Painting With Dolls

fun art for kids It was raining cats and dogs and we’d already read a stack of books and watched more PBS kids than I care to admit when I decided to steal this idea from my own preschool teachers Fran and Gumti. I loved it when they would roll out the paper and we could choose one of the plastic baby dolls to “walk” along it leaving prints. This painting with dolls activity is timeless because many decades later my daughter loved it. This is also a great adaptation for painting with kids feet if a child doesn’t want to use their own feet. Many kids hate the feeling of getting paint on their feet so having an option of doing it with a doll instead is a way to include everyone.

Gather your materials. You will need some dolls with plastic feet, a long roll of paper ( if you have extra wrapping paper you can use the inside of it), liquid tempra, some painter’s tape, a towel that can get paint on it, a paper plate or two, and a shallow bowl with soapy water. painting with dolls

Tape your paper down. Strip the dolls down and get the water and towel ready at the end of the paper.painting with dolls clean up

Dip the dolly’s feet in the paint.painting with doll feet in preschool

Walk the dolly across the paper.painting with dolls for preschool

Wash and dry and grab a new dolly. wiping dolly feet

She had to hold this dolly differently dolly paintingand it required much more concentration to keep her upright.baby doll painting for toddlers

She loved cleaning their feet and pretending to be a mama.dolly feet

After two dolls she asked for a brush and painted. That is what I love about doing planned activities, they almost always end in a new kid directed one as an add on. If I suggested painting to her she wouldn’t have done it but to just let her add on to this she did. Do what works for your kids but this always have for mine.painting with dolls extention activity

Books About Dolls

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corduroy

Corduroy by Don Freeman was a childhood favorite of mine and my son loves it too. The story is about a lonely bear at a department store who despite being a little disheveled finds a forever home with a kind little girl who needs him as much as he needs her. There are so many levels to this book, as a child I remember being awed by the thought of toys coming alive in stores when the doors are locked and the shoppers leave. As an adult I see this as a touching adoption story . My son loves the escalators Corduroy travels on in the store ! This is another book that has lasting power and can be read for years in your home.

the paper princess

Homemade Paintbrushes

homemade paintbrushesI have made homemade paintbrushes with kids in summer day camps but never with my own kids. We’ve used lots of things that aren’t paintbrushes to paint but we haven’t made them ourselves. Now that my son is a little older I thought it was time to try. My daughter who is four needed a lot of help making the brushes but she loved painting with them, my son on the other hand needed very little help creating the brush but after he confirmed he could paint with it he was done. This is fine, different children will connect to activities differently. They were both being creative throughout and that was the goal.

Gather your materials. You will need some popsicle sticks, elastics ( we used small hair ones and regular rubber bands), craft supplies like feathers, sponges, fake flowers, plastic bags, foam sheets, ribbon, pipe cleaners… I just grabbed all the scraps we had in the playroom. You will also need a pair of scissors for each child as well as paint, and paper to test them out.make your own paintbrush art idea for kids

Start by setting everything up. I rolled out a long line of paper and I am glad I did because my daughter went to town testing every brush out and mixing paint colors. make your own paintbrushes kids craft

Invite the children to check out all the materials and show them how to attach them to the popscicle sticks. My son could do this solo but my daughter needed a lot of help.

Check out their creations! My son was so into making his, he even wanted to add netting to the handle for a grip. I loved seeing him get really into it. make your own paintbrushes with craft supplies

My daughter wanted to use everything pink which meant a sponge and pipe cleaner. make your own homemade paintbrushes

Time to paint! They were so excited to see they really worked.make your own paintbrushes for children  I loved all the squares! painting activities make your own paintbrush

After her brother was done and playing soccer she was adding more paintpainting activity for kids with created paint brushes to the plate and going back to create another brush. create your own paintbrushes

She kept painting and painting! painting with homemade paintbrushes

 

 

Painting Sea Glass

beach art

We live by the ocean and while we don’t get sandy beaches or palm trees we do get sea glass. Looking for sea glass on the rocky shore is one of my favorite calm activities and sometimes my kids join in , no matter how small the piece they are little treasures. Searching for it has taught my kids to pay attention to detail, be determined , as well as patience. Of course all those things will take many more years to develop fully but this is a fun way to work on it while they are young. If you don’t have a spot to search for sea glass you can buy it from craft stores and online.  Painting sea glass is a great way to think out of the box for different canvases, recycle , and even work on those oh so important…fine motor skills.

