Tuesday, February 2, 2010

splat painting or bean bag painting

Splatt painting is like the extreme sport of painting for preschoolers.

What you will need

large sheets of paper
a firm base beneath the paper (if you are doing this on grass) - we used a pallet
poster paints
bowls for the paint
step ladder
home made bean bags*

(* To make our bean bags we simply wrapped sand in material scraps and tied up the top.  You could also use beans or marbles or anything heavy enough to give a satisfying "splat".  Putting the materials in old stocking feet also works well.)

To Prepare:
  • Find a place where you are able to make a big mess or a place where you can spread plastic tarps, old sheets, and/or old shower curtains.
  • Pour paint into the bowls
The Process:

  • Dip the bean bag into the paint
  • climb to the top of the ladder
  • 'bombs away!'
Guaranteed to attract the interest of the "boys who don't paint" crowd!


  1. We make our bean bags from the toes cut off of old panty hose. I've been using the same ones for years, but this year I decided we needed new ones so I sort of absent-mindedly announced to our parent community that I could use some old hose.

    One mom brought in several pair. It wasn't until I i was "alone" with them that I realized that I'd asked grown women for their used underwear. I let them sit in my workroom for a couple of days and finally confessed to another parent that it made me uncomfortable (I know, what a wimp!). This mom went out and bought us some new ones.

  2. That looks so fun! We are going to have to do that when the weather warms up around here.

  3. So what did you do with the old ones Tom? Not still sitting in the workroom I hope :)

  4. Actually, they ARE still sitting in the workroom. I'm kind of waiting for the "idea" of them to wear off -- nylons come in handy!

    I'm learning so much about the "fairy garden" idea. I'm going to post a little about it tomorrow. I seem to have one child who is passionate about building "little worlds," which is what I'm thinking of calling this outdoor station. I'm learning a lot by watching her play. Thanks for pointing me down this path!

  5. Tom, I love the little worlds idea. My 5 year old is completely absorbed with this type of play at the moment.

    Last term, our last term for the year, I had a core group of 4-5 year olds who really responded to having their own tray (I'd fill it with sand or gravel or mulch) and then I'd have a table next to it (kinda like a "make it" table but specifically for this purpose) with loads of bits and pieces: fabric pieces, corrugated cardboard, paddlepop sticks, natural elements like twigs and gumnuts, lids to use as ponds, string, tape (naturally!), small blocks etc - anything really. And then add different props: the wooden people one day, really small farm animals, really small domestic animals.

    I was endlessly amazed at the time the kids spend creating their scenes. Their was some imaginative play, but it all seemed to be more about the process of creating and constructing a world for the props. They started to source their own materials from all over the place, and as always they were more resouceful and imaginative than I could ever be.

    Look forward to hearing more about your worlds!

  6. Mel - it is fun :) The kids kept wanting to get a taller ladder. Some even wanted to do it from the roof!

  7. I'm very excited for tomorrow Jenny. I can't wait to see how the children are going to play with the newly expanded Little World!