Sponge Painting

It’s a very simple and cheap activity. All you need are:
* Sponges (make sure they’re not the kind with soap already soaked in them)
* Cookie cutters (or anything that can be used as a stencil)
* Marker
* Scissors
* Paint and paper

Having an entire box of cookie cutters, I had my choice of shapes. I choose a few, traced them onto the sponge, and then cut them out. The cutting was significantly more difficult than I anticipated, so I would personally recommend staying away from shapes that are more complex. Once the sponges were cut we were ready for our art project.

At 1 1/2 years old, stamping is a concept my son only partially appreciates. He thought it was neat, and even discovered that it worked better if he brushed the paint onto the stamp rather than dipping it on to the plate.

Mostly he enjoyed smudging the sponges around the paper, creating his typical blend of color across the page. The end result was not unlike his other paintings, except that you might find a recognizable shape such as a star or elephant somewhere on the paper.

That’s not what matters though. The important thing is that he got to explore a new way of doing a familiar activity. It allowed him to experiment, and once the sponges are rinsed out and dried we now have new materials to add to his art supplies.


Window Bag Painting

There are a number of things my son really enjoys. The list includes art, mess, light, sensory play, and looking out of windows (if he’s not playing outside).

I’m going to be completely upfront in saying that today was one of those days where I really, really didn’t want to clean up paint spills. Those who know me can imagine how stressed I must have been, because normally I’m all for at least one messy activity a day.

So how did I handle the struggle of nap time? I combined the art, light, sensory play, and windows that I mentioned above….minus the mess.

It was incredibly simple and kept my son entertained for a good while, which gave me the chance to take a deep breath. The set up was as simple as pouring paint into a zip lock bag (some with one color, others with multiple colors), taping it to the window with duct tape, and letting him squish around the paint.

This project works a lot better when you choose a window that catches the sun well, since the light coming through the paint and makes a sort of stained glass effect.

It was a lot of fun watching him, and even I became enchanted with squishing the paint around to make various designs.