My little dude loves painting. Just a couple months ago there seemed to be a sudden artistic spark in him, and now he can’t get enough art time. Being the Reggio Emilia fan that I am, my response to this was to prepare an artistic space just for him right in the unused nook area of the kitchen (with a perfect window to bring in natural light). We snagged a This End Up table my husband used as a child (perfect for his size, yet something he can grow into), strung a piece of rope along the wall of the counter with some clothes pins attached in order to display his artwork, and most importantly we bought a cheap $20 Walmart bookcase to hold his art and sensory supplies. The idea is to keep everything at his level, giving him the freedom to make his own choices and to take hold of his creativity.
The paints are what he most often goes after…of course.
While I love watching him develop his independence, I sometimes like to influence his choices. Today was one of the days I stepped in to change things up.
With it being yet another snow day, I figured we could go all out on the mess making. However, rather than using his normal paintbrushes I decided to take the opportunity to make his art time into sensory play as well. I took his normal collection of supplies and put them out of sight, and instead replaced them with “brushes” I created using scraps of things from around the house.
It was a simple set up, and his interest was certainly peaked. He focused a lot more on experimenting with the different textures I provided, and spent quite awhile playing with the various designs they made.
As all art sessions go, the brushes were eventually abandoned to the favorable use of fingers.
Messy time was most definitely a success.
Alternative Sensory Paintbrushes
Look around the house for various objects and textures you could use in place of paintbrushes. Clothing pins can clip on to most objects, making them easy to grasp. To make things extra interesting, look for items that can be used as stamps as well.
Pieces of foam
A cap from an old cooking spray container (for stamping)
Toilet paper rolls (for stamping)
The wheels of toy cars
Get creative! Do a quick search around your house to find ideas. The best places to look will probably be the kitchen and bathroom!