Rainy Day Art Activities

We are housebound – high winds and rain have closed just about everything in Arlington, VA and the surrounding area. So of course I was eager to get out the art supplies. I have a set of these paper mache’ letters from Jo-Ann Fabrics. I hope to decorate the whole alphabet for my kids (as see on the Land of Nod blog) but that will have to wait! By the way, one could definitely cut letters like these out of cardboard. They are about 8 inches and you could draw them free hand or use the text art feature in Word to create a block letter that you trace onto the cardboard.

I gave my 2-year-old the first letter of his name – “M” and let him choose his paint. He picked blue and used a paint brush to paint the entire letter. He then wanted a second color just like his sister, who was also painting her initial. He chose yellow and began painting right on top of the wet paint.

Wet-on-wet painting technique

As he began to paint the yellow right on top of the wet blue paint, he declared “it’s disappearing…I made green!”  It warmed my heart to know that all my efforts to support his creative process through carefully worded process comments has paid off! Whenever I offer my kids art activities, I try to be present and comment on their work in a way that helps to develop their vocabulary and also support their creative process. And by comment, I don’t mean that I say “ooh, how pretty,” which is usually not very meaningful. In the past when M has mixed a light color into a darker color (as he did on his initial), I have made comments like “Wow, I wonder where the yellow paint went?” or “Oooh, it looks like the yellow paint disappeared.” When he ended up mixing the two colors to make a new color, I would say “look, you made a new color!” or “look, you made green, I wonder how you did that.” All of these comment help to give children a vocabulary to describe their process. It makes their process more meaningful to them as it draws attention to what they are actually doing and the results that they are seeing.

My four-year old daughter also created her initial and even embellished it with sequins, buttons and rhinestones, using lots of glue, of course!

My four-year-old’s embellished letter “A”

It was a messy, fun activity that helped to provide some entertainment as we were stuck inside all day and may be again tomorrow. I’d love to hear what activities you are doing when you are homebound!


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