Friday, April 4, 2014

Tips for Painting with Your Toddler

Painting with your kids can be SO much fun!...if you know what you're doing, so your house doesn't become a toddler museum :)  I LOVE painting with the kids, but realize that a lot of my friends struggle with this for a few reasons.  Soooooo, I wanted to share some tips to help you be SUCCESSFUL with your kid's art!!!
1.  BE PREPARED!!!  No matter what project you are doing (painting, play dough, stickers...), prepare your space, supplies, and clean up tools before you introduce the project to your kids.

Cover your surface with newspaper, a cheap vinyl tablecloth, or some old rags.  Lay out your supplies, keeping the actually messy part (paint, dough...) out of reach until YOU'RE ready to hand it to your child!

2. Only Give a Few Options.  Now that T-Man is older, I ask him what color he wants to use...he will usually choose orange.  :)  So, instead of giving him ALL of the colors to paint with-which will turn BROWN very quickly :/, I give him orange (the color he chose), red (a darker color next to orange on the color wheel), and yellow (a lighter color next to orange on the color wheel).

I place his color choices on a paper plate, plastic plate, or any other "pallet" that you have available.  This way, he is not mixing all of the beautiful colors IN the containers that they came in, and I'm only giving him a small amount.

Use the Color Wheel below to help you choose your colors!!!

Livie painted for the first time yesterday!!!  I chose pink for her :)  So, she was given pink, red, and white.

3. Give Suggestions.  To maximize your child's creative freedom, merely give suggestions and encouragement while they're painting.  I hand them the paintbrush, and tell them to get some paint on their brush.  If they get all 3 colors, great!!! They will blend well together, and give beautiful contrast as they paint!  

As they paint, I will turn the canvas/paper as they go to make sure they can reach all parts of the painting.  This also helps keep all areas interesting :)  

Remind them to get more paint on their brush as they go.  You can also point to an area of the canvas that doesn't have paint on it yet to move them from the same spot that they've been painting in.

Leave some white showing on the canvas!!!  It acts like an additional "color!"

4.  Work in Stages. Once you've completed your first layer, let it dry completely!!!!  One of the most common approaches with kids is to let them use all of the colors at once.  Well, mixing all of the colors together makes brown...which is probably not the look you were going for :)

Once Livie's pink layer was dry, I gave her yellow, orange and white on her pallet.  Yellow is very transparent (see through), so layering it on the pink made it's own orange anyways, but again, the 3 colors together made a more beautiful color!!!

The other benefit to working in stages is that you're playing into your child's short attention span.  You should know now that each step that I've explained here will take minutes.  Yes, MINUTES!!!  You will spend more time preparing and planning than watching your child actually paint!!! LOL!!!  But, trust me, it's worth it :)

You can add as many layers of color as your heart desires, or stop when your desired "look" is completed!  Either way, this will be a memorable activity for you to share with your kids, AND a way to creative beautiful abstract art for your home!  

For more details, be sure to check out my other posts HERE and HERE!!!

Be sure to follow me on Instagram: kelbelle810  and use the hashtag #toddlerpaintings to show off your creations!!!

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