Painting is a great activity that invites children to play and explore the world of colors!
Art activities are a way to relax, pursue creativity, learn about colors, play with water, and practice fine motor skills. Children get to learn about different art techniques and gather aesthetic experiences through art. Read more about the learning objectives from 'Diverse forms of expression' learning area here.
How to prepare?
For watercolor painting, you will need watercolors, paint brushes, large heavyweight white paper, masking tape for making the paper stay still, and cups of water.
When you are starting a painting activity with children, it is good to teach the basics in the very beginning:
- Show children how to dip the paintbrush into the water
- Show children how to take color onto the paintbrush
- Remind children to wash the paintbrush in between changing colors
- Show children the magic of color mixing
- yellow + blue = green
- red + blue = purple
- yellow + red = orange
Then let the children lead!
When you have set everything ready, there is really not much more to do than letting the children lead the game. Let the children decide what colors to use and what type of marks to paint.
It is much more fun and surprising if you do not give any specific orders or ideas on painting, but let children pursue their creativity.
In case you are painting with little children, it is a good idea to assist with changing colors and washing the paintbrush every once in a while.
With older children, you can for example give a black permanent marker to add some drawings along the watercolor paint after the paint is dry.
Get a free lesson plan that encourages children's creativity!
When the children seem ready, you may ask what did they paint and write down the name of the child/artist, the date, and what is on the picture described by the artist him/herself.
Also, remind the children to clean the paintbrush with lukewarm water after painting. Too hot water or soap can damage the paintbrushes. You can clean the brush easily by making circles on your palm under the running water. When all the color has washed off, then set the paint brushes aside to dry.
Where to paint?
You can change the dynamics of the painting activity according to the place where you paint.
You can for example take a small group of children outside and paint in the park. Children get to gather aesthetic experiences while enjoying the natural environment.
Indoors you can prepare the painting activity on the table as usual, or invite children to sit and paint on the floor! It is good for everyone's muscles to sit on the floor for a change.
Another good idea is to hang papers on the wall and children can paint while standing. This might be a good idea for children who find it difficult to sit still.
Changing the place where you run the painting activity gives children new angles and fresh ideas.
Need more ideas?
Below are some links for more ideas on watercolor painting with children. Have fun!
- Days with grey - Watercolor painting for kids
- Artful parent - Watercolor techniques
- Hands-on as we grow - 5 Beginner watercolor techniques for kids
- Nashville children's art classes - Watercolor projects kids love
- Rhythms of Play - Wet on wet watercolor painting for kids
- Kindiedays - Lesson plans