Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Painting With Cars

The Set-Up for Car Painting
Painting with cars is fun, and since it's community art you don't need to sort it all out later to get it to the right family (not that I don't want them to have art, I'm just lazy sometimes). All you do is cover a low table or an area of the floor with paper, put out trays of paint, select some cars you don't mind getting painty, and let them at it.

I like to pre-select cars with interesting textures on their wheels and cars with wheels that roll easily. Choose cars with different sized wheels so you can compare them. If possible, find some vehicles that have different numbers of wheels, like trucks, so you can see how the paint lines are different. Cars you can clean later are a must, and if you have any concerns that inappropriate vehicles might make it to the painting area you might want to remove them from the room during this activity. You don't want to spend your time policing, you want to spend your time wondering at all the different marks the cars, trucks, and other random vehicles are making on the paper. Any car I've left in the room is fair game, so if children bring over extra vehicles I let them try regardless of the vehicle's size.

In the photos here we added a road with masking tape (we would have made it more road-like, but we could only find dark blue tape at the time). We have one little boy who likes to run his vehicles in a defined space. If there isn't one available, he'll make one by moving toys off shelves so he has a straight space or putting books down for a road. I didn't expect other kids to use the road, but they did. As you can see, they went around and around, occasionally stopping for more paint but mostly just running the vehicles around. When it was time to clean up for snack all the cars were lined up and ready to be "driven" to the sink for washing.

A Line of Painty Cars

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