My daughter lurves squeezing just about anything (including her sister’s “plump little cheeks,” as she says it), so when I saw this gorgeous post at Childhood 101 I was inspired to pull our squeeze bottles out for a painty afternoon. I purchased the bottles (Nancy Bottles) from Discount School Supply, but clean shampoo, ketchup, or similar bottles would also work well. In fact, a variety of bottles would be a playful painting experiment!
Our easel was set up in a funny spot between the dining table and a wall because I found that moving it around the house and yard makes it much more appealing to my daughter. Without this movement it becomes a stagnant piece of furniture and won’t draw her in. If you’ve faced this phenomena, Jean at The Artful Parent wrote a wonderful post on this topic called 6 Ways to Encourage Continued Interest in Your Children’s Easel.
- Cover the floor with a drop mat or large pieces of paper, taped to the ground.
- Fill your easel with paper
- Fill bottles with tempera, Bio Color, or acrylic paint. We used tempera, which is great for process-based work and it isn’t archival. If you plan to work on a canvas, acrylic paint would be a better way to go.
- To create coherency, choose a palette of colors that work well together.
- Optional: Add paint pots and brushes for adding additional mark-making
Without actually squeezing the bottle on the paper, I described the process to my daughter. I tried to be somewhat vague so that she could explore the medium freely. She’s used these bottles numerous times and got right to work.
Once she squeezed as much as she wanted, N picked up a brush and added some brown paint strokes over the drips. She seemed to enjoy the proces of blending colors to eradicate some of the drips.
And then she enjoyed the process of smearing more of the drips together into beautiful mixed up smudges of color.
Because of the splat mat, clean-up was surprisingly simple. While I should have wiped down the easel soon after the painting session, I waited half the day and our easel still sports reminders of this project. But it reminds me of a fun afternoon, and I like the way it looks!
If your children like to drip paint, here are some other paint dripping projects that we’ve tried out:
Salt and Flour Paint (age 2 1/2)
Squeezing Paint (age 2 1/2)
Sugar Cube Sculpture (age 3)
Funnel Painting (age 33 months)
Drippy Gravity Painting (age 2 1/2)