What you need:
- Construction paper
- Tempera paints
- Clean plastic-foam vegetable or fruit trays
- Child's paintbrush
- Assorted items: pine needles, feathers, twists of paper towels, yarn, plastic flowers, pipe cleaners, and so on
What to do:
- Have your child put on a smock. Cover the table with newspaper. Pour some tempera paint on the plastic-foam trays. Set out construction paper and a brush.
- Encourage your preschooler to use the paintbrush to paint on the paper. Talk about the brush strokes. Are they wide? thin? drippy? big lines? huge circles?
- Offer items chosen from the assortment listed above. Ask your child to demonstrate how he thinks he could use these items to paint instead of using a brush. Do they paint as well as the brush?
- Brainstorm other items from indoors or outdoors to use for brushless paintings. Test them out. Discuss how they work. Which ones were most fun to use? Why?
- When the paintings have dried, play a guessing game. See if you can match the paint marks to the tools with which they were painted.