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Projects and toys // Drew Bennett

Outdoor Finger Painting

Posted by: | August 30, 2013

Painting Tickles

Blank Canvases have great potential. With some paints and guidance you can create a masterpiece. I’m really trying to make a metaphor for kids here but also to talk about a fun outdoor activity, which is creating giant paintings. We’ve done this a few times so far and it is a lot of fun for the whole family. (Photos of this activity were done by my wife, Allison)

Drew's Son Finger Painting in the Back YardLast year we got a new Big Screen TV. I had been saving for one because it was something I really wanted in our new house. So we finally saved enough and bought one. The TV came in a giant box. A 55″ screen TV comes in a nearly 5 foot long box. I broke the box down and cut two giant panels from it to use for outdoor painting with the kids (Link to my post on BenSpark.com when we did this project last time).

I searched all over and I got some finger paint by Crayola. They had a couple different sets and I am the kind of person that thinks if one color is good then 15 or so are better. I wanted a ton of color choices so I bought a bunch of sets of these finger paints which are great because they come in squeezable tubes instead of those red, blue and yellow canisters from my childhood. This means that we can take a bunch of paper plates or some other thing and squeeze out paints to use and seal up the remainder of the paint to use on another day’s activity.

Big Blank Canvases have great potentialThe paints are washable so don’t worry about the kids clothes or anything like that. Still, we put them in some old stuff and let them go. You can also mix an outdoor painting day with a water day and have messy wet fun that the kids will love.

The paints were finger paints but I wanted to do a little more. So I bought these squishy rubber balls that had knobs on them. They are sort of like Koosh Balls and you can usually find them in the dollar bins at Target. You can cover the ball in paint and throw it at the canvas but you can also cover the ball in paint and have the whole family pick up the piece of cardboard and tilt it this way and that to have the ball roll around and paint a design.

I also got a big set of foam brushes. There were many different sizes and shapes. This is nice because there are so many options for your kids to try and create. They can use small brushes, Giant brushes, Round Brushes, Thin Brushes and do anything with them. We did Polka Dots and big giant swirls and loops.

fingerpaintingThen you can get into body painting. My daughter loves painting my son’s feet because he giggles like crazy when she paints him. Then you just have your kids walk across the cardboard. You can also plan ahead and get some nice heavy cardstock and have the kids do both their hands and feet to capture that moment in time when their hands and feet were that small. We even did a thing where we painted each other’s hands and then I went first, my wife went second and then my kids went in order of birth to make an image of all of our hands on top of each other.

Summer is nearly over. At the time that this post goes up many kids will be back in school or you may be facing your very last weekend before school starts. Find a big blank canvas, get some paints, squirt guns and water balloons and get out there and have some messy fun before all the nice weather is all over.

Till next time, get out there and play.

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