I got a few questions about painting with kids after writing my recent post about painting with toddlers and preschoolers, so I thought I would write about how painting works at our house.
I find that even kids who stay away from most crafting tend to enjoy paint. Painting is a wonderful sensory experience, involving four senses: touch, sight, smell, and hearing. I love vibrant paints for kids, and usually buy these Crayola washable paints (affiliate link) because they include beautiful colors and have a gouache-like texture, and wash about of everything. Watercolor paper (affiliate link) makes for especially beautiful paintings, but most of the time my kids paint on plain old printer paper, which – unfortunately – bunches up a bit as the paintings dry.
I have seen a lot of neat artist study activities you can do, and my son did several when he was in preschool, which I adored. When we paint at home, though, I tend to give my kids a bunch of paint and set them free to create whatever they like. Sometimes they get messy, like my son above and my eight-year-old’s more controlled handprints earlier in this post.
My older kids usually get free reign with colors, but sometimes I limit them for my younger kids when I want a particularly pretty end result – like Anna’s painting above.
Four-year-old Lily is very focused on color mixing at the moment, and her paintings reflect that – they are color studies, rather than representations of objects or stories.
Six-year-old Johnny has been drawing bridges ever since we went into San Francisco, and it was fun to see that transfer over to his painting.
Eight-year-old Emma surprised me by starting off with this still life of a tomato. She even painted a shadow!
She also painted a couple cats and this adorable cat, before moving onto more abstract work:
Can you spot the musical notes?
I also love this piece, which she made for one-year-old Anna, imitating the techniques Anna uses:
Do your kids enjoy painting? Do you remember painting as a kid? I remember my mom had tiny little tins that looked like miniature bread pans full of paint. We loved it when she would cover the table with newspaper and pull out those tiny tins of watercolor paints!