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Painting with little kids

I'm a huge believer in art education, especially for young children. Art helps with critical thinking skills, focus, creativity, and helps with an emotional outlet before kids are able to effectively communicate verbally.

Kids don't need to paint in the lines or be neat and tidy. Messy is just fine. With Penny, we have times where we have shorter art activities with more focus to guide her fine motor skills (trying to get her to want to write letters and numbers vs type them on the iPad), but we also like to let loose. 

It's summer, so get outdoors with a big canvas or piece of cardboard. Grab some washable paint and cheap brushes and let your kids play with color. You can show them how certain colors work together and what happens when you mix them all together. Demonstrate what happens when you paint on wet color compared to when the first layer has dried. Just have fun with it!


Painting outside is a fabulous summertime activity because it's easy to hose off to keep the paint from getting on floors and walls inside, and the summer sun dries the paint fast so artwork can come right inside.

Penny had an old canvas painting she never finished so I gessoed it and let her create something from scratch with a box of paints and brushes. One afternoon, we set everything out on the lawn and she had a blast experimenting with color. Penny takes her painting seriously, deliberately selecting brushes and colors, but she also likes to have fun painting herself and me.

2-year-old Penny working on her painting

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