Would you like a simple activity that will entertain kids of multiple ages? I have an easy one for you today! It is called… wait for it… “Paint the Sidewalk.” ha, real original, but SO EASY!
Now that the weather is nicer, we are taking every opportunity to get outside. On a really warm day last week, I remembered that my kindergarten students loved painting the sidewalk with water… what an easy and fun idea! So, I grabbed some paint brushes, tupperware, and for some more fun; food coloring.
Emmy and I headed outside with some excitement, some clothes we didn’t mind getting messy and started painting. At this time, Emmy is 14 months old and is really starting to mimic everything I do. I gave her the paintbrush and watched her twist it around her hand, feel the bristles, and then give it a good shake. I used another paint brush to dip in the water and showed her how to paint the sidewalk. She immediately started copying me. I could see the wheels turning in her head as she was figuring out this new activity. She was fully engaged for a good 10 minutes. When I noticed she was losing interest, I added the food coloring and once again she was fascinated! I added another tupperware container with water and a different color and again she was sucked into painting our sidewalk.
This activity can’t get any easier, and it provides a lot of sensory input, language development, as well as some fine motor and gross motor activity. Encourage vocabulary by naming the colors, and the materials, and take this time to narrate what your child is doing or maybe even label a feeling. (Try; “Wow! Painting seems to help you relax!” Or “Wow! You are painting so much! You have so much energy!” Sounds cheesy, but the more you talk, the better!) My kindergarten students always loved this activity, so I don’t see a need to modify it for older children. For babies, you could forget the water (or keep it, if its warm enough) and just use a paint brush to tickle their toes, knees and hands!
I hope that you have so much fun getting outdoors with your little ones! I would love to hear how you make this activity your own. What are some other ways that you enjoy the outdoors?