My little ones love to paint. Who doesn't? Me! Ha! Well, I love to paint too, but the clean up can be a nightmare and ruin the fun stressing about it during the process. Thankfully we've found some middle ground! And it's so simple. We had some children's paint that was too translucent to make fun prints with so we taped a large Ziploc bag to the table with a white piece of paper behind it, squirted two colors in and zipped it shut.
This led to hours of fun, not only for the 2 and 3 year old, but the 13 year old and myself and my husband. Even my mom had some fun with it! It was hard not to! We left it on the table for a few days even.
Since it's not technically painting, and you don't get to keep your beautiful ever transforming creations (unless you take photos) we gave it a new name. Squishing. It was super fun to do and to watch as the two colors slowly blended together. Which was another great lesson in color mixing! We wrote letters and shapes and drew pictures and just went wild. Win win. It was great to have at the table to distract and entertain while I cooked too. And easy to wipe off after eating on this fancy interactive place mat. When the bags wore down too much we just pulled it up in once piece and threw it away.
One thing I'd do differently next time though is to buy better bags. I used some cheap ones I had on hand already and they were quite flimsy and didn't hold up too long to scratching