Invitation to Paint with Recycled Materials

Oct 18, 2012




Instead of always giving your child directions as to how they are expected to play, I like to mix it up and create "invitations" to play where children can explore and figure out for themselves what they can do. This type of open-ended activity allows the child to take the activity to a level they are comfortable with while giving them the freedom to explore different angles.

What is an Invitation to Play? See here for more info.

Today's Invitation to Play is an Invitation to Paint with Recycled Materials. 

This activity will allow children to examine different patterns, textures, colours, methods, shapes and combinations while also encouraging creativity, fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination and more.

Ages: 2-6+
(M was 3y/o here. See the Handy Tips at the bottom for ideas to extend or simplify this activity to suit your child's needs)


Materials: Paper, paint, recycled materials (we used a cardboard tube, straw, feather, plastic lid, bubble wrap and a fake flower)



Using hand-eye coordination and control to print and lift off without smudging. An acquired skill



Observe colours mixing and make prints



Look and think about consistency and air pressure while blowing paint through a straw



Make and observe patterns, colour mixing and shapes



Create different textures and sweeping motions with a feather



Be creative, experiment, talk, observe and learn


Handy Tips

- Extend this activity by encouraging your child to integrate multiple recycled items and incorporate them to create one picture or design. Examine the different shapes/patterns etc that each material produces and come up with a use for each of them. 

-Simplify this activity by encouraging your child to experiment with the different prints each item makes. Perhaps start with fewer items or one item at a time to really identify the different ways to paint with that item.

- Repeat this activity time and time again with a different end result each time. Mix around and change some of the materials that you provide each time to inspire new ideas

- Remember that children need to create and explore, they don't need it to be a specific item at the end. Allow this and don't push them to think they must make something "real." Certainly with an activity such as this, the process is more important then the outcome.

- Talk with your child about what they are doing. This will help them understand the physical and mental processes they are going through as well as giving them the vocabulary to describe it.


Looking for more ways to paint?

Have a look at these other fun ideas:



Happy playing,
Debs :)



New Here? Subscribe to get all activities sent directly to you
Enter your email address:


Delivered by FeedBurner

Are you on Facebook? We are and we'd love to see you there. You can also find us on PinterestTwitter  and G+ too. :) 




4 comments:

  1. Great blog! May I ask what kind of paint did you use ?

    ReplyDelete
  2. oh fantastic idea. i'm going to try this next week with my 2 year old. x

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am glad to see this! I just had my Pre-K students use bottle caps from water bottles to "print" with and make snowman. Even though sponges are not recycling, they are super cheap from the dollar tree and added great fun to these creations. They absolutely had a blast. I am looking forward to trying the straws. The messier the better!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am glad to see this! I just had my Pre-K students use bottle caps from water bottles to "print" with and make snowman. Even though sponges are not recycling, they are super cheap from the dollar tree and added great fun to these creations. They absolutely had a blast. I am looking forward to trying the straws. The messier the better!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for taking the time to comment! I love reading them all.