Do you envision a lovely Christmas crafting session where your little ones produce their own home made wrapping paper? But then you remember you have rambunctious boys or a wiggly assortment that spends five minutes slapping glue and paper together before they declare they are done. Who wants to pull out all the art supplies for that kind of response? Never fear, I have a Christmas craft – a paint throwing craft – for kids who like to throw things.
Inspired by something I read awhile back on The Chaos and the Clutter, I set it up for my toddler and her 3 year old cousin, but my teens got into it as well. Who doesn’t like to relieve a little stress by chucking paint?
You will need long long strips of paper. We have a big roll of white craft paper for just this sort of occasion. Butcher paper, old computer paper, packing and mailing paper all work – or just recycle junk sheets of paper by taping them together.
Next you will need washable paints, like poster or tempera paints. We used red, green, and yellow for Christmas wrapping paper, but you can use whatever colors fit your theme, or what you have on hand. You will need shallow pains or bowls to put the paint in. And finally you will need a bag of cotton balls.
For this paint throwing craft, we hung several long paper strips on an old piece of plywood, in the back yard. The fence would have worked too. We secured the paper with tacks and clothespins. Next, I poured one color of paint in each bowl and diluted the paint with water. Finally, I demonstrated how to dip a cotton ball in the paint, fairly saturating the bottom. The rest is paint throwing! When you throw the wet cotton ball at the paper it sticks.
The kids launched dozens of paint soaked cotton balls at the paper and turned an exciting activity for children that don’t like to sit still for projects into a handcrafted delight to make gifts festive and fun.
In addition to producing a cool effect when you pull the cotton balls off (and toss them in the trash), this is a great sensory activity for developing gross motor skills. If you want to incorporate an art history lesson, take a look at Jackson Pollock paintings and talk about what he would think of the cotton ball paint throwing craft method. Or just have a hilarious paint throwing fest.
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