Painting with Children

By Mel @melswrapart
I don’t know about you but I cringe inside about the possible mess that paint can create!!! & I was an art teacher! Didn’t mind it there, just needed plenty of drying racks for all the works of art!
But little (& big ones for that matter) absolutely love to explore paint using their fingers, cotton tips, dabbers, sponges, rollers, brushes even natural resources such as flowers & sticks can be used as tools for painting!
Now what is the best paint to use??? Well depending on the age of your child you might want to try a taste safe one first or check the ingredients on the finger paint pot (most these days are non-toxic & safe to use but please do check first). I’ve even tried a homemade taste safe 3 ingredient puffy paint which you microwave to get the ‘puff’.
But some days as a Mum, you just can’t handle the mess! I hear you! That’s where Little Brian Paint Sticks might be fun to try, compact, smooth and a creamy feel as it glides on the paper & practically mess free, unless like my Mr 2.5 who had to touch it with his other fingers!
Is your child wanting a more paint like experience? Using a brush & some water on a water colour palette, like the pearlescent watercolour paint set pictured, could be another relatively mess free experience just needing a baby wipe to clean fingers & surfaces when finished!
See painting needn’t be cringe worthy or a massive mess fest! Another great option to try, with your little ones is dabbers or dot markers. These are also lots of fun & again relatively mess free!
Ok, so there’s a few different tools I’ve mentioned you could try to apply the paint & a few different paint types to try now what about having a try of painting on different surfaces too! Paper is always the go to but what about painting on ice? Or on bark off a tree? Try painting on fabric - so many different textures to explore.
Now where to paint? Hmm inside sitting at a table with art smock on, drop sheet down & your good to go!
Or try standing up using an easel. You’ll notice your little one reaching for the paints or the corner of the page to paint on. Crossing the midline is good for developing left & right brain connections. Other benefits of vertical painting include better posture, no slumping or crouching over a table to reach. It also activates the core muscles of the back & stomach when standing upright & allows a better freedom of movement too! Also upright painting is great for opening up the hand & getting those wrist muscles working & prepared for being able to better hold & grip a pencil when ready for writing later on.
Don’t have an easel for vertical painting, don’t stress, just grab some old cardboard (big enough to cover past the surface you are painting on) a bit of string & hang on your fence outside - volia - instant makeshift easel 🙌🏼
Still can’t deal with the mess? Well, put on some old clothes (if you have an apron/art smock refusal wearer like me) & take it outside & hose the mess away at the end - simple! Happy Painting!

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A little bit about the author-
MEL @melswrapart

mel @melswrapart

Mel is currently a stay at home mum to two boys aged 2.5y and 7.5y. She was previously a fully qualified primary school teacher, having taught for well over ten years at all levels, subjects and sectors. Mel found her niche in the visual arts room, which is evident in her amazing art and craft set-ups on her Instagram account! Over the past two years, Mel has actively sought out information and has taught herself the principles of Montessori learning, and includes this way of learning in much of her home play.


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