Art can be messy but I think that’s part of the reason why it’s fun. Especially art experiences for toddlers and babies, who are more likely to put paint on any surface except the piece of paper or easel. As part of our informal Tot School, I try to offer art on a weekly basis but sometimes more if Squeaker is showing an interest. Sometimes we do themed projects like our handprint and pom pom apple tree or toilet paper tube apple stamping. Recently though, I wanted to offer her options and so we put on some music and tried these free painting ideas instead.
- paint (We used fingerpaint and Tempera paint)
- cotton balls
- construction paper or art paper
- willing participant
For our first set of free painting, after Squeaker finished her apple tree, I cleaned off her hands with a wet paper towel and then set the plate of fingerpaint next to the construction paper.
I wasn’t sure what she would do with it since we just finished palm painting, so I dipped the tip of my index finger into the paint to show her.
She took to it right away and really enjoyed making dots on the paper with her fingertip.
We’ll figure out what to do with her finished project later, even if it’s just saving it in our binder for the tot school year.
Our next project, I set up the “brush” for her by pinching a cotton ball in a clothespin. I had two plates of paint for her- red and green and laid out the paper.
She got started right away with this one and definitely had a lot of fun!
With her finished project, we’ll probably stencil some apples on it using one of our cookie cutters and then make a banner from that. Though I’m really not sure!
Squeaker had so much fun with these free painting ideas and honestly, it was just about enjoying the process instead of the finished product. After each project that we do, I intend to offer her free painting time so she can just create.
What free painting ideas have you tried?