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Personalized Switchplates

Age: Upper elementary and up
Time: 30 minutes or more
Type of Activity: Art

Materials needed:

  • Light switch plate
  • Acrylic paint
  • A pencil
  • A paintbrush
  • Water and containers
  • Water-based sealer
  • Glue (optional)
  • Found objects (optional)
Procedure

A wonderful way for you or your kinderartists to personalize a room is by decorating the light switch plate and electrical outlet covers. Simply gather a light switch plate (if you need to take one off the wall, you will need a flat head screwdriver -- adult assistance required!), acrylic paint, a pencil, a paintbrush, water and containers, a water-based sealer and if you like, some glue and found objects too.

Get a switch plate or electrical outlet cover. If the cover needs to be removed from the wall, adult assistance is a must! Once you have the switch plate off the wall and on your table, the next thing to do is clean off any greasy fingerprints that might repel the paint. OK, now decide on a design for the switch plate. Anything from flowers and fish to wild and wacky patterns is just fine. It's a good idea to draw some ideas on paper first and then, when you are ready, you can paint your designs on the switch plate. Great. Now that your painting is complete, let it dry and seal it with a water-based sealer. You can even glue some found objects on your switch plate for added fun. Now, the only thing left to do is place the cover plate back on the wall (with adult assistance, of course) and switch on... switch off... switch on... you get the picture.

Facts

Have you ever stopped to think about how many times a day you switch a light on and off? Your light turns on and off because of electricity -- an invisible form of energy that runs machines and creates light and heat. You've probably heard of Benjamin Franklin and his famous and dangerous kite and key experiment, but did you know that electricity was just a hobby for Mr. Franklin? Scientists like Thomas Edison and Michael Faraday, continued to work with Ben's ideas and, in turn, made it possible for you and I to switch our lights on and off.

© Andrea Mulder-Slater | KinderArt | http://www.kinderart.com
Illustrations © Geoffrey David Slater

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