I had a little problem with bubbly water but instead of focusing on the negative I grabbed a few empty cans from our recycling bin and turned them into tools to paint with. You’d think in 8 years of blogging and decades of teaching young children I would have done this easy art project before but I never had! My 5-year-old who was fighting a fever and home from school were more than happy to help.
Using tools other than paint brushes isn’t just fun, it’s a lesson in creativity. In the case of these cans, it’s also a way to re-use a recyclable and extend its usefulness. I love it when I can do all that with an easy art project.
Gather your materials. You will need some empty pop cans, some paint, dishes or paper plates, and some paper. You may also want to use some foam to cover the open and possibly sharp opening, see below for my fix for this.
If you are concerned about little hands reaching into the cans and getting cut, you can use sticky back foam to cover it. Simply cut a circle big enough to cover. Duct tape would work too! Of course, you can also just use unopened cans. But you’ll want to set them aside after the project to give the carbonation some time to chill out after being handled so much. You will also want to use paper plates as a full can could scratch or break a plate if it’s dropped or slammed down by an eager artist.
Spread the paint on the plates and place the cans on.
Start painting! My daughter loved this; she started with making a heart
And made a multi-colored design next.
Books About Shapes
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Ship Shapes by Stella Blackstone and Siobhan Bell is a bright, colorful and engaging book all about finding shapes. The text is simple and serves really only to support the reader’s efforts finding shapes throughout the book. What I like is that these illustrations are challenging, and not really illustrations at all. They are fabric collages that are so detailed and layered that some of the obvious shapes are easy to find, but many are hidden. So if you are reading this with an older child, there is still some challenge.
Shape Shift by Joyce Hesselberth is one of my daughter’s favorite books. One of the perks of being a blogger is that sometimes things just show up at your door; companies want you to share their products and for me that means books. Often I never share these books because they aren’t awesome, but I was so excited that the publisher sent me this book because it IS awesome. In the book, a boy and a girl use different shapes to imagine how they work together to make pictures. This is a wonderful shape book for older kids because it sparks creativity and doesn’t treat readers like babies. When I asked my five-year-old what she didn’t like about the book she said: ” It’s too short, I want more shapes to think about.” Me too!
Mouse Shapes by Ellen Stoll Walsh is a cute book that not only helps teach shapes it is also entertaining! The three crafty mice use the shapes to protect themselves from one hungry cat. Using them to make scary mice and frighten the cat away! Kids love to help find which shapes in the illustrations, and older ones can even anticipate what the mice will make next!
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For more quick tips on helping your child learn to read check out my book; Raising A Rock-Star Reader. It is packed with fun ideas for families, book lists, and advice for parents.