Monday, January 26, 2015

creating with a kid: paint with your feet

We spend a lot of time outside but this time of year on the Oregon Coast can get a little bleak with days and days of rain. And while I have all kinds of fun and creative projects to keep Lucy busy and inspired, I save few of the really special (and messy projects) for days (like the grumpy ones) when everyone needs something extra special to work on! One of those special projects is painting with our feet and let me say that letting your three year old paint with their feet is not for the faint of heart but it is a really fun way to get creative and let loose with your kids. 

This is the kind of activity that requires a little set up and clean up time. Even though I am the queen of making a mess I still lay down paper or a drop cloth before we dive into painting. 

TIP: This is also a great outdoor activity for warm days and much easier when it comes time to clean up! 

You can paint on just about anything large enough to walk on- paper (I like butcher paper or brown painter's paper), fabric, canvas or even cardboard. Paper surfaces can get slick with paint (it's easier to slip around) while canvas and fabric are less slippery.

I love using my bare feet but Lucy is not into it yet so we grab a pair of summer shoes (that can be washed) and let her go crazy with them on. 

TIP- You can also get really creative with putting different things on your feet- bubble wrap, socks or anything that will create unique pattern or texture on the surface.

We start by dumping acrylic paint onto the surface- this step might be Lucy's favorite because she seems to love having the control and ownership dumping out all those bottles of paint.

Then I let her go crazy in all that paint- walking, marching, stomping and dancing! 

More paint is dumped and more craziness is had!

And don't think painting with your feet is just for kids...this kind of project is for anyone, any age especially those who might need to blow off some steam or let loose!


If you or your child is not comfortable getting dirty or messy with your feet, at least try using your hands to apply paint! This is a great way to get yourself accustomed to what it feels like to use your body.

Blast your favorite music! Using your body to paint is all about expression and movement and having music on will make it even more fun.

Embrace expression and abstraction! Painting with your body is more about the experience and painting in an abstract way. Try to forget about things looking and feeling perfect and instead give yourself permission to get lost in the process and the mess.

Just let go, enjoy the moment and forget about the giant mess that is happening. The worst case scenario is that you have some cleaning to do when everything is over! 

You can read my entire series of "creating with a kid" posts HERE


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