Fork-Scrape Painting

The way that we chose to do this activity is NOT for the clean and tidy person. If you are worried about mess then back away slowly from this post and do not read on!

If, however, you don’t mind a bit of crazy mess-making amidst all of that creativity, then welcome to our world :-)

 We used a long-arm decorator’s roller and a few sponge rollers to put some brightly coloured, ready-mix paint all over a large stretched canvas.

 This is possibly where the madness began. I let baby get out of her highchair and join in. Cue horrendous mess beginning!

 She had a good go at using the roller to make a lovely, brown, sludgy concoction…and also to taste (as you can see from this picture!)

 Baby found that crawling over the canvas and then inadvertently smearing her feet into it was a GREAT way to mix more colours ;-) Excellent.

 When she got a little bored of the art-making, she went for a crawl and stood up at the washing machine, leaving a spectacular trail of paint marks. Yes, I just took photos.

 But then some wonderful, co-operative paint smooshing began and it was so lovely to watch them totally engaging in the sensory fun.

 C did some squeezing straight out of the bottle!

 Baby thought that was just wonderful and mixed it straight up! Shortly after that last photo the mess got too much even for me to cope with, with C running into the living room and touching our new cupboards with orangey-brown hands! ;-) So a major clean up followed while the painting dried overnight.

 The finished painting looked like this (after two more squirts of colour and quick rolling without baby present!)

 We squeezed a thick dollop of fuschia acrylic paint onto the dry undercoat and C spread it all over with a flat, sponge mark-maker. All of the colours were hidden underneath and ready for revealing!

 Using a few different forks, she began to scrape into the pink acrylic paint and in so doing lift it off, revealing the lovely amalgamation of colours underneath. You need to work quite quickly when using acrylic as it dries fast.

 We threw in a pizza cutter for a bit of explorative mark-making. It wasn’t so effective at lifting off the paint but did create interesting tracks.

 And she drew scribbly lines using a thick, coloured pencil.

 I let baby have a little go too, but obviously couldn’t photograph that as I was stopping her other hand from smearing the whole lot together again!

 The finished product is beautiful and rather reminiscent of a little work of modern art! It was worth the mess :-)

* Edited to add: If you want to do this in a clean and tidy fashion, then either paint the base coat yourself and just let your child do the top layer and scraping, or do it at a table without a crawling baby nearby!

This is activity is good for:
* mark making using a variety of materials
* creative and imaginative development
* exploring colour mixing and the effect of layering colours
* working on a large scale
* working collaboratively (PHSE)

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