Apr 10, 2010

More unorthodox painting surfaces

I mentioned in the last post that we like to paint on old bed sheets. Either spread out on the floor, or made into weird hodgepodge tents. I thought I'd show you a few pictures from this week of the muck and mayhem. We've had some wonderful weather after all the rain and the kids were delighted to be out in the sun and covered in paint. It was good fun, but definately not "good, *clean* fun".

The two tent structures held up fine despite the wind. They just had the four corners of the sheets tied down to various things in the yard with string and then pvc plumbing pipes pushed in underneath to make them taught and raise the height a bit.

This had the advantage of being a bit of a sun shield for the kids while they were painting too. When the fun is over they can just be chucked in the laundry to get all the paint off ready for next time (the sheets, not the kids unfortunately).

I'd saved a load of cereal boxes for mailing parcels to the UK, and it seems that we had plenty to spare. I turned a load of them inside out and hot glued them back together.

The kids painted them up and stacked them like giant building blocks. I still have more that we didn't use, and I'm thinking it would be cool to cut down and alter the remaining ones to make a keystone and a few voussoirs, so they can build a big arch with them. I'd be curious to see if we can build a cereal box arch that is strong enough to sit a preschooler on top of.

After they had gone to town on the boxes and the sheet tents they started on the plastic play structure. I hadn't even thought about this as a potential canvas, but it's ideal really, because it's easy peasy to hose down after.

Of course they also painted themselves.

And the rocks that were holding the sheets down. I'd put my back out, so it was great to have them all happily absorbed and engaged for about four hours! I'm looking forward to the weather getting better, so we can do more of this! What unusual things do you paint on?


Let the Children Play said...

I'm really enjoying all your ideas.
You are a woman after my own heart :) I posted here http://progressiveearlychildhoodeducation.blogspot.com/2010/03/this-post-called-also-be-called-how-i.html about our preschoolers love of painting things outdoors, so I'm always looking for new ideas to indulge the interest.

MaryAnne said...

What fun! I especially like the painting the underside of sheets on hot days idea, and we have a couple of climbing structures that would do well with some decoration.

I've got a bunch of boxes I was hoping to turn wrong side out to make blocks like that with, so I'd love to see how you make arch pieces.

We haven't gotten much less orthodox than the sidewalk, so far, but rocks are definitely on my list of things to paint - and that rock you photographed looks particularly cool.

Amy said...

Love that you let your kids creativity run free. Great idea for painting on the sheets and plastic play stuff.

Christa said...

Boy, I wish I could be a little more like you. I bet your kids are the envy of the whole neighborhood! I stress too much about how everything is going to get put back together, and I know we don't have as much fun as we could. Your kids are going to have the greatest memories of their childhood!

Tina said...

Those are such great ideas! We like to paint on the wall in the bathtub. Before we run a bath, I let my daughter go crazy with the paint. We end up painting her and the wall also! Once she is tired of painting, we run the shower for a few minutes, then run her a bath.

Great activity for a rain day when the house is warm (otherwise she gets cold standing naked in the bathtub).

Lindsey said...

Sophia: As far as putting everything back together goes, in this instance my laziness paid off, because it rained heavily today and I don't even have to go hose off the climbing structure now. Whoooo! Quite often though, the kids are more than happy to be let loose with scrubbers and buckets of water to do half the work for me ;)

Tina, Love the painting before a bath idea! Unfortunately I was a fool and let the kids use what I thought were bath crayons on the tile in there. Turns out they were oil pastels and now I can't figure out how to get the colour out of the grout. I may have to re-grout before we move. Ooops.

Play for Life said...

This looks like so much fun. No wonder the children were entertained for hours on end. I love that they were allowed to paint on the plastic equipment ... absolutely no harm done to any of it.

We are going to get our children to paint some unusually shaped logs to be used as 'totem poles' beside the dry creek bed we are creating in our Hush Garden ... can't wait to see what designs they come up with!

:) :)

Ashley said...

We love painting on sheets and some old white towels we don't use anymore. Like you said, they wash out very nicely. I've also been mixing dry tempura with water to a pretty runny consistency and then letting them spray it from cheap dollar store spray bottles. They love changing from squirt to stream and seeing how far or wide they can squirt. We've also found that painting the patio concrete or the the plastic play table outside works really well as they can just be hosed off when we're done.

Jen said...

I love the sheet idea! My girls would have a ball. Do you use fabric paint and wash it? Just curious. Also love photo of them sitting on boxes!

Creative and Curious Kids!

Lindsey said...

Just regular kiddy paint Jen, with a big squirt of dish soap to make it wash out of stuff easier, and a bit of water to make it go further.

kelly said...

I like your painting ideas. I have a breeze block wall that is crying out for some colour...so that is tomorrows activities sorted out.

I am also going to try out the plastic bag decal, but I'm nervous as I normally over melt hama beads!

Wish me luck... (and are there any plastic decal flickr groups for inspiration you know of?)

Melly said...

Love all the paint outside ideas. We've painted rocks, t-shirts, a great big cardboard box and snow! But I love the big, outdoor, re-usable canvas ideas! (also, I was counting myself lucky to have found your blog, quite by accident, and today I saw that you were mentioned in Family Fun Magazine - you go girl!)

Anonymous said...

Kitten Muffin,
At home depot there is a product "Motsenbocker's lift off" It's terrific for getting rid of random art related spills. There are many different configurations the one I have gets rid of latex, enamel, linseed oil and stencil paint. It's number 5, but there are other numbers the get rid of other things. Love your blog, can't wait for my monkey to get a bit older so we can have some good dirty fun too!
Best to you.


Christie - Childhood 101 said...

Loving that painted rock, hope you kept it, it would make a great doorstop! Next step sounds like it could be encouraging the children to make their own paint from natural substances.

Play for Life said...

Kitten Muffin ... It is because of the wonderful ideas you present to children and the number of people who enjoy what you share that we have nominated you today for our 'Honest Scrap Award'. We hope you will accept it on behalf of the both of us and every one you influence! Thank you for making a difference.
:) :)

kelly said...

We did it today. I've posted about it.

Good fun was had by all. Except the dog who is now tan, white and blue.

Unknown said...

For stronger cereal boxes (potentially strong enough for preschoolers to sit on) stuff them with paper. It makes them surprisingly durable.

Elizabeth said...

My kids LOVE to paint in the summer, but we use plain water in buckets. That's it. Then we have tons of paint brushes, roller brushes, sponges and squirt bottles. They use the water to paint the driveway and sometimes themselves, or "paint" their bikes as a way to clean them. Then the water dries and the designs go away and they go paint some more.

It usually entertains all the kids on our street for quite a while.

AimeƩ said...

Not painting on, but painting with dandelions:


Anonymous said...

Brilliante. Quite, quite brilliante.