This is an old idea from Parents magazine that I’ve waited to trot out forever. It turns out there was so much for Travis to love about it, including the first fact that your art canvas will be a cookie sheet.
To set up, set out cups of tempera paint and a cup of water for your child, along with paintbrushes. Dip the brush in the water, followed by the paint, then apply to the back of the cookie sheet.
Travis couldn’t believe he was able to paint on one of mommy’s dishes, a fact which got him over initial skepticism about the project. Pretty soon he was eagerly smearing gold paint all over, and adding highlights of other colors.
Your child can just scribble, or make deliberate designs like circles or other shapes. When Travis was satisfied with his work, we pressed a piece of thick paper down (watercolor paper works well), and pressed firmly.
Now for the big reveal! Travis loved peeling back the paper all by himself.
You can make the resulting prints even neater by drawing deliberate lines in them, either with the back of the paintbrush, or with fingertips.
I showed Travis an example, writing in his requested word (in reference to the shiny gold paint).
But he had way more fun just smearing everywhere with his fingertips. “Now whole hands!” I loved watching him.
Needless to say, we needed to make lots of prints before he tired of the project. A great crafty idea for a cold winter’s day.