We have a longstanding love affair with foil in our house. We’ve painted on it, drawn on it, made Christmas decorations out of it, and today we got out the shiny roll of goodness once again. Today it was time for finger painting on foil!
Something to cover your work surface – we used a big sheet of paper.
Paints – we used fluro temepera paints but you could use specific finger paint if you like, or make your own.
Dish Detergent – squirt a little into your paints to help it stick to the foil and make for easy clean up
Some tape to help the foil stay put
A warm wet cloth to help keep the mess under control
A smock, or apron, or old clothes, or no clothes at all.
Cover your work surface and tape down a nice big bit of foil so it doesn’t slide around while you work.
I put the paints into small containers, mixed in the dish washing detergent and offered Noah a spoon to dollop the paint onto the foil, but you could just squirt a bit of paint along with a bit of detergent directly onto the foil and mix with your fingers!
Noah was new to finger painting and as I set it up he asked me a few times where the brushes were and seemed bemused when I told him he could paint with his fingers. He loved looking at the reflections in the shiny foil and dropping the paint in big dollops across the surface.
At first he began with just one finger, swirling and pushing the paint around, mixing the colours just a little. Then slowly he used more and more of his hand, then added his other hand and was soon smooshing and sliding his hands all over the smooth surface of the foil.
Noah is two and a half and this activity was all about the sensory experience in the beginning. He rubbed his hands together, added more paint, swirled his fingers over the surface and said ‘oooh messy’ quite a bit!
After a little while he began ‘drawing’ in the paint with his fingers, making patterns, then ‘rubbing them out’ and starting again. Occasionally he would describe or label his pictures as this or that, but none of them stayed on the surface for more than a moment when he declared them done, smooshing and swiping the surface clear was just as important as creating the pictures.
For Noah, this activity was all about the process, and not at all about a product. When he was done he simply walked away. He didn’t ask me to hang up his painting to dry, he didn’t ask for another piece of foil to do another picture, his focus was entirely on exploring and enjoying, not ‘making’. He had played with the slippy slidey paint on the smooth shiny foil for about an hour and loved every moment of it, and reminded me once again that art with little kids doesn’t have to be fancy, because it is about the ‘doing’.