Donovan loves to paint, especially when he gets to pick out what he’s going to decorate. And painting with preschoolers doesn’t always have to mean paper. A few months ago during a trip to Michael’s, I let Donovan pick out a little wooden birdhouse. Michael’s has a whole aisle full of raw wooden shapes, letters, and other fun things just waiting to be painted. And most of them are really inexpensive—the one in the image above was only a dollar! Plus they have reuse value in more ways than one.
When we get home with the new wooden treasure Donovan picked all by himself, I cover the table with plastic and set out some acrylic paints in various colors for him. Then he goes to town painting it just right! He’ll sit and paint for up to 45 minutes! And here’s where the reuse value comes in: when the paint is dry, I put it away until the next time he wants to paint. Then I pull it out again and he adds more colors and finishes painting areas he missed before. He does this again and again until we need to make another run to Michael’s where he’ll pick out something new.
So far, he’s done a little bird house, a rocket shaped birdhouse, and he’s currently working on a little castle. We haven’t actually hung any of the bird houses for actual birds yet, but we will soon—another great reuse feature of this activity that comes with all kinds of learning potential too!
So, the next time you’re at a craft store or even just wandering past the craft aisles at Walmart or Target, consider letting your little one pick out something three dimensional to decorate as they please. For more preschooler and toddler activity ideas, check out my Preschool Activities and Toddler Activities pages.