My preschooler loves art. He loves getting his hands covered in paint and he's attracted to all kinds of brushes, stamps and printmaking. Here are six art trays that we've tried recently.
Painting with a Spring Whisk. I found this spring whisk (similar) while out for a walk and immediately knew it would be fun for painting. The child can press the whisk down and it springs back up. It's good for printmaking and it's addictive!
The child presses the spring whisk into the paint and then onto the paper.
This was a huge hit and I'll remember to get it out next time we have friends over for an art play date. For a similar printmaking activity, we could also use a potato masher.
Block Printing with Rubber Bands. I presented this with wood offcuts and rubber bands.
The child puts the rubber bands on the wood pieces (a great fine motor activity on its own) and then uses the wood for printmaking.
The rubber bands make an interesting print. We can experiment by moving or adding more rubber bands or using different shaped wood pieces.
Painting with a Water Brush Pen. We use a water brush pen and a watercolour paint palette. I filled the water brush pen with water. The child simply squeezes the water into the paint palette to get some paint onto the brush. Then they can paint.
It's easy to clean the brush in between colours. The child squeezes the pen in the little white dish to rinse the brush and then wipes their brush clean. It's much easier than I had expected and totally doable for a preschooler (3-4yrs+).
The child simply gives the pen a little squeeze to release the water into the paint palette.
Watercolour painting is always so beautiful! 🌈
I helped my child to place the painter's tape over the canvas. Then the child paints the canvas. We allow the paint to dry (mostly!).
The most fun part is removing the tape.
The child removes the tape gently to reveal the white background.
Wow! These look good. The canvases would be perfect for gift giving (perhaps for Grandma!).
As my child hadn't used transfers before, I cut out each transfer and presented them with a white piece of paper. The child rubs the pencil over the transfer.
Then peels off the plastic and the transfer remains on the paper. This was frustrating for my four-year-old. I would recommend it for slightly older children, perhaps 5yrs+.
Bubble Wrap Printing. This is one way we can reuse bubble wrap. The bubble wrap can be used over and over, or when finished we can rinse it clean and keep it for next time.
The child paints the bubble wrap, presses the paper over the paint and then peels it off. This produces an interesting, colourful print on the paper. Our local art teacher, recommends keeping an eye out for the large bubble wrap (with large bubbles) for extra fun.
Most of these activities require heavy paper to hold the paint, we use Faber-Castell Watercolour Paper.
I like to present these activities on a tray. The tray contains all the materials needed to complete the work and it contains the mess. However, we could present the same materials on a child-size table with larger, perhaps easel size paper.
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