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Active Art

Flying cotton balls? Splatting stockings? Tire swing painting? Some art projects were just made to be done with the whole body. If the typical art project is akin to a tea party with crayons, these high-velocity, active, and messy art explorations are the trampoline. They engage the big motor muscles, developing eye-hand coordination, balance, hand and wrist strength, agility, and motor planning. For parents who like to stay active, it just takes paint, paper, and a few common household items to create a head-to-toe art experience for your fast-moving child.
Cotton Ball Splat
Ages: 2–10
You’ll need:
Bag of cotton balls
Large sheet of easel paper
Liquid watercolor paint* mixed with water (or food coloring mixed with water until it works like paint)
Bowls for paint
Splat Away
Tape or pin the easel paper to an outdoor fence or wall. You can also leave the paper on the ground, but the effect is a bit less dramatic.
Fill your bowls with liquid watercolor/water or food color/water mix. Stand back from the paper about 2–6 feet (younger children closer). Your child will dip the cotton ball in the paint and throw it at the paper. Try different colors, different styles of throwing, and different quantities of paint. The resulting mural will be a colorful, abstract, and glorious exploration in color, movement, and physics.
Modification: Fill some spray bottles with paint and water and spray away! Liquid watercolor paint is available at Discount School Supply.