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Fall Sponge Paintings

An Imagination Station Activity

Age: Preschool through elementary
Time: 30 minutes
Type of activity: Seasonal arts-and-crafts

Materials needed:
· Washable tempera paints
· Clean margarine tub or plate to mix paints
· Paint brushes
· Cup of water
· New kitchen sponge
· White or pastel construction paper
· Newspapers
· Old t-shirt or art smock

Take time out for an activity that starts with a walk in the park -- and ends with your child making a unusual autumn painting.

What to do:

Step One: Take a walk with your child and ask her to show you which trees she thinks are the most beautiful. Have her name the colors she sees. Then, you pick a tree and describe its colors to her. Now you're ready to begin.

Step Two: Cover the table where you will be working with newspapers to protect it from spilled paints.

Step Three: Ask your child put on her art smock or t-shirt to protect her from paint.

Step Four: Dampen the new kitchen sponge and cut it into one-inch pieces.

Step Five: Use the paintbrushes to show your child how to mix different colors on a plate or in a margarine tub. Try mixing different colors until you get one of the colors of your trees.

Step Six: Take the sponge and gently dip it into the water. Squeeze out the excess water, and dab the sponge into the paint. Gently dab the paint onto the paper. The texture will look like trees as seen from a distance.

Step Seven: Repeat steps Five and Six until your child's tree is complete. Ask her to paint a tree trunk and anything else she'd like to include in her picture (more trees, grass, flowers, animals, sun, etc.)

More on: Crafts for Kids

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