As parents there are many obstacles we face when trying to provide fun art activities for our children. I have a 3-year-old and a 4-year-old. They could not be more different in personality. My 4-year-old often cares more about getting dirty and prefers to be clean and his area organized, while my 3-year-old is a wrecking ball who instantly makes messes and reminds me of “Pigpen” off The Peanuts Movies. This makes messes the number one thing in our home that we try to avoid.
This watercolor activity is the ultimate craft that uses nature, has easy clean up, and doesn’t stain. Even when my wrecking ball tromps through this activity it is a very easy clean up and it does not worry me that she will ruin anything. To enjoy this craft just follow the steps below!
Gather Supplies! You will need a cup of water, several liquid watercolors, a pallet (A bowl or paper plate works great), A watercolor brush, Paper (watercolor paper works the best!), Lastly you will need to collect some leaves! You can find these almost anywhere outside and even inside if you prefer house plants. This looks the coolest and ads more interest from your toddler if you encourage different shapes of leaf’s be collected.
Pour your paint! When you pour these liquid paints, you will want to be generous with the paint! Unless you want the colors to mix you will also need to use separate plates for each color if using paper plates.
Dig in! Let your little one have at it. It is in our nature to want to show them an easier way to cover the leaf in paint keeping hands clean but remember their problem solving is half of the fun and this paint rinses right off. You may want to assist your little one in a brief demonstration in the beginning. Just take a leaf, dip it in the paint, and like a stamp you press it onto the paper, leaving a neat pattern.
If your child has sensory issues, you may ease them into this project by showing them you can apply the paint to the leaf using a brush, minimizing the paint they may get on their fingers.
Have Fun! It is important that we do not correct our little ones too much when letting them learn how to do this. They should develop their own method and the more you leave this to them to figure out, the more time you have to enjoy some parent downtime.
Step Five (Optional)
If the paint is all used and your little one is done, just let the painting dry and enjoy their masterpiece.
If you still have a little paint and paper left, you can make yourself a keepsake but painting their hand with the brush or allowing them to dip it in paint. Press their hand on the paper. You may need to help them push down to ensure you get their full print! You can then add a stem to their handprint and add a name and age/date.
And just like that you are done! Clean up should not take more than a wet washcloth or wet wipe.
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