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Painting Pointers

These painting tips provide new ideas for hours of fun!

  • Make your own washable paint. Add dish detergent to the paint.

  • Make your own paint stampers with sponge handles. Glue on a shape or texture. Try shapes cut from Styrofoam cups, fun fur, or bubble rap.

  • Save paper. Some children like the experience of fingerpainting. For these students, let them fingerpaint directly onto the Fingerpaint Tray without paper. Once they are finished, wash out the tray or make a print by laying a sheet of paper on top of the paint and patting gently.

  • Save money. Make your own fingerpaint. Thicken regular paint by adding flour.

  • Save clean up time. Whenever possible work outside. Start with a long sheet of butcher paper that all of the kids can work on.

  • Use a paper doily as a paint template. Sponge paint over the doily. When you peel of the doily, you'll have the negative image.

  • Make transfer pictures. Once a child has fingerpainted directly on the tray, take one or more prints and then let the paint dry almost completely. Lay a sheet of paper on the dry paint. Children can draw a picture on the paper and the paint will transfer.

  • Paint anything! Old shoe boxes can become treasure chests, a paper plate can become a Valentine...

  • Paint a collage. Cut out magazine photos and add them to your paint projects. Tip: Wet paint will act like glue. Lay the magazine photos over the top of the wet paint and let it dry.

  • Marble paper the easy way. Fill a Fingerpaint Tray halfway with water. Mix powdered tempera paint with cooking oil--one part paint to five parts oil. Drip the oil paint onto the water and watch it float. Big drops work better than small drops. Use different colors and fill the tray. Lay a sheet of paper on top and press out the bubbles. Lift the paper. Be careful--some of the oil paint may run around the paper. Hold the paper upright and jiggle the paint for a secondary design. Lay flat to dry.

  • Add salt to paint for gritty fingerpaint or paint first and sprinkle with salt while still wet for sparkly paint.

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