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9 Ways to Give Kids a BIG Canvas

Kids love BIG! Kids love art! Give them a chance to do both together and you’ll be their Hero!
Instead of drawing on paper, or painting on an easel, think outside of the box for other ways to allow your kids to express their creativity.
Here’s a few ways you can give them a big canvas, and encourage them to create a masterpiece:

  1. Paint a Fence – Replacing the fence in your yard?  Let the kids have first crack at that wall or old fence panels before you replace them.
  2. ‘Graffiti’ a Wall – hand over an open wall in the basement or garage to your artist-in-residence.  Let them use some age-appropriate medium – like washable paints, craft paints, stencils or oil pastels – to create a mural they can continue to add to over time.
  3. Paint the House – with water, that is!  Younger kids would love to use a paintbrush and water to “paint” the side of the house.  Or try dipping sidewalk chalk into water to use – it looks like paint but washes right off.
  4. Draw on the Windows – try window markers, or just use your fingers on a cold, winter’s day.  Pick a large picture window and let the kids go wild!
  5. Create a Cardboard Composition – replacing any large appliances?  Kids LOVE those big boxes (think washer, dryer, and dishwasher size).  They can use crayons, markers, paints or colored pencils – along with their imagination – to create a fort, playhouse, or tunnel.  Or try adding other cardboard items (oatmeal cartons & paper towel tubes) to create a castle!  Ask at your local home improvement store to see if they have any extra boxes.
  6. Sketch in the shower (or tub) – when giving younger kids a bath, give them some bath crayons or paints too!  Let them draw a long picture on the side of the tub, or on the tile above, while they clean off.  (Note:  read the directions on the art supplies, and wash off immediately).
  7. Make-up the Mirrors – this is one of my favorites!  Take out those old lipsticks and let your kids draw on the mirror!  The reflection gives it a sort-of 3D effect.  I also use this trick to remind myself & my kids of important items, or wish them a BIG “Happy Birthday” on their special day.
  8. Style on a Sheet – Got an old light-colored sheet or tablecloth you don’t use?  Try creating ‘spray-paint’ art in the backyard.  Hang the sheet or tablecloth on a clothesline or from a tree – then have kids use colored water (or if their older, spray paint) to decorate.