Did you know there are so many ways your kids can learn and play with paint brushes? Well, I pulled together a post with all the ways we love to playfully explore, learn & work on skills such as shape recognition, drawing shapes, number recognition, writing numbers, letter recognition, pre writing skills, handwriting & hand strength for handwriting and more with paint brushes!
1 & 2. Traditional, Painting with Paint
Washable paint or watercolors, painting pictures is a great way to work on hand strength for handwriting. You can even discuss shapes as you paint. For example, if you make a yellow circle, discuss that with your child. Ask them what shape they see and the color. Then paint the circle in and add some rays. Model how shapes are in our everyday life, such as a moon or the sun can be circles.
You can also use paint on rocks. We love rock painting and have found acrylic paints to work the best. We leave them outside in the elements and they hold up! Paint letters on rocks to work on letter recognition, name recognition or spelling. You can even make a tic tac toe game with rocks.
3. Painting with Water
Spending time outside? Get a cup or bucket with water and let your kids paint rocks, our patio or driveway with water.
Work on writing letters, names, words, shapes and more! When working on writing letters discuss the letter sounds. If your child is 2 or younger, you can let your child doodle, while you write letters and work on their letter recognition. For these younger kids you can work on pre writing skills such as making horizontal and vertical lines.
4. Brushing Rocks
Be a paleontologist and pretend you are looking for dinosaur bones. My daughter and I love brushing dry dirt in search of some “dino bones.” Once you find a rock, keep brushing, heck you can even bring out toothpicks to help dig it out. Explain how gentle the paleontologists have to be while uncovering newly discovered bones.
5. Painting with Chalk
6. Brushing In Sand
Stuck inside? Grab a baking pan, throw some sand from in it and add rocks or other items for your child to uncover. They can even pretend to be a paleontologist. Pretend you are uncovering fossils & model how to do this gently with your brush. We made our own fossils with clay. We took some of Izzy’s dinosaur toys and pushed their feet into clay. Once the clay is baked or dried you can put it in the sand and use a brush to uncover your fossil. You could do the same for creating pretend bones from clay to put in the sand as well. Expand on their learning & go to a book or the computer to show your child real life images of paleontologists at work.
You can also work on writing letters, words, numbers and shapes in the sand with a brush. Learn more about early literacy here.
Have a blast with those brushes!