Thursday, May 3, 2012

Paint Bags

My son is going through a phase of not liking messy hands. My image of enjoying crazy painting, gooey play and sticky craft with my two year old has been shattered. It is also making me think differently about crafts and how to make it fun for him - not just for me!

We tried using ziplock bags for mixing paint and enjoyed it, until the bag developed a hole. However, my son seemed a little disappointed about not having something to keep at the end.

As it is Spring, most of the craft ideas I see are about flowers and butterflies. These are things he likes, but what he really loves is vehicles. So I cut three pieces of card to fit three bags, drew a (very basic) picture of a car, a bus and a train on them and we were ready to go.

The first bag, the car, got all the colours sqeezed in - red, blue, yellow and white. The second was only given blue as it was a train and that is what colour Thomas is! We didn't get round to doing the bus. We did them one at a time, pressing down on the paint so it spread across the picture. The colours on the car didn't mix quite as much as I had hoped, but the effect was interesting as we cut open the bag and pulled the plastic away. The paint on the train soaked right into the cardboard showing the pattern underneath.

Sometimes I think he enjoys preparing the activities more than doing them. He talked a lot about the measuring and cutting, and then was quiet during the spreading of the paint. I have to really hold my tongue to stop myself telling him what to do. I always have an idea what I want to achieve but have to remind myself that it is his actions and not the finished work that counts!

Some things we achieved:
  • talking about size and shape when cutting the cardboard to fit in the bags
  • discussing different vehicles that he wanted me to draw, and parts of the vehicles
  • choosing colours for the vehicles and how much paint to put in the bag
  • using fingers and palms to move the paint around
  • learning about colours mixing and liquid moving
  • I had practice in not telling him how to make his art

The results are pretty good and look interesting on the wall. It's a really simple and quick activity. I was disappointed that we couldn't see the pictures well underneath the paint, but maybe we can find a solution to that through a brain-storming session beforehand, hmm. It's something we can do often and find different techniques.

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