Gather your materials. You will need some sea glass, paint that works on glass, a few paper plates, and paint brushes. One of my best toddler art tips is for parents to use big brushes that can cover big spaces for toddlers but in this case do the exact opposite. Use the smallest brushes you have because one of the great benefits to painting on small areas is developing fine motor skills while you get creative. sea glass painting fine motor painting

Start by putting a little bit of each color you are using on a paper plate. You can absolutely use a reusable plate but the paints are not washable and I find it much easier and ultimately less wasteful ( of water) to use a paper plate I can roll up and ditch at the end of the activity. sea glass painting art ideas for kids

Take time feel the glass and to talk about how sea glass is made. Why it is so smooth unlike freshly broken glass, why it’s frosted, and if you have any memories to share about finding it. exploring sea glass with preschoolers

Time to paint. There is no wrong way to do this. Paint one side, paint both sides… just have fun getting creative with a new sort of canvas. painting sea glass outside summer activity

She loved it and needed zero direction. painting beach sea glassInstead we chatted about colors, and what we thought the glass used to be , and if there is more than one Santa to deliver all the gifts. My daughter is random like that and I love conversations over art, it’s easily my favorite way to chat especially with such an interesting partner in crime. painting sea glass summer art for kids

Once they are done pop the plate into the sun to dry. Our paint dried while we made words with stamps and playdough. painting sea glass fine motor art idea

reading lists for kids

Check out our collection of books we love about the beach. See the full list here.

Painting Snow

outside activities for kids I know most of you have had a ton of snow this year but we just got our only real snowfall this weekend. My kids were all over it. After we made Olaf in the snow ( seriously check him out ) we warmed up and while having hot chocolate I noticed our water table full of snow and sprang into action! Having spent my first 26 years in Canada I have painted the snow many many times but never with my own kids. This can get messy so have old towels ready , other than that explore and have fun mixing colors in the snow.

Gather your materials. You will need some paint, plastic cups, paint brushes, snow, and a water table or large shallow container for the snow. color mixing in the snow

Fill your container with snow and pour all different color paint int he cups. One color per cup.

Call a little one to come and make a mess. My daughter was more than happy to oblige. color mixing outside in the snow

Paint.paint snow

 

Mix.paint the snow and have fun

 

When you run our of area to paint just grab some more snow ,pack it on top , and keep painting! painting the snow and color mixing

When it was time to come in I had a bowl of warm water and oxyclean ready for her mitts. The paint came off easily!snow painting activity for kids

How do you get creative in the snow?

Books About Snow

winter books for kids

Check out some of our favorite books about snow . You can find the reviews for all of these books here.

Blotto Christmas Tree Craft For Kids

blotto christmas tree craft for kidsNow that my family has arrived for the holidays we have been watching Christmas movies, football, running out for errands and generally off our regular schedule. Sticking to a familiar routine helps my kids and stealing my daughter away from my mom for a few minutes to have some quiet time with me was just what we all needed. I got her up to the playroom with no plan at all. I looked at what we had and the time we had to do it in and this idea popped into my head. This is a simple Christmas tree craft but never seems to lose it’s magic even with older kids. Using the glitter glue was a perfect amount of shimmer without any mess.

Gather your materials. You will need some green paint, glitter glue in all sorts of colors, white construction paper and scissors if you want to cut it out.blotto Christmas tree craft

Start by folding your paper in half.Christmas tree blotto crafat for kids

Make an outline of half a Christmas tree in green paint.I did this step but older kids could absolutely do this. I asked my daughter but she wanted me to do this while she did the glitter.christmas tree blotto art project

Invite your little one to decorate the tree with glitter glue.Blotto Christmas tree craft for preschool

Fold and gently press. This is a great time to talk about what gentle means.christmas tree craft blotto painting

Open and be amazed christmas tree blotto pictures! I loved how amazed she was.Christmas tree blotto art project for kids and toddlers

Let dry and hang up with pride!blotto christmas tree activity