This week we did LOTS of fun things. We got to have two play dates, a park outing with their grandma, and even a zoo visit with friends. We only had one day this week where we didn’t have anything on the calendar, and it just so happened to be the “rainy” day. We loved it!
In our school days, we have been talking about fall and the changes that come with this season. Having a rainy day at home, was the perfect time to paint our ceramic pumpkins!
They did an awesome job, and I absolutely adore them!! I know they will be a decor item I save and use for years and years!
I got these little ceramic pumpkins at Hobby Lobby last week and they were on sale for 40% off. I think the small pumpkins ended up costing about $1.70 and the large one was about $2.80. They cost SO much less than going to a paint your own pottery place, but I think the effects and look is the same! Thanks to one little tip at the end that I will share with you!
We talked about fall colors and which colors they would like to use on their pumpkin. I said they could use any “fall” color. They said they wanted to use only orange and brown.
I let my little girl paint! She’s about 20 months old and loves to paint! She kept squealing with delight, smiling, doing a bouncy dance in her seat, and laughing. While I watched her with so much joy, I had the thought that many people might not try this with a child her age.
It can be a little scary and hard, but it is worth all the work. We are building memories!
I came up with ten tips to help make painting with young kids less intimidating and easier to do. I hope you find them helpful!
1. Strip your kids down. 🙂 They can wear an old shirt or paint smock. We have both, but I usually just have my boys take off their shirts. It’s so much easier and then you aren’t pulling wet paint over their heads, when they want to remove that shirt afterwards. For my little girl, I had her wear an apron to stay “modest” for these pictures. 🙂
2. Use a big tarp or old table clothe to cover your table/painting area. I tend to use big sheets of paper or old newspaper because I can just bawl it up and throw it away afterwards. It helps keep it simpler if you don’t have to wait for the table cloth to “dry” and worry about where to store them, so you find them next time.
3. Use paper plates as your paint pallets! Although those cute plastic pallets that are sold in art stores are cute with the divided out areas for different colors, they are just one more thing to clean. I stopped using them because they always had dried paint on them and were a pain to scrub clean. We just squirt some paint on to paper plates and throw them away afterwards.
4. Paint in steps! If your child tends to “quit” quickly, you can let them paint till they want to be done. If you want them to “cover” more of their area say “you can let that dry and come back later and work on it”. It’s ok, if it isn’t completed in the first sitting. Hardly any of our projects are, right!?
5. Go with their creativity! This is so important! Let them dream and design it as they want! I fight the urge in me to at times want to “touch up” their work. You want THEIR work not YOURS, so let them create it as they want.
6. Do not have a “time” crunch or crazy busy schedule where you are trying to “squeeze” this activity into a tight window frame. The best projects are when they are the only “to do” and you aren’t rushing to just get it done, so you can go to the next project. Any easy tip along these lines is to have a cup of water for the older kids to clean their brushes (before changing colors) on hand. When we are done painting, I throw all the brushes into the cup, so I can walk away and help the kids get cleaned up. I can come back and clean up the mess later, without worrying about the brushes having dried out. Also, use a plastic/throw away cup here!
7. Let them explore! It might end up the little one starts painting her belly. I go with it. She is exploring and learning so many things (cause & effect, sensory elements, and fine motor skills are just a few).
8. I always plan for a bath to be needed afterwards, so it’s a nice surprise when that is not needed. After our pumpkins were painted, the rain started pouring! I let them run and splash, so they were gonna need a bath anyways.
9. Let them admire and show off their artwork. They will be so proud of it, if you encourage and praise them and their work! They will want to touch it and show it to others! Let them.
10. Have fun with it, and have the mindset you are making memories!
That is it! There are ten tips to help you paint with your little ones! I hope it helps and doesn’t make painting with “babies” so intimidating! Our last step for this project was to give our pumpkins a thick coat of Mod Podge. This created a shine finish to the pumpkins that makes them look like they are fresh from a ‘do it yourself pottery place’.
An easy way to incorporate step 9 being “letting your kids show off their art work” is to display it around the house. I put my kids’ pumpkins on my mantel, and they are so proud of them. My three-year old goes over to look at his pumpkin several times a day and says proudly “look! It’s dry now mom! I can touch it.” as he scoots a chair over. 🙂
I hope this post helps you tackle a painting project with your kids and gives you some tips on how to do it, and it to be a cheap and fun memory!
Later in the week, I will be sharing more with you about this pretty fall wreath!
Thank you so much for checking in and reading this little blog of mine! I hope you all had a relaxing weekend!