Last year, I had the goal to paint together with my kids once every month. We loved it, so I thought I’d share our ideas. Here are some of our favorite paintings from last year:
I find it easier to have good conversations with my kids while we’re sitting around doing stuff like painting. One part of me is painting and another part is just present with my kids. It is relaxing when my 4-year old isn’t with us. He is constantly doing arts and crafts at his little table next to my desk while his older sisters are at school, so I don’t feel bad when he doesn’t participate. Things are more “lively” when he is around during painting, and he does have a way of wriggling himself in.
Some of Brian’s works of art:
Note: I’m not a professional painter by any stretch. I took an oil painting class as a college elective, but was the worst painter in the class. Every week, my teacher used my paintings as the example of what NOT to do. I didn’t even care and I literally got an A for effort alone. I don’t want my children to remember me as the best painter ever. I want them to think: she wasn’t the best painter ever, but she loved painting anyway.
January Painting: Year of the Dog
Last year, we painted a Rooster for Chinese New Year, since it was The Year of the Rooster. We made it a tradition, so this year we painted puppies to celebrate The Year of the Dog.
Last year’s masterpieces:
This year, my girls searched through puppy face photos on Google images and we print them out to use as a rough guide. Obviously, you can see from our photos that we just used it as inspiration. You can see that I may give them the initial idea, but anything goes.
Tips for Trying This at Home
This was a pretty complicated way to start if you’ve not done a ton of painting with kids, so I have some tips to make it easier.
- Use a stencil. To give us all a good starting shape, I will cut out some stencils on my Silhouette.
- Search for simplified paintings or cartoon images to imitate. I let my kids search through google images on my computer and pick out a puppy face, but you can search for a simpler image of a dog.
- Setup in a place where a paint spill could be cleaned up, so you won’t feel anxious while you paint … and use a plastic tablecloth on the table!
Supplies you Need
Though we have easels for everyone, we decided pretty quickly that they got in the way, especially from seeing each other. We also figured out that paper plates were less messy than palettes. Here’s the basic stuff you need:
- Paint Shirts (I use an assortment of my husband’s old shirts for my kids, but my paint shirt is a Bob Ross shirt that says “no mistakes – just happy accidents”.)
- Acrylic Paints (The inexpensive little bottles at the craft stores work great or you can also get them in paint bundles on Amazon.)
- Paper Plates (Easier to clean than paint palettes.)
- Plastic Tablecloth (I re-use these a few months until there are holes in it. I just decided to upgrade to this vinyl tablecloth when I realized we could use it for a few years, if not longer.)
- Paint Brushes (You’ll want multiple brush sizes. A brush starter set is good at the beginning, and if you get into it, you’ll collect more brushes along the way.)
- 8 x 10 Canvases (This is a great size for regular use. I like to save money buying the canvas bundles on Amazon.)
- Old Jar (This is to put the used and dirty paint brushes before washing.)
Join in and share in our group!! I’m going to start a thread in our Facebook group in a few days where we can all share pictures of our painting-with-kid adventures. (Search “A Year of Painting With Kids” in the discussion.) I hope you’ll join in!!
What will you paint this month?
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