Monday, October 18, 2010

Painting with Littles

Thanks to the teaching of the most wonderful high school art teacher in the world (Thank you, Mrs. Rightley!), I finally found the courage to do something I have seldom done since I got so out numbered.  I let the kids paint.

Now, I wish I had some really cool photos of the experience to insert here.  The thing is, four kids who are armed with paint and brushes do not mix well with cameras.  In fact, in the midst of the paint and the little fingers and the brushes and the excitement, the thought of getting out my camera never even entered my mind.  You’ll just have to believe me when I say it was fun chaos. 

Our adventure started with a trip to the craft store.  We bought the primary colors and black and white.  I splurged on four small framed canvases and a grab-bag of decent brushes.  When we got home, we added some paint shirts and a few old ice cream bucket lids (to hold our paint). 


I took the crew outside and covered a card table with lots of newspaper.  Since we planned to give the pictures to their daddy, I encouraged them to pick a subject they love and that their daddy loves, too.  I gave them pencils and let them outline their pictures on the canvas.  I helped Sarah a bit with hers, leaving her with a very rough coloring book type picture to paint. 

The kids painted the backgrounds first, and then added the other details.  I was there to help, but they did the work.  I helped them mix colors.  I showed them the different brushes and helped them practice using them.  We brought out a few cinnamon sticks for Sarah to use as stamps.  The kids worked hard and we didn’t rush things.  We let the layers dry and took lots of breaks.  We worked on the projects a little bit at a time for a couple of days.



Mary chose to paint the moon and the constellation, Cassiopeia.  She loves to look at the night sky with her daddy. 






Dan drew and painted this IH tractor from memory.  He loves farm equipment and enjoys riding on our tractor with his dad.






Sarah loves butterflies and flowers.  How can you go wrong with a picture of those things?






I used some blue painter’s tape to tape off part of Sam’s canvas and let him finger paint with fall colors.  He wasn’t crazy about the paint on his hands at first, but he stuck with it and swooshed the colors together quite nicely.  We peeled off the tape for a really neat picture.





Together, the paintings look amazing.  We had so much fun making this gift for Eric.  I think the kids will remember this experience for a long time.





Check out more great ways to play at


or great crafty ideas at…



  1. what a beautiful gift for their dad, you can tell there is so much love in them

  2. Those canvases look wonderful! I love the idea that they painted things both they and their dad liked, what a great gift.

  3. What a lovely idea! I will have to remember this for Father's Day when the kids are a bit older!

  4. I bet Daddy is going to love those gorgeous pictures :)

  5. They look great! You were very brave;)

  6. LOVE this!! What a great idea...found you through 30 Days. Thanks for posting! xo

  7. These pictures are gorgeous! Something you all will treasure for years! I love reading about all of the neat and creative things you do with your children. They are so blessed to have such great parents who instill so many good values in them.

  8. You brave mama, you :) They look beautiful and make for such a wonderful gift.


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