For a wonderfully messy (for the kids), easy (for you) craft, try sheet painting.
- 1 old sheet (preferably light colored without a pattern, but anything with do)
- Assorted paints (3 or more colors)
- Disposable containers like baby food jars, plastic tubs or anything from the recycling bin
- Medium to large paintbrushes
- Old plastic bottles (water bottles with a sport cap, ketchup or mustard bottles, glue bottles, etc.)
- (optional) A clothesline
- Hang the sheet from the clothesline. If you don't have a clothesline, lay it on the grass or hang it up however you like.
- Put one color of paint in each container along with one paintbrush.
- If you like, mix some paint or food coloring with water in the squirt bottles.
- Make sure the kids are wearing craft clothes and let them paint, squirt and decorate the sheet. When the masterpiece is done, take a picture of the kids in front of it. You can wash it and use it over and over. Any stains just add to the charm. (Use the same sheet for a craft tablecloth inside during rainy days and winter.)
- To clean up, hose down the paint containers and toss them back in the recycling bin or garbage. Hose down the kids or toss them in the sprinkler. ;)
The best source of cheap, good paintbrushes that I've found is dollar stores. Get collections of bristle brushes marketed for painting house trim. You get multiple sizes and they're much better quality than the stuff marketed for children-- at much lower prices.
For paint, you can use tempera, acrylic or even homemade (food coloring, a thickener like corn starch and water). We get little bottles of acrylic for 44 cents and they last for several rounds of sheet painting each.
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All works on this site Alicia Bayer unless otherwise noted.
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