I recently shared how Kindercare provides experiences that allow children to develop a healthy sense of self while learning how to think and solve problems creatively. They partner with parents to establish a nurturing environment while at daycare and at home. With the lure of tablets, television, and video games it can be hard to get kids to play “unplugged”. Technology bombards them – and us – with stimuli both auditory and visual, especially with interactive games and apps. There is a time and place for technology, but it’s equally important to encourage creativity, imagination, and self-expression without the aid of a screen. Children are likely to get bored unless you plan activities that capture their attention and teach them how to find adventure everywhere they look.
One such activity – Painting with Nature – encourages your child to get outside and explore the world around them. Set aside the traditional paint brushes and find arts and crafts supplies with a little help from Mother Nature. Little artists can create masterpieces with materials found in your backyard or a nearby park. A scavenger hunt is the perfect way to gather branches, leaves, pine cones, and other objects suitable for creating various textures on paper or canvas. Put together a list of items you might find and work together as a team to locate them or race each other to see who can find everything first. Scavenger hunts can also be used to introduce your child to various science activities and further their creativity while picking up items for the art project. After you’ve gathered your items, you can then begin to paint!
Painting With Nature: Warning! This activity can get messy!
What you Will Need:
- Objects found in nature such as branches, twigs, rocks, feathers, and pinecones.
- Washable tempera paint in various colors. You could even mix them for a wider variety.
- White construction paper or canvas. Use paper plates or brown lunch bags for a fun twist.
- Gather natural objects to be used as paint brushes. Scavenger hunt style or otherwise, have fun finding what you’ll use to paint with.
- Pour tempera paint in a few dishes, arranged by color.
- Encourage your child to dip the natural objects into different colors and paint on the construction paper or other material.
I recommend doing this craft outside or making sure to put plenty of newspaper or a painting sheet down. A smock makes for easy clean up as well. Use each step as a conversation starter with your child. Ask them to describe the textures each “natural” brush makes. What happens when they mix colors or textures? Are they creating something they know or is it made up? The sky’s the limit! Be sure to hang the masterpiece on the fridge when the paint has dried. Of course you’ll have to move the Foam Art over a smidge to make room.
Head over to adventureahead.kindercare.com for more creative project ideas!