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.
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.
Using pieces of Lego or Duplo as painting stamps is a simple and fun activity. I normally use paint on sponges for stamping activities, but since we had recently purchased some large paint pads, we used these to make our prints. L and A used both Lego and Duplo to make their artworks. L tried some stamping using both sides of the Lego.
One of the paint pads.
Duplo on the paint pad ready for stamping.
A stamping her page with Duplo.
The kids enjoyed this easy activity, and made some nice prints. The only downside was trying to get the paint out of the top of the Duplo! A bottle brush did the trick in the end. Once they were clean and dry, the Lego and Duplo went back into the tubs to play with again another day.
Using stampers with paint can be lots of fun. We have a few packs of stampers. In this set there is a heart, whale, star, butterfly, snail and smiley sun. Each stamp has a handle which makes them easier to use for young children, and it helps to reduce the amount of paint that gets on their hands during the activity.
Paint and stamps on sponges ready for stamping.
I like to put the paint onto some clean kitchen sponges to use with the stamps. This helps with even paint coverage of the stamp, and makes it less likely there will be too much paint on the stamp to see the shape.
Using a stamper.
Both L and A got right into the stamping. A placed her stamps randomly all over her paper, while L made an earth picture. She used the whale stamp to create some water, before adding some whales jumping out of it, and there are stars and suns in the sky, and snails on the ground. She told me that she added the hearts to indicate that she would love the world to be full of nature’s wonders like whales for ever (she is environmentally conscious).
L’s earth painting.
Big L’s birthday is coming up and A wanted to make some special wrapping paper to wrap his presents in. She chose to use metallic paints and paint scrapers for this activity.
The paint scrapers we used.
Spreading the paint.
I bought the paint scrapers at Riot Art & Craft for a few dollars. They are sturdy plastic and each one has a different edge to make different patterns.
A used a sponge brush to spread the paint over the paper, and then while it was still wet she used the paint scrapers to make patterns in the paint. Most of her paintings were done in one colour, but the one I like the best has three metallic colours. It’s a bit hard to tell in the photos, but the metallic paint looks fantastic!
Creating a square pattern.
A really liked using the paint scrapers in one direction, and then in the perpendicular direction to create a pattern of squares.
Using one of the scrapers.
L and A also did some paintings using normal paint and the paint scrapers. They both created some lovely artworks using this method. The patterns that the paint scrapers left were more obvious in the normal paint than in the metallic paint.
The hand-print monsters worked so well, I thought we would have a go at painting monsters. And if it involves paint, A is always keen!
A started by painting a monster with lots of legs and arms, and then she told me she was going to paint a mermaid monster, but then she changed her mind, and painted a pink, blue, green and purple blob. When it was dry, she turned this blob into a monster using markers, paper cut-out teeth and eyes. She even added a heart on the monster’s chest. She also used markers on her first painting to add details such as eyelashes, pupils and a tongue.
A’s blob monster.
We made some squish paintings to use for creating more paint monsters using markers after they were dry.
L made a magical cat monster with blue and yellow magic all around it, and a large green tail. There was a monster with one eye in its bottom, and lots and lots of brains all over its body. According to L, this monster also has the ability to shoot brains from its sides to defeat its enemies. Her third monster was a hypnotising monster, with swirls for eyes and nose and green spiky horns and swirly arms. If you look at this monster for too long you would come under it’s control, and you would have to do anything that it wanted you to. L has a very good imagination!
L’s magical cat monster.
L’s brain monster.
L’s hypnotising monster.
A few cheap spray bottles and some watered down paint made for a wonderful evening of painting in our yard.
I hung paper from the clothesline for this activity. It took the kids a little while to learn not to spray when the wind was blowing towards them, but eventually they got more paint on the paper than on themselves! They were wearing their art smocks, but they definitely required a bath after this.
A spraying her paper.
I had a little trouble getting the right consistency for the paint, at first some of it was too watery, and we could barely see the colour on the paper, then one of them was so thick, it wouldn’t suck up the tube. After a bit of trial and error, we got three spray bottles working just right. We also found that the darker paint colours, such as blue and green worked much better than when we tried lighter colours like yellow and orange.
Using the mist setting.
A stood on a chair to be more level with the paper hanging from the line. L was at a good height, and got started right away. First they tried using their spray bottles on the mist setting. It created some great spray patterns, though L and A both wanted to add so much paint that it began just rolling down off the paper. Squeezing the spray bottle handle to spray the paint gave their hand muscles a little workout, but them didn’t seem to mind. A sometimes used both hands to spray and steady the bottle. Accurate aiming took some practice for both of them too.
Using the jet setting on the spray bottle.
They also tried using the jet setting on the spray bottles, which sprayed the paint quite a long way. They loved the noise it made when the paint hit the paper, but they also missed the paper a number of times. Once they hit Big L in the back while he was across the yard tending the garden, but most of the missed paint sprayed onto the clothesline. After the paintings were dry and I’d removed them from the line, I hosed as much of the paint off as I could. Most of the paint came off that way, the rest just adds character to our clothesline 🙂
Jet setting spray bottle paintings.
Mist setting spray bottle paintings.
Last week we bought some storage products that came packed in cardboard trays. We put these cardboard trays to good use for painting with golf balls.
One ball at a time.
No one in our family plays golf, but sometimes while we are out walking we find a golf ball on the oval, or near the path. The kids love picking them up and bringing them home. We used four of these golf balls to do some interesting paintings in the cardboard trays.
Adding another colour.
I put some paint onto sponges and the kids rolled the golf balls in one colour, placed it in the tray with their paper, and moved the box about to make the ball roll around. This allowed the paint to be transferred to the paper in tracks. When the paint wasn’t too thick we could even see the pattern of the golf ball on the paper.
L started with just one golf ball in the tray at a time, while A put paint on three golf balls, and put them all in together. They shook the trays, and moved them side to side to make the balls move about. A also used her hands to push the balls around.
Pushing the balls around.
They both made some really great patterns.
Using sponges can be a fun way to paint. We had a set of synthetic sea sponges I’d picked up from somewhere (probably Bunnings, I’ve been spending a lot of time there lately), and we set to work with some poster paints. I placed some paint onto a plastic tray so that L and A could dip the sponges into the paint easily. This, in theory, should have worked nicely, except both L and A pushed the sponges down until the sponges had absorbed all of the paint from the tray. This was way too much paint, so when they first put the sponge on the paper, it just left a big blob instead of the sponge texture I’d been aiming for.
L making prints.
A squashing the sponge down.
It was very hard to convince A to press the sponge to the paper more gently. She just wanted to squish all the paint out of the sponge in one go. And when my attention was diverted by L asking me a question, A used that opportunity to paint her palm with the sponge and do some hand prints too. By the end of the activity, L was managing to get some nice textured prints from the sponge. On one of L’s paintings, she used one colour to make lots of prints across the paper, and then, when that was dry, she used a different colour over the top. This gave a nice layered and multi-coloured effect. Most of the paintings ended up with lots of sponge prints all over them in all of the colours we had out. This is definitely an activity that we will be doing again.
Using the sponge to make layered art.
One of the finished sponge paintings.