v Let your baby have a chunky paintbrush, a plastic bowl of water and some construction paper in a high chair. (Not even a mess!)
v Give your toddler or preschooler grown-up paint brushes or rollers and a bucket of water—let them “paint” the outside of the house, the fence, the car, maybe even the dog.
v Fill empty plastic bottles, such as dishwashing detergent, ketchup or mustard containers with water. Your artists can squirt designs or practice writing their names on a hot sidewalk or empty driveway.
For preschool age or older:
Variation on sidewalk chalk: “Sidewalk paint, what a smashing idea! Crushing and grinding sidewalk chalk is an inexpensive way to make your own sidewalk paint for small or large murals! This big messy idea washes away with a hose or the next rain.”*
Materials: large sidewalk chalk
Heavy zipper-closure plastic bags
Hammers, mallets or blocks
1. Break the sidewalk chalk into five to fifteen pieces.
2. Put a big piece of sidewalk chalk into a heavy zipper-closure plastic bag and close.
3. Carefully pound chalk into a powder with a hammer or block. (supervise closely)
4. Put the chalk powder into a container. Add water and stir with a paintbrush until it is the consistency of paint. Make several colors.
5. Paint the sidewalk with the new paint. Or, pour big puddles of paint on the sidewalk and drive through them with large toy trucks, trikes, or bikes.
6. Wash the paint away with a hose and water, or let the rain wash it away over time.
*From, The Big Messy But Easy to Clean Up Art Book, by MaryAnn F. Kohl.