Here are 10 cool painting activities for kids! Have fun and don’t be afraid of the mess!
I thought I’d do a follow up post to my last one to show some of the tools Boo uses when painting. The process I go through with Boo definitely changes as she gets older…..I’ve written several posts over the years with tips on painting with children….I linked them all up at the bottom of this post.
As I was collecting photos together for this post I starting making a collage of Boo painting over the years…..she was so tiny!
So onto the topic of this post! I love giving Boo all the tools she needs to be creative as possible. I give her tips and pointers along the way….teaching her how to use different techniques. What we are always working on though is the building up of layers. The more layers…..the more interesting the painting.
I always make sure to have lots of paint and oversized brushes. We mix the paints with water so that it’s easier to apply to the canvas. The faster she can cover a canvas with paint…..the more likely she is to paint multiple layers:
Gesso is key! It’s a white primer……but great for painting an opaque layer over something. She mixed it with different colors to lighten them:
Willow charcoal is great for drawing lines as guides onto a painting. I usually draw a few lines for her when she wants to write something on a painting. After the paint dries the charcoal can be wiped off with a damp cloth. Willow charcoal is the only thing I draw with with painting….if you use a graphite pencil no matter how many layers you keep painting over it….you’ll keep seeing it! I like the way it crumbles and mixes into the paint as well. To make a charcoal drawing permanent you’ll need to spray the drawing with some matte varnish in between layers.
When painting with multiple layers I teach Boo to “deconstruct” her layers. A mouse sander is a pretty safe tool for her age if I’m supervising her. All it does is vibrate back and forth….I just keep a close eye on her to make sure she doesn’t sand right through the canvas and weaken the fabric layer.
I love mixing different kinds of paints, markers and crayons. The rule is: start with water soluble mediums and move up to oil based. Once you add oil based mediums you can’t paint over them with water based mediums. But sometimes we cheat…. and use spray paint in between layers. Spray paint is pretty permanent.
Examples of water-soluble:
Examples of oil/wax mediums:
Oil Based Varnishes
I love aqua crayons because she can draw and then use water to turn the images into water colors:
Stencils are an easy way to add texture and design to a painting. I let Boo use spray paint when I’m watching her. If you let a young child use spray paint make sure to put goggles on them just in case they happen to spray the wrong direction! Boo just uses swim goggles. We use all different types of objects to create stencils….cut paper, glue gun stencils (click here for a tutorial), and letter stencils. When they are covered in spray paint they become great stamps too!
We always take advantage of excess paint. Anything that’s left over is used to create layers….by pouring paint, dripping, or even using bubble wrap and other items to print patterns onto the canvas:
Here’s the video of Boo’s process all wrapped into 3 minutes:
Value Pack Flat Brushes (Dharma Trading)
50 Pack of Brushes (Dharma Trading)
Set of 12 Brushes (Dharma Trading)
Black Fabric Marker (Dharma Trading)
White Chalk Ink Markers
A process video of Boo creating 3 paintings….all painted to raise money for a good cause: The Academy of PDCPC (you can click here to view the listings)….I gave her ideas along the way and then we decided on quotes for her to add based on what the finished paintings looked like. I taught her to finally use the electric sander. We used lots of paint and bubble wrap.
I recently accepted the Cre8time challenge from Michael’s to create for an hour a day for 8 consecutive days. For few days I worked in my art journal and on the days the Hungry Bunnies. For the remaining days this weekend, I left it up to Boo what we would do. She wanted to make something to help raise money to help kids go to her school next year……and this is the idea we came up with: Paintings for a Cause. I stocked up on large canvases, paint, aqua crayons and willow charcoal. I taught Boo a few techniques as she painted. You can see her creative progression in the little video we made:
We’ve listed them on eBay. All proceeds after fees go directly to The Academy of PDCPC here in Palm Desert and will be earmarked for financial aid funds. Check out the paintings below. If you click the paintings you’ll be taken to the listing…..I like to tell people they are an “investment”…..maybe she’ll be a famous artist one day.
Me: What do you want to sell them for?
Boo: How about $30? ……or….if they think that’s too expensive I’ll take $20…..or how about $15?
