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Crafts for Kids

Canvas Painting
by Lisa Hanson and Heather Kempskie, authors of The Siblings' Busy Book

This activity uses a huge canvas to encourage free artistic expression full of possibilities!

What You'll Need
All Ages
School-Age Child
Old flat sheet
Clothesline & clothespins (or 2 chairs & a rope)
Washable tempera paint
Spray Bottle                    

Siblings' Busy BookThe outdoors may be the best place for this activity, but you can do it indoors if you have enough room. If you're outdoors, hang an old sheet on a chothesline, making sure your children can easily reach it. If you're indoors or if you don't have a clothesline, set up two chairs and tie a rope between them. Lay the sheet over the rope. Either way, your children will have a blast decorating the "canvas."

Before the painting begins, sit next to the hanging sheet with your baby. Your older children may even engage in a game of peekaboo with her! Have your baby touch the sheet with her hands and feet. To encourage artistic expression, put a little paint on her finger and let her smear the sheet. Even though tempera paint is nontoxic, supervise her closely so she doesn't put her finger in her mouth.

Your toddler will enjoy decorating the canvas using a sponge dipped in paint. He can blot or smear paint on the sheet.

This activity will challenge your preschooler's motor skills. Encourage him to paint the top part of the canvas with a paintbrush; he'll need to reach above his chest and use the muscles required to write--a great exercise for the future!

School-Age Child
Fill a spray bottle half with paint and half with water. Your school-age child can squirt the sheet to create unique designs.

Parent Tip
Use the finished painting to decorate a playroom or other space in your home.

© Lisa Hanson & Heather Kempskie

This activity is excerpted with permission from The Siblings' Busy Book by Lisa Hanson & Heather Kempskie, published by Meadowbrook Press.

Do you have an idea for another Project of the Month for our Crafts for Kids Cubby? We'd love to hear from you. Email our moderators with your suggestions!

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