Fourth of July painting with toddlers (oy. vey.)

MOM. Stop reading right here. You’re getting one of these in the mail.

You’re still reading aren’t you. You never did listen… *grin*

So I have to admit that I actually enjoy finger painting with the Little Scientist. Maybe because (mom outed me on this one) I was and am the MESSIEST human being in the history of the world. No, seriously. My fifth period class used to worry that I hadn’t eaten if they didn’t see lunch stains down the front of my shirt. When I was preggo all the stains migrated from my lap to my belly, because that’s what caught the food on the way down. Etc, etc, etc.

All of which to say, the messiness historically bothers the LS waaaay more than me – he’s not a big fan of “squishy hands”. For this project, we decided to try some little sponge painters with handles – LOOOOOOVE. I had originally only set up 3 cards, but we ended up making 5 plus some extra “pounce painting” on spare paper. (Aside: if you sing “pounce, pounce, pounce your paint / gently down the stream”, your 20-month-old will mock you incessantly. For hours. Much to your husband’s amusement. Gah.)

To briefly outline: the idea is to loosely tape a shape to the front of a card, and paint over it. When the paint is dry, we remove the shape and have the picture in relief on the front, and little paper “appliques” to go on the inside of the card. We count the points on the stars and work on left-hand right-hand (one for each color) while we paint. Because, you know, I’m pathologically incapable of leaving math OUT of anything. Also, because he eats those Gerber Graduates meals a few lunches a week, I reuse the trays for painting… deeper and a little more paint-containing than my old standby, butter-tub lids.

Disclaimer: I gave up on trying to shirt / bib the kid while painting, eating, coloring, breathing quite some time ago… Easier just to hose him off a few times a day.

raw materials

aaaand some over heeeeere….

Concentrating on this keeping the colors SEPARATE thing…

Blue here. And here. And ON THE TABLE TOO!!

An artist, contemplating his materials.

just checking… nope. Still not crazy about how paint feels.

front, post star-removal

inside card (stars glued down)


12 Comments on “Fourth of July painting with toddlers (oy. vey.)”

  1. ProfMomEsq says:

    You do realize he is adorable beyond all reason? So stinkin’ cute. What a great project, too! It looks like he actually got into it – certainly plenty of paint on the paper and not as much as I might expect on HIM. LOL. I’m stealing this idea, including the post-paint hose-down. πŸ˜‰

  2. Laurie says:

    Sooooo Cute! Can’t wait for this card to come in! You are a preschool teacher in the making–or a mad scientist who can’t resist messes. I have NO doubt some made it to the hair….yours and his….

  3. Elizabeth says:

    What a neat idea! I think I’ll steal it as well. My girl hated wearing anything when we did messy things so we hosed her off too. Mow we can get her to wear her painter’s shirt. She wore it when she “helped” paint the living room. Thanks for tie idea and the chance to ooh and ahh over the cuteness!

  4. lightningpen says:

    Hi, this sounds like a great time was had by all! To kid’s play-doo is their iPhone and grape juice is meant go be worn! This is a great blog! Thank you for the follow! Nice to meet you!

  5. Oh my goodness. His chubby little cheeks as he concentrates on that painting are adorable. Cool project, too!

    • Irony: had a nightmare last night that I’d stolen the idea from artchoo without realizing it, and caused much drama… So when your pageviews spiked at 3 am, that was me scouring your site to make sure I hadn’t neglected to give you credit *blush*

      I’m a hot mess. I also need a life.

  6. Ooh this is so cool! And yes, I agree that topless crafts make for easier clean up lol.

    • Topless, bottomless – sometimes diaper only is the way to go! Although the number of pics I send my family from this summer where he’s wearing ONLY a diaper is starting to make them wonder if the boy owns clothes *grin*…

  7. lgalaviz says:

    Love that look of concentration!

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