Sometimes I welcome a “bad weather day” in the summertime. Don’t get me wrong – I love being outside with the children as much as possible and soaking up that Vitamin D that we get so little of during the “W” word around here. But it’s nice to have an inside day filled with quiet reading, a little bit of screen time, and some arts and crafts. We had a day like this recently, and it was such a recharge to all of our batteries. I’m *almost* looking forward to the next rain-soaked summer day.
My kids were begging for a painting activity, and I wanted to do something a little more organized than just “paint whatever you like”. It’s getting almost to the season of sunflowers, and my father-in-law planted a sunflower playhouse for the kids in his backyard, so I thought a sunflower painting was just the right fit. Instead of just using paintbrushes, I had seen on Pinterest an idea to use the prongs of a fork for the sunflower petals, so I grabbed some old baby forks out of the drawer and passed them out, along with paper plates with tempera paint squirted on for each kid. I feel bad using paper plates all the time for stuff like this – I’d love some recommendations for reusable paint palettes if anyone has any!
I did my own sunflower painting very quickly to show the children the basic idea, making sure to let them know that they could do it anyway they liked, and that it’s better if everyone’s is different. Just like us! It always makes me smile to see how each child’s personality traits come out in their artwork. My daughter draws and paints things as true-to-life as she can, although she often adds a smiley face to inanimate objects. My older son is very into robots, and space, and anything tech-y – his sunflower ended up as a robot sunflower. And my youngest has incredible creative skills, I’m always amazed at what comes out of his four-year-old imagination.
This little project ended up lasting for a good twenty minutes, followed by more open-ended painting for another fifteen or so. Their artwork is hanging on the wall in our kitchen, and it really brightens up the room as well as makes them all feel proud to have their special pictures decorating our main living space. I can’t wait for another painting day to switch up our art wall!