Doily and Watercolor Art for Preschoolers

Easy Watercolor and Doily Art | TinkerLab

This simple doily and watercolor art for preschoolers uses basic art materials and encourages children to explore the medium of watercolors through process-based creating.

Easy Watercolor and Doily Art for Preschoolers | Tinkerlab

This project, like so many others that you’ll find on TinkerLab, is process-based. It’s set up as a Creative Invitation, meaning that the materials are laid out in an inviting way, and then the child is invited to interpret and use them however he or she likes. With creative invitations like this, I’ll sometimes give my kids a little prompt, but usually I sit back and see what they come up with…and I’m often surprised by their ingenuity.

Around here, these creative set-ups are part of the Creative Table series, and you can find more of these ideas here.

Supplies: Watercolor Art for Preschoolers

Note: I’ve included Amazon affiliate links for your convenience.

Easy Watercolor and Doily Art | TinkerLab

The Creative Table Set-up

Line a tray with paper: Set up a big tray, and line it with paper. We have big sheets of 18″ x 24″ paper that I cut to fit. You could also use butcher paper, a brown paper bag, or smaller papers that are taped together. This step isn’t mandatory, but it’s helpful to have a absorbent trough to catch all the extra liquid.

Squeeze liquid watercolors into an ice cube tray. We have a mini tray that’s reserved for just this purpose. I often add a little bit of water to the watercolors to extend the life of our paints just a bit.

Doilies and paintbrush. Set up some doilies and a paintbrush and/or pipette nearby.

Easy Watercolor and Doily Art | TinkerLab

My three-year old enjoys the challenge of pulling doilies apart. Oh, and she’s also wearing an apron and has rolled-up sleeves. Both recommended for this potentially messy project.

Easy Watercolor and Doily Art | TinkerLab

Here’s the pipette in action. Pipette’s are fun for little kids, and a good challenge as they figure out how to squeeze the paint up, and then squeeze it out again.

Easy Watercolor and Doily Art | TinkerLab

We set up another tray nearby to absorb our drying, colorful doilies. Once she made a small handful of these, my daughter thought it would be fun to dip clean doilies in the pool of murky paint. What a fun experiment!! It’s moments like this that make this a Creative Table!

soaking doily

She loved seeing the paper soak the paint right up. Once we had a healthy collection of doilies, my kids remembered that we recently picked up laundry hanger at the dollar store. So we carried our trays full of doilies outside where we hung them to dry in a tree.

They’re still there, actually, decorating the neighborhood.

Easy Watercolor and Doily Art | TinkerLab

And here’s a bit of the aftermath. I love before and after photos!

Easy Watercolor and Doily Art | TinkerLab

If you enjoyed this activity, be sure to check out our new book, TinkerLab: A Handbook for Little Inventors (June 2014, Roost). You might also enjoy these creative invitations:

Creative Table Highlights via Instagram

Creative Table: Tape and Paper Bags

Creative Table: Paint and Looping Lines

Creative Table: Doilies and Scissors

Creative Table: Leaves and Glue

Creative Table: Stickers and Frames

Creative Invitation: Paint and Looping Lines

Creative Invitation with Paint and Looping Lines :: Tinkerlab

CREATIVE INVITATION with paint and looping lines :: Tinkerlab Today we’re setting up a creative invitation that takes minutes to put together, and clean up is a snap.

As we shared in this post, the basic premise of Creative Invitations follows four simple steps:

  • Clear your table of anything that won’t be used in the invitation
  • Artfully arrange the materials to provoke ideas
  • Limit the choice of materials to just a few items
  • Provide clues about how to use the materials, but keep the project open-ended so that original ideas can flourish.

To get started, you could set up your invitation the night before as I did, or take a few moments to arrange it while your child is playing or napping. Or you could include your child in the set-up.

Supplies

  • Paint
  • Large sheet of paper
  • Water container
  • Paint brush
  • Washable tempera paint
  • Container to hold the paint
  • Sharpie marker (or other non-toxic permanent marker)
  • Rag

Set-up

Place all the materials out on the table. With a permanent marker, draw some basic shapes or looping lines on the paper.

Creative Invitaiton Paint and Looping Lines Process

Invitation

Invite your child to paint however he or she likes. You can see that my three-year old and five-year old had completely different approaches and ideas about how to tackle the paper. I love that! The goal isn’t to create anything in particular but to encourage your child to be inventive and use the parameters of the set-up as inspiration. Creative Invitaton Paint and Looping Lines :: Tinkerlab My three-year old’s creation on the left and my five-year old’s creation on the right: one painted inside the lines and the other right over the lines. Cool!

Clean-up

Leave the papers on the table to dry or move them to a drying area. Carry the brushes and water container to the sink. Voila!

More Creative Invitations

We love coming up with ways to make your life simpler and more creative, and creative invitations are one of our favorite ways to do that. If you enjoyed this post you might also want to check out Tape ArtSticker Composition with Frames, Washi Tape and Found Paper Collage. Tinkerlab plays host to a really fun Instagram hashtag: #creativetable. For more creative invitations, pop over to Instagram and search for more ideas from creative parents and artists. Also, our friends at The Art Pantry are hosting an Invitations to Create Challenge this month (October), and you can find out more about it here.