The kids and I experimented with Thumb Print Art on the weekend. Even though paint is involved, it's a fun, kids' crafting activity, that requires minimal set up and the clean up takes next to no time.
- paint - non toxic, washable paint for children
- paint tray
- crayons, pencils or non toxic children's textas (markers)
Thumb printing uses so little paint, I didn't even bother with art smocks. You can use a variety of paint colours, but I went for simple, and just put a blob of black paint in the middle of each child's paint tray.
I first of all explained to the kids what we were going to do with our thumb prints - turn a thumb print into a character, animal, person, etc, by drawing around the thumb prints. In my days teaching classes of children at school, I would, of course, have had an example already done to show them. Not this weekend.
- Dip one thumb into the blob of paint.
- Remove excess paint.
- Stamp thumb prints over the page.
- Allow the thumb prints time to dry. Go and do something else!!!
I suggested single thumb prints and also showed the basis of a caterpillar, but let the kids stamp as they saw fit.
- Create pictures by drawing around the dried thumb prints.
The top caterpillar is mine - both the thumb prints and the drawing. Little Mister was happy, as he had a starting point. Being the younger of the two, he wanted something to initially copy.
Once he'd made his own caterpillar, he was off and away and needed no direction for his second picture. The top two thumb prints became ears...
and he drew a robot.
Little Miss felt we needed the added words and arrows, so I helped with spelling when asked. Making pictures from thumb prints was a new activity for the kids and they enjoyed it.
They like it when I give minimal instructions - just enough to give them a few ideas. I have to be honest and say that I sometimes have to restrain myself, as I have a tendency to give too much direction.
However, developing their confidence and creativity is far more important than the finished result.
- Provide the materials
- Give a few suggestions
- Let the kids run with it
I'm almost always surprised at what they come up with!!!
What crafting and painting activities do you and the little people in your life enjoy? I'm always on the look out for fun ideas.