Getting creative with your kids doesn’t always just include painting and drawing — think outside the box and set your kids up with some of these fun projects:
Make your own coloured paints
Shake things up a bit with your painting sessions and get kids to make their own coloured paint using things you have in the home and garden. Paints are essentially dyes — they’re made from pigment and a binder — but you can use all sorts of natural things like fruits, plants, and vegetables to create colours.
What you’ll need:
- At least three jars or dishes
- Berries, fruit, vegetables – anything with a strong color
- White paint
Start with some empty jars — you’ll want three to make the primary u and then some extras so you can mix them together and make other shades.
One of the simplest things to use for color is berries: you can use blueberries, blackcurrants or blackberries to create a blue color, and then raspberries or strawberries for red. You could also use beetroot for a red color.
Either layout the things you want the kids to use, or let them find them for themselves. Top tip: it could be a good way of using up fruit and veg that’s a bit over.
One of the best ways to create yellow paint is with mustard powder and water. But you could also use pollen from flowers, or vegetables like pumpkins or squash.
For berries, soft fruit and vegetables, you can either mash them down and strain the juices or push them through a sieve to collect the pigment. Mix them with a little water and they’ll be ready to paint with. For harder materials, you’ll need to grind them down to a fine powder and mix them with a tiny bit of something like honey or just plain white paint.
Try making different consistencies and different shades, and then with the three primary colours, you can mix together colours to create others. Try looking at this guide for colour mixing ideas.
Create a make-and-play activity
Put your kids’ creative skills into making an activity kit they can play with again and again. Take a look at some of the activity boxes that are already available for some inspiration and try to make one yourself. Pick a theme like animals on a farm, a shop, or kitchen and make props with your kids that give them endless hours of fun.
What you’ll need:
Start by getting the kids to draw out templates for the props – if you choose to do animals you can find plenty of templates online. Depending on how creative you’re feeling these could just be outlines, or you can make them 3D. Try decorating the animals – they could look something like this Goldilocks and the Three Bears Puppet Craft.
Getting the kids to draw, cut out, and put together the animals will help them learn about different animals, colors, and construction. You could also make models out of playdough or modeling clay.
Turn photos into collages
This project will get kids to think about different colours and textures, as well as starting to learn about photography.
What you’ll need:
- An instant or disposable camera (or a camera/phone and printer)
Decide on a category for your collages such as animals or people – you’ll then need to list all the colours you’d need to create a collage of them.
Once you’ve done this take your kids and the camera out for a walk. If you’re worried about them using your camera, there are plenty of kid-friendly cameras that will survive a few knocks and drops.
Ask the kids to take pictures of things that are the right colour for the collage. For example, if they want to create a tiger they need orange and black photos so you could take a picture of orange flowers, or signs and then a road or buildings for the black. And gather anything they find that can be used such as leaves, twigs, and flowers.
Now you need to print out the photos and draw up some outlines for the collage. Next, you can take the photos and cut them up into small squares ready to be stuck into the collage.
Collect all the squares of different colours, as well as the other bits and pieces you found and start gluing them to the picture. When they’re done your kids will have made a collage full of different colours and textures.
These are just a few fun ways in which you can move beyond crayons and paint with your kids to help develop their creativity.