I’m hoping they’ll go for a little more than that….it’s a chance to get a signed “Boo” original that benefits a great cause ; )
Be The Change
24″ x 18″ Acrylic/Mixed Media Painting
Signed by “Boo” Hackshaw
A Little Light
20″ x 24″ Acrylic/Mixed Media Painting
Signed by “Boo” Hackshaw
A River Runs Through It
20″ x 24″ Acrylic/Mixed Media Painting
Signed by “Boo” Hackshaw
It feels good creating for someone else. It’s what I do everyday. I hope to pass that onto Boo. I think we’ll just keep painting…..and see where it goes.
I never finished a paint by number when I was younger…..they never gave me enough paint and I got too frustrated at the tiny little spaces I had to fill. To redeem myself I bought a kit today at Michaels.
Then, as I was driving home, I thought it would be a fun Friday night activity for the family……but only if it was GINORMOUS. So, I made a stop at Kinko’s/Fedex……and enlarged it so that it would be easier to paint.
(it’s about $9 at the DIY enlargement copy machine)
I attached it with spray adhesive to a large piece of cardboard to keep it from wrinkling too much. We are changing up the colors from the original palette….it’s a little more “sherbet” now.
I simplified the process by clearly labeling paint and the corresponding numbers: [Read more…]
So I was thinking about what I would have loved to get as a gift as a kid…..and this art box is definitely something I would have been overjoyed about. Actually, I’m STILL overjoyed when I get art supplies! I have no self control when it comes to browsing the arts and crafts store…..sometimes I get lost in there for hours (as well as the hardware store). So here’s how I assembled these kits and where I purchased everything from. You can always buy the “ready made” art kits at the store….but the custom filled art box will always be 1000% more fun! Oh, and the awesome artwork? Stephanie Corfee created it….just for you…..because she’s awesome like that!
Here’s the front view of one example: [Read more…]
Ellen Bessette designed this amazing Rainbow and Chevron Arts and Crafts Party recently featured on Hostess with the Mostess. She used Lil Blue Boo’s Guide to Painting with Children as a fun party activity! Photography by Rebecca Dollar.
Check out the rest of the photos here.
Find Lil Blue Boo’s Guide to Painting with Children here.
Check out our Printable Party Set in the shop by Wants and Wishes!
I recently refurbished my TOMS with spraypaint…..and now it was time to redo Boo’s pair. They had a few holes in the toes: [Read more…]
Boo and I woke up inspired to make a big painting….so we’ve got a big project for this weekend! I’ll load the final photos here when it is done but you can follow our progress over the weekend in the photo album (click photo below):
It’s obvious that Boo loves to paint….it’s one of the first things she’ll ask to do each morning. What’s different about the paintings below from the painting in my last post about painting is the TYPE of paint. In the large painting last week we used washable paint…..it’s is easy to clean up but the color isn’t as vibrant and the paint is easily washed off of the canvas. I’ll often let her use acrylic craft paints to make large paintings that we will hang up in the house because the paint is more permanent…..we jokingly call this her “fine art” painting. I’ve got a few tips to help your child paint something you could hang on your living room wall!
When the weather isn’t nice enough to paint outside, I’ll lay all my drop cloths down in our foyer because it is such an open area. I lay the canvas flat so she can sit on the floor and draw on it with her water crayons or splatter and dribble large amounts of paint around:
The key is to keep the painting an interesting activity. When she starts to get a little bored, I’ll remove the canvas from the floor and set it upright. I’ll use boxes or a postal crate to set her paint on so she doesn’t step in it when she’s deep in thought:
I rotate the canvas often…..so she sees her painting differently. It’s amazing how turning a painting 90 degrees will allow her to see a big blank space she never noticed before…..or couldn’t reach. This is how I paint too…..when I get bored I just turn the painting upside down!
I think most of the enjoyment of the painting for her is mixing and dripping large amount of paint…..I guess it could be comparable to making mudpies. I’ll admit, this is why I love painting so much….I love the mixing and the spreading and the pushing of pigment around the surface to see what happens.
One of the most frequent questions I get is: how do you keep her from mixing the colors together and getting that muddy brown result? Simple, I give her a huge selection of paints to choose from, but from only one color palette at a time. I love the 99 cent craft paints because they come in so many colors….and I’ll give her one bin at a time: