I just discovered this really cool site – education.com – which has tons of activities for preschoolers and older kids. I love that they have the activities categorized by topic and age so you can find developmentally appropriate activities easily and you don’t end up doing something that’s too challenging for your child’s age. Kids love painting and it’s such a wonderful activity that has so much to offer in terms of helping development. It’s great for gross and fine motor skills, for developing spatial understanding, for understanding how things work (mixing colors), for experimenting, for cognitive development and it’s a great outlet and expression of thoughts and emotion.
Here are some interesting and unconventional ways of “painting” I found on their site and other favorite blogs and sites. Happy painting!
Painting with Bubbles
Painting with Ice
check out painting with ice on Thechocolatemuffintree.com
Crayon Rock Art
Make a Window Mural
Finally and most importantly a recipe for home made fingerpaint
It’s never too early to start painting with your child. I’ve done painting activities with children as young as 9 months old! I’m sure even younger babies would also enjoy it.
Painting is of course a form of expression and creativity, for young children it’s a wonderful learning experience where they get to explore so many aspect. It’s a great way for your baby to get introduced to different textures, mix and squish the paint, notice the effects of mixing colors, painting different surfaces; paper,wood or even themselves! You can paint outdoors or indoors, using a brush, sponge, foam, cotton or their little fingers, hands or feet ! You can put paint in cups to dip into or little bottles so they can squeeze out the paint and make squiggly patterns. It’s also an activity that develops young children’s large and fine motor skills,visual perceptual.
Keep in mind it’s not about the final product but about experiencing the process. An activity like painting fosters creativity which fosters your child’s mental growth by providing opportunities for trying out new ideas and new ways of thinking and problem solving. Try not to judge,direct,compare or guess your child’s creative project, this may influence your child in taking your direction of thought instead of her own! “A little assistance and direction can be helpful, but be careful not to interfere with your children’s creative explorations.Avoid dominating the play. Play should be the result of the children’s ideas and not directed by the adult. “*
Make sure you use toxic free paint and give your baby ample room and supplies (don’t give too many choices in the beginning it may be overwhelming). Children work well in defined spaces so you can spread a mat or plastic sheet (used by painters) and put all your supplies and paper on it. It’s most likely your baby will stay within that defined area and focus on exploring all the material! It’s likely your baby will need a bath right after 🙂
While your thinking of this activity take a look at this inspiring video of Aelita Andre, a 4-year-old who has just opened her art exhibition in Manhattan last June.
- Read more on creativity and play here
- For some creative play ideas check out the featured blogs on the Links & Blogs page
*Website: The Whole Child (pbs) : Creativity and Play, Fostering Creativity
Image by jkurl11