In today’s airbrushed world, where so many things are made up of perfect lines and angles (I’m especially thinking of school and its hours of linear mark-making), sometimes we just need to have a little fun getting messily creative.
This is where the simple activity of exploring color on paper can allow young children the great experience of creative freedom. Here are three fun craft projects for Valentine’s Day. Each will take only minutes to make, and result in two decorative images: a colorful doily and a bonus valentine produced by using the doily as a stencil. Both creations can become the cover or the inside of a homemade card, or can be pasted on a paper plate as a Valentine’s Day decoration.
What you’ll need:
- something to protect your tabletop (I used an old shower curtain liner)
- A packet of doilies
- red and white tempera paint, and other colors of your choice)
- plain white paper (such as printer paper)
- two small sponges (for applying the paint)
- a jar of water (to dilute the paint)
- cotton swabs (for mixing the paint)
- paper towels
- scotch tape
- paste or a glue stick
- construction paper or paper plates
To paint a doily, tape it on a sheet of white paper. Using both hands in the manner of Brain Gym’s Double Doodle Play*, dip the two sponges into the paint and start blotting on the color. I suggest doing the painting as a single process; your hands will stay clean as long as you don’t set the sponges down and pick them up again. Or have wet paper towels nearby for clean-up.
Allow for meandering and serendipitous mistakes!
You can trim around the edge or use your making pens to make it more interesting.
For a decorative card, I wanted to cut out a more elaborate design (see drawing at left and photos below).
To make a Paper Plate Decoration, I cut a scalloped edge around a bonus valentine and pasted it to a paper plate, which I then further decorated by trailing the creases with three different markers in turn—super fun! (This one looks great on the fridge at our house.)
*The Double Doodle is one of 26 Brain Gym® activities from Brain Gym®: Teacher’s Edition by Dennison and Dennison, ©2010. The introductory course Double Doodle Play: A Window to Whole-Brain Vision offers a full day of exploration built on mirror-image mark-making and painting. For the name of a Brain Gym instructor, see the Foundation website, below. For a Double Doodle Play instructor, click on the link and look up 105DD under courses.
© 2014 by Gail Dennison. All rights reserved.
Brain Gym® is a trademark of Brain Gym® International/the Educational Kinesiology Foundation. Click here for the name of an instructor near you.