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.
A, Baby T and I were out walking yesterday and A began to collect some leaves. She mostly picked up gum leaves, but she also picked up some maple leaves, silky oak leaves and some other small leaves from a few bushes. It was a motley collection, but perfect for trying some leaf rubbings.
We sorted through the crayon tub to find some suitable crayons, and A delighted in pulling off the remaining paper covering these crayons (and then just throwing it on the floor like confetti!). We picked fat crayons so they were easier for A to hold. She placed the leaves on the table and covered them with white paper. I held the paper still while she wielded the crayon on its side, rubbing it over where the leaves were lying. She was amazed to see the shapes of the leaves emerging beneath the crayon. She kept calling them ‘leaf fossils’, I think because we did a rubbing of a dinosaur fossil on a recent trip to the museum.
Painting, painting, painting, we love it!
A new Lincraft store has opened nearby, so the kids and I went to check it out last week. We bought a number of things, including some new poster paints. L picked out some fluoro paints, and A chose some glitter paints. We put our new paints to good use on our easel, using a variety of brushes (different sizes and shapes). A mostly likes to just slap the paint onto the paper, making streaks, dots, and swirls. L prefers to paint a picture. Either way, easel painting is fun 🙂
The finished paintings will go into our present box to be used as wrapping paper.
Sharing the easel.
These sort of paintings probably have a real name, but I’ve always thought of them as squishy or butterfly paintings due to the way the paint is squished between the paper, and that the final outcome often looks butterfly-ish.
Blobbing the paint onto the paper.
Squishing the folded paper together to spread and mix the paint.
We like doing these simple paintings. The kids like the way the paint squishes and mixes to make pretty patterns. I pre-folded the paper to make it easier for the kids to see where to put the paint. They blobbed paint onto the paper using paint brushes and then re-folded the paper and pressed down on it to spread the paint. It works best if the paint is near the fold of the paper in blobs of different colours, and don’t let it dry before folding. Pressing the paper away from the fold towards the edge of the paper will spread the paint further, and change the shape of the painting. Open the paper, and there is a pretty painting inside!
These pictures are fun to make. I mixed some paint with water to make it thinner, and then added a little bit of dish washing liquid to each colour and mixed it all up. A used a straw to blow into the mixture to produce lots of bubbles. L refused to blow through the straw, as she was worried that she would accidentally suck it up into her mouth. That was okay, she still used some paper to make bubble prints after A or I made the bubbles.
The kids carefully placed their sheets of paper over the bowls full of bubbles, transferring the paint onto the paper to make a bubble print.
Transferring the bubble pattern to paper.
It can become a bit messy when the bubbles pop, as little droplets of paint get sprayed out. When L and A put their heads close to the bubbles they ended up with the droplets on their faces, and in their hair. It was plenty of fun, but the kids needed a bath after we were finished 🙂
A bubble print.