Your kid can paint watercolor on watercolor paper, and then sprinkle salt while the painting is still wet. Let it dry, and then gently brush the salt off.
Have your kiddo describe what they observe. What happened where the salt was? Why do you think it did that? (The answer is that salt absorbs moisture, so it pulls the water towards itself, leaving more color around the salt after the water evaporates).
Spray some shaving cream onto an old cooking pan, on a tray, or straight onto the table and let your kid at it! Once it’s smoothed out, they can draw pictures, shapes, letters, numbers, etc… in it. (You might want to set some ground rules so that the shaving cream doesn’t end up everywhere… i.e. keep the shaving cream on the table, no clapping your hands hard or slapping the shaving cream, etc..)
You can also do this activity on shower/ bath tub walls, and let your kid stand up and draw.
If your child learns well with hands-on sensory activities, this is a great way to practice letters, shapes, numbers, and their name.
** Shaving cream usually smells strong. If you use a pan or tray, the smell may seep into it. Two solutions are to clean it with baking soda when you’re done, or to line the tray with aluminum foil (which actually looks pretty cool underneath of the drawings).
Turn crayon drawings into real abstract art by simply giving them a black border (use photo stick squares to mount the drawing onto black paper and then cut a border around it). If your little Picasso tells you what the drawing is of, make a small bordered rectangle, write the title in, and place it below the drawing.
These abstracts look awesome on a wall! They also make great gifts (especially for grandparents)!
When your kid draws something and tells you what it is, try going a little further and helping them create a whole new picture out of the first one. For example, my daughter drew a picture in crayon and said it was a rocket, so we turned the drawing into a whole outer space scene! (photo above)
You can also do this when your kiddo draws something random that you think looks like something. Tell them what you see in their drawing and ask them if they want to make it into a new picture. If they’re not interested, don’t force it.
This is a great creative thinking craft! Ask your kiddo questions:
I love what you’re drawing! What is it a picture of? If they don’t know, ask What do you think it could be? (But don’t force them to come up with something.)
Then, have your kid try think of ways they can make the picture into something new- what else they want in the picture, what else goes with the object they created, etc.. Talk about the new picture before you begin making it, or just add things as you go.
Tie a bead to one end so that the cheerios can’t fall off, and make the string long enough to keep your kiddo busy for a while!
Time to think outside of the box! With your kiddo, find a few toys of theirs that you can use instead of a paintbrush. Play kitchen toys work great. Plastic knives can become palette knives, cups become circle stamps, etc…
Kids LOVE being allowed to use things for what they’re not supposed to be used for, so fun is a guarantee on this one. Encourage your kiddo to play around with how they can paint different ways with each object (i.e. thin lines, wide lines, etc…)
If you want to practice shapes, the plastic shape sorter toys work great as shape stamps!! You can also work on color recognition by doing the whole painting in shades of one color.
Paper and ink. Use photo stick squares to mount it on a black background, and it’s done!
-Use photo squares to mount the finished product to a card, with your kiddo’s name and age below.