Monday, January 30, 2012

We LOVE paint!

Painting is a great activity for young children, as it is truly open ended. Children can engross themselves in the process, and are not confined by the preconceived ideas of a product.
Sometimes we like to squeeze our paint!
We drip paint down....
We squeeze bottles of paint up......
Providing different tools to paint with help to promote creativity
and different types of muscle use/motor development.
Sometimes we paint the sidewalk
Different "tools" for painting are provided for different ages.
Sometimes we finger paint with shiny paints!
Sometimes we paint the snow with GIANT brushes.
Sometimes we use fly swatters, 
Sometimes we use catapults!
Sometimes we use potato mashers to paint/print.
Magic happens when you mix painting and science!
Painted Snowballs make GREAT splats!
Colored Ice Cubes are a great melting paint.

Pendulums + Paint = BIG FUN!
Plungers are great tool for painting!

We also like to make our own paints.... Some of our favorite recipes include:

Kool-Aid, just add the powder to water.
Puffy Paint- Shaving Cream and Glue
Homemade Liquid Watercolor- Add old markers to water!
Homemade Scented Watercolors
Are you looking for some more ideas for alternatives to "regular" paint brushes? Why not try some of these:

Acorns, Apples, Baggie Bombs, Balloons, Balls, Bath Puffs ,Bingo Dabbers, Bottle Bottoms, Bubbles, Bubble Wrap, Cans, Cardboard Pieces, Catapults, Chalk Dipped in Paint, Combs, Condiment Bottles (Ketchup/Mustard), Cookie Cutters, Corks, Cotton Balls, Crayon Bunches, Dish Scrubbers, Feathers, Feet, Fingers, Flowers (real and/or artificial), Fly Swatters, Foam, Forks, Funnels, Hands, Koosh Ball, Leaves/Branches/Pine Needles, Magnetic Marbles, Marbles, Medicine Droppers, Mops, Nylon Splatters, Pine Cones, Pipe Cleaners, Plungers, PomPoms, Potato Mashers, Q-tips, Rocks, Rollers, Roll-on Deodorant Bottles, Scrubbies, Shoes, Spools, Spoons, Sponges, Spray Bottles, Sticks, Straws, Tooth Brushes, Toy Cars, Toys, Vegetables, Washcloths, Yarn.....

Are you looking for some additional ideas for different "canvases?" Why not try:

Aluminum Foil, Bed Sheets, Butcher Paper, Cardboard Boxes/Tubes, Coffee Filters, Cookie Sheets, Contact Paper, Easels, Egg Cartons, Fences, Leaves, Light Tables, Magazines, Mailing Paper, Mirrors, Newspaper, Old Posters, Paper Bags, People!, Plates, Playground Equipment, Plexi-glass, Rocks, Sand Box, Sandpaper, Seed Pods, Shower Curtains, Sidewalks, Snow, Table Tops, Trays, Scrap Wood, Wax Paper, Wrapping Paper .....

I encourage you to keep painting, and to allow children to enjoy the process of art!
For more about process art for children, you can read my post: 

 More About Amy

Amy Ahola is the owner/operator of Child Central Station, group home daycare and educational toy store in Marquette, Michigan.  She has been running her own business since 2005. Prior to that time, Amy worked in a childcare center and public school. In addition to her childcare business, Amy also provides educational training sessions. Amy earned a Bachelors of Science in Psychology from Northern Michigan University and a M.S. in Training, Development, and Performance Improvement.  For more information about any of her programs, please visit Child Central Station or Find her on Facebook

I would LOVE to hear about your children's favorite painting activities!  Please link up your favorite painting activities, recipes, and explorations below.  Sharing with each other helps to inspire us all to learn and grow! Come on and join in on the fun! (If you don't have a blog, but have an idea to share, please feel free to leave it in the comments section!) I've created a Pinterest board with all of the linked up posts! 

The only "rule" of this linky party is that you include our button in your post!

You Can Grab it Below!
PreK + K Sharing
<div align="center"><a href="" title="PreK + K Sharing "><img src="" alt="PreK + K Sharing " style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Happy Painting!


  1. Wow! What a great post on PAINT! Makes me want to go out there and get messy with the kids. Right.. the weather needs to warm up a little and off we go! :-)


    1. Thanks Maggy! There are so many great ways to play with paint! I hope you find some time to try a few new things with your children soon!

  2. AWESOME AMY's AMAZING ARTICLE!!!!!!!! LUV LUV LUV LUV it!!!!! What an incredible overview of all-things-paint! This will be such a helpful resource to educators + parents alike! LUV the linkie party, too!!

    Our first linkie party at PreK+K!!!!!!!!!!! Time to celebrate!

    1. Thanks Debbie! I never imagined that the linky would be so popular in such a short period of time!!! YEAH for fun with paint! I look forward to more round ups and link options in the future ;).

  3. Wow! This really doesn't even need a linky attached there are sooooo many great ideas already shared in the actual post itself!

    1. Aleacia-

      Thank you so much for your kind words! I'm glad you stopped by and found some inspiration.

  4. Oh great idea. I don't have any paint posts yet but I'm pinning and sharing this!

    1. Thanks! With so much enthusiasm in the linky party, I'm sure you'll find all kinds of things to try and post about ;).

  5. Fabulous!!!!!! I know lots of folks will really love this!!! I just wish I had a post to contribute to the linky!

    1. Ayn- Thank you for your kind words! I'll have the linky up all month, so if you do try something, feel free to come back and link up!

  6. Fun post! I've never seen plungers used or large brushes in the snow. Great ideas!

    1. Thanks Stacy! We sure do have fun with our paint around here! In fact, I think I blog about paint more than anything else... or so it appears as I had to pick and choose which posts/ideas to share with you all..... The plungers are so much fun, the children really get into it, using their whole bodies! We love to find different/non-traditional items to use in our learning explorations.

  7. Replies
    1. Thank you! I am loving all of the inspiration being linked up!!!!

  8. Wow, what a fabulous "Visual List" of great open ended painting ideas. I can't wait to try some out with my children!
    Thanks for this wonderful post. I had fun linking up the "Penguin Watercolor Painting" that we did to go along with our penguin theme.
    Take care,

    1. Thank you Shauna!

      Just in case you didn't realize it, each photo links to a former blog post with more information. I hope you have as much fun with paint as we have!

      Thanks for taking the time to link up!

  9. Awesome post and linky party, Amy ... a Pinterest addict's heaven! I loved the links to your paint "recipes," too. I pinned your post to my Kids' Art Projects at

    1. Thanks Deb! I hope you have an opportunity to try a few out! Thanks for pinning! Isn't Pinterest great!

  10. Another option: make your own artist canvases: stretch canvas/calico in embroidery hoops, or staple it around a sheet of stiff cardboard (rubber backed calico is best). Seeing the wonder, intensity and seriousness of their creativity when presented with a 'real' canvas is a beautiful thing.

    Bubble wrap makes a beautiful texture for fingerpaint, same with hessian for a rough texture.
    Sheets of bark. Sanded twig 'wands' or woodwork constructions.

    Oh, and charcoal as another lovely material to draw with.

    1. Pixie-

      I LOVE your recommendations for making your own canvases and recommendations for further exploration!

  11. This is a fantastic link-up! We love painting, and there are so many great ideas here! I am sharing this to my Facebook page!

    1. Thank you! I actually just started following your page on Facebook! How cool is that!

  12. So many cool ideas here. Thanks Amy for initiating this! :)


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