I have four kids. They have all had a go at drawing on a wall, or the floor, at one time or another. The big three all had a go at it once, had to help clean it up, and didn’t bother again, but the little one… he just won’t quit!
He’s three and half now and he pretty much understands why I am not thrilled with the master pieces he draws on the walls… the newly painted walls… but it’s like he just can’t help himself. If he sees a flat surface he has to have a go at drawing on it… at least once.
The other day he decided our nice shiny white kitchen cupboards might be a good place for a nice bright drawing. I noticed he was doing something in the kitchen and as I came over to check he turned and leaned his back against the cupboard, the one he’d been drawing on, with markers.
“Markers are for paper… right Noah?” I say, casually as I get a cloth.
“I didn’t really draw on there Mum” He said and turned to look at the cupboard, and, as if by magic, his drawing was pretty much gone!
That was because it was printed on the back of his t-shirt!!
I tried not to, but I confess, I laughed, a lot. And as I was cleaning the last of the marker off the cupboard I had an idea… if the markers would print onto his shirt from the shiny surface, maybe we could print them onto paper from another, more appropriate, shiny surface.
I grabbed some old laminated pictures and some markers and some paper and dumped them on the table. Morgan and Noah and I talked about what we’d do, and what we thought might happen, and then we started drawing.
Our first print came out ok, but it wasn’t very intense and some of the colours didn’t seem to come off the plastic on to the paper at all… I wondered what I could do to make the process more effective?
“They’ll turn into pain if you wet them” Morgan suggested… brilliant!
I grabbed the squirty bottle of water we use to do the girl’s hair and this time, before we put the paper down we gave the picture a quick squirt of water. The water really did turn the marker into paint!
This time the image came out really strongly… if a little fuzzy!
We experimented with mixing colours on the plastic to see how they would turn out and just generally had a great time making prints.
This is almost a no mess activity as all you need is are water based markers, a spray bottle, and a little water. We used laminated sheets of paper but you could use any shiny plastic surface. The laminated sheets just wiped clean with a cloth so we could draw the next picture and the only mess at the end were a few marker stained fingers.
And it was much better than drawing on my kitchen cupboards!