Feather Painting – Back To Basics

feather painting for toddlers Yesterday I mentioned that I am doing a new series of posts called Back To Basics and today is the first post in this series. My goal is always to show you how to use simple activities to teach your children or students but with this series I want to make it even more basic. I want to forget about all the complicated “kids crafts” that you know an adult has made and focus on what we all love most about arts & crafts – connecting with our kids. These activities are generally very open although some for older children are more product focused. They are all things you can enjoy simply with the most important little people in your life. I hope you will enjoy these back to basic arts & crafts posts as much as I know we will enjoy creating them.

Today we are sharing something my son and I did way back in 2008 but have never done with my daughter, feather painting. It’s simple, it’s fun and as you will see… it’s messy. All the ingredients for a great time.

Gather your materials. You will need some feathers ( ours were sent to us from our friends at craftprojectideas.com ) , some paint, a tray , paper and painter’s tape to secure the paper to the table. Feather painting for preschool

Start by taping down the paper. I find with feather painting this is the way to do it. Kids can have lots of space to paint and you don’t have to worry about cleaning paint off your table. feather painting 2

Next squirt the paint onto the tray. Like our fancy one? My daughter insisted.

Time to paint. Dip in the feathers and explore. kids crafts

She was tentative at first. feather painting

Soon the feather was more of a spoon than a paint brush, that’s OK. Let your child explore.

She loved making marks with multiple colors.feather painting And the feel of the silky feather wet with paint. feather painitng 7

Soon all marks were only made with her hands. This girl might start using a tool of some sort but we ALWAYS end with finger painting. As she was slamming her hands down she looked up and said ” Blue, orange, green, and purple make black!” and that is why you explore. There is always learning in the exploration. feather painting 9

Books About Color

All of our book lists include affiliate links.

Duckie's Rainbow

Duckie’s Rainbow by Frances Barry is a clever little book , you walk with her as she passes things like a yellow cornfield and blue pond until the pages above create a rainbow . I love the idea but reading it with my son ( who was 2 at the time) all he wanted to do was turn the pages as quickly as he could to make the rainbow. Not a big deal but this would make a better story time book then a bedtime one for that reason.

Dog's Colorful Day

Dog’s Colorful Day by Emma Dodd was a huge hit at our house. My son loved identifying the colors of all the drips of paint, ice cream and more that Dog gets on him throughout the day. This is a great book not only because it has counting and colors but because of the language it uses while the spots of color are splatting, squashing ans squishing onto his beautiful white fur. My son loved repeating these words with enthusiasm as he noted how poor Dog was getting so messy! It’s a fun book to read and one that I have added to my wish list !

colors for zena

Colors for Zena by Monica Wellington was sent to me by the author and I have been meaning to review it for ages. My daughter loves this book. It’s a simple book and perfect for 2-4 year olds who are discovering color mixing through their own explorations. The book is really all about color mixing and the illustrations are adorable and just what you would expect from Wellington. The story itself is not your average Wellington book with a clear story , instead it’s more of a art lesson. My daughter has been very into color mixing since we read this book for the first time and I like being able to reinforce these lessons at bedtime as well as art time.

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  1. says

    I love these kind of open-ended activities. Dog’s Colorful Day is one of my favorite books about color. I haven’t seen the Monica Wellington book but I have liked many of her other books. I will have to check it out!


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