sunset.
There were Christmas craft ideas in some of the email newsletters from Educational Experience in the lead up to Christmas. One of the ideas was to create fingerprint Christmas cards. We tried this out at home, making Christmas trees and candy canes with our fingers.
A liked to smudge her fingerprints together for her trees.
L carefully creating a tree.
We started with plain white cards. The kids used green paint to create a triangle for the tree, and then brown paint for the trunk. The candy canes were alternating red and white fingerprints in a cane shape.
A making a candy cane.
To finish the cards, we added sparkly star stickers to the top of the trees, and little Christmas stickers in the corners of the candy cane cards.
This was a quick activity with minimal mess. And the end result looked good. We gave these cards to teachers and staff at the kids’ school. The card’s recipients were very impressed. On the back of each card I wrote the name of the child that painted the card, along with the year and the class that the kids were in.
It’s easy and fun to make your own Christmas wrapping paper, as long as you don’t mind a little mess along the way! We used glitter paints in silver, gold, green and red, and white paint mixed with glitter. The kids applied the paint using little foam dabbers, basically a foam piece attached to a handle for easy use. We could have done similar painting using pieces of round sponge, but I find the handled variety a little less messy for the kids to use.
L painting a tree.
L used the dabbers to make spotty Christmas trees and lines, while A just put random spots all over the paper. A also made one picture of flowers out of spots, which we won’t use as wrapping paper, we will place it up on the wall instead.
A’s lovely flower picture.