Monday, January 27, 2014

Make Art (or painting with the toddler)

I read this quote in A Million Little Ways by Emily P. Freeman, a must read!

Every time my kids make something and take joy in showing it to me, I can't help but think about our Creator. Not only does He take great joy in all He has created (yourself included!), but just imagine the smile He must get when we show off our own art to Him.

And you know what? You're making art every single day. Just being you.

But some days you just have to paint.

When L told me that she hadn't painted yet in preschool this year, and asked if I had any paints she could use, I knew I couldn't refuse her. So on Friday, out came the paints.

Of course, if one person is doing anything in house, the little mister must be included. I have to confess, part of me was a little bit wary of giving tempera paint to a 22 month old, but I got over that pretty quickly. After all, messy toddlers are usually learning toddlers. Not to mention happy. And tempera paint cleans up fairly easily.

Unless one gets it in his hair. Then we have to have a bath.

Please forgive the blurry hand - I cannot get this boy to stay still long enough to take a good photo!

I set L up and she happily painted a flock of birds (at least that's what she told me she was painting!). I gave Ty a paint brush and squirted some paint on his paper to spread around.

He loved it.

One painting activity I have been dying to do since my preschool teaching days is painting with cars. I had actually planned on it for a transportation unit and then had to go on maternity leave early. So I decided Friday was the time to do it!

I gave Ty a car and showed him how to drive it through his paint.

He loved it.

The only problem is that once Ty does something one way, he expects to do it the same way thereafter. So I fully expect to have to get out the cars the next time I dig out the painting supplies. That's okay - I just saw this cute monster truck painting activity online, so guess which cars I'll dig out then?

Let's face it, toddlers and preschoolers are going to make a mess with paint - why not give them different things to experiment with? Ty doesn't like to finger paint (yet), so having different implements to try is important. It helps him understand cause and effect, experiment with different textures and patterns, and begin to recognize colours.

Not sure if you're ready to introduce your toddler to tempera paint? Use water colours instead, although you won't be able to drive a car through them. Well, you could, it just wouldn't have the same effect!

Or if you're worried about accidental ingestion, there are a plethora of homemade, edible paints that are very easy to make. I pinned some that I found to my Let's Paint Pinterest board, if you want to check them out.

Happy painting!

Angie Ryg


  1. You are way braver than I am. The minute paint is mentioned I want to run for the hills. Why can't they just be happy with the water paint books. So much easier for me to handle. I have a therapist that loves to pull out the paints. I have to smile when she is over as there is a part of me that wants to know if she will be paying the cleaning bill with the Tormentinator runs through the house with painty hands all over my walls. :)

  2. Oh, this is another fav for me! I must try it this week in school! My preschool students will LOVE this! You inspired me to think outside the box for art and also to enjoy these little moments of delight!

  3. Thanks for sharing this reminder that while the "no" seems easier, the "yes" leads to a richer life. I love the trucks rolling through the paint. Visiting from Inspire Me Monday.