#20 Mini Artists

Suitable for:0 to 5

Painting and drawing allow children to focus on an open-ended task that is determined by themselves. The freedom to choose what, where, when, how and why. They will have fun, find ways to express themselves and learn about cause and effect.

Making marks outside allows children to try BIG strokes and brush marks. Using water on a warm day means that your child can use a paint brush and bucket, a spray bottle filled with water or sponges and a bowl of water to make long lines or cover large areas.

How to do it

Make marks outside with water, chalks on flag stones and fences, or paints on the back of old rolls of wallpaper. Chalk and child-friendly paint will wash away in the next rainfall, and the water marks might disappear before your child has even finished making their marks on a very hot day as the water evaporates in the heat!

Help children to feel safe to experiment and to simply enjoy the process of creating marks. This is essential to build up a store of knowledge which they can extend upon and will help them to develop confidence in their abilities. Building their skills so that they find the activities satisfying and become less likely to give up on painting, drawing and creating because they are not happy with what they have produced.

Try not to be too prescriptive about what your child creates, what colours they like to use to represent different things etc. The danger would be that they feel criticised and this could be detrimental to the creative process and restrict their learning and fun.

If they ask for your help provide technical assistance and encouragement, this will guard against them becoming frustrated and demotivated, whilst still allowing every opportunity to experiment.

This adventure is part of the Sheffield 50 Things to Do Before You're Five . Head over to their website to tick-off 50 fantastic things for you and your child to experience together. 

#50ThingsSheffield #homeadventures

Water, chalks, paints, crayons and paper. Buckets, bowls, spray bottles, watering cans, stencils, brushes, rollers, sponges and blackboards. Old wallpaper or cheap lining paper. Flagstones or pavements outside for chalk or paint.

Giant cardboard boxes are often available from your local shops, just call in and ask if they would let you have one.

Involve your child in the preparation and tidying up, this supports their learning about mess and cleaning up, and how to take care of materials used.

Check out these links

Edible finger paint recipe

Why painting helps children's development

The benefit of art for kids

Don't forget to head to the Sheffield 50 Things to Do Before You're Five website for more activities.