You are here

More Than Just Painting!

Apr 06, 2020

Paint a Simple Literacy Activity at Home

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist when we grow up” - Pablo Picasso

Set Up:

  • Tempera or liquid watercolours (if you have the kind that are dried pucks, simply crush some up and add only a little water to make a vibrant colour)
  • Paintbrushes or q tips
  • Paper (watercolour paper if available)
  • Plastic placemat
  • Tape
  • Cloth

Some clear and simple expectations will go a long way:

  1. Keep the paint on the paper
  2. Be careful with the tools (paper, brush, paint)
  3. Have your child choose 1 or 2 colours, and then put a few drops onto their paper.
  4. Sit back and watch, or make your own creation.

As your child paints, they might become very engrossed, in which case you can get something else done! It might last 5 minutes, or 15, but be ready to engage with them when they announce that they’re “done”.

Some children will want to talk about their painting as they go.

Either way, give your child’s explanation value by paying attention, and then writing it down.

Just like that, the experience has turned into a literacy one!

With a child who is learning to read, ask them to help you figure out some letters: “MMMmonster? Can you tell me the first letter of MMMMmonster?”

Variation: Resist painting

Use tape or crayons to create a word or design on cardboard.

Let your child paint over it.

Wait until the paint has dried, and let your child pull off the masking tape to reveal their resist-painting.

Variation: Secret message resist painting

Use a light coloured crayon to draw/write a message on paper.

Let your child paint over it (with watercolour or diluted tempera paint) to reveal the message.

Blog post contributed by Amanda from our Alta Vista branch.