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Painting Outside - Art Activites For Young Children

by Annie Desantis
(Tasmania, Australia)

My Grand-daughter Mia Painting The Back of the Garage

My Grand-daughter Mia Painting The Back of the Garage

When my little grand-daughter Mia came visited just after Christmas last year, we had wonderful fun doing all sorts of art activities.

This photo shows her painting the back of the garage!

Mia was only 18mths in this photo, so with children this young you need to be very prepared!

I had control of the paints, and let her choose which color she wanted next. Otherwise the brushes go back in the wrong container! Of course with older children this would not be an issue.

A word of warning, I still have some of this painting on my wall! I used water based students paints and assumed they would wash off. Most of it didn't, but I don't mind, it is a lovely reminder of her visit! If you don't want to risk your wall, tape up some paper or card along the area they are going to paint.

We experimented with hand prints, leaf prints and different size brushes. I also experimented with showing her dot dot dot, or loooooooooooong lines. She loves zig zags, but couldn't do that herself.

At this age it is important to just let kids experiment with colors and movement. Creative activities for young children are better to be experiential. They don't need to produce anything "real" - it is better to let them just explore the paint and learn to control where it is to go. She was very keen to try to paint Dukie, our little Jack Russell!

Learning colors, and shapes was all part of the activity, so lots of learning and fun for a little child.

With older children you can have them actually paint a fence or help paint the house. Or if you want a permanent work of art, prepare the wall first and have them plan out what they want to paint. Use paint suitable for outdoors so the colors will be retained. You can even put a frame around it later.

Clean up was fairly easy, being summer we just got the hose out. Mia had on a plastic protector for her clothes, and certainly kids need to wear old clothes when using messy paints. Mum too - I ended up with a blue hand print on my dress!

Have fun!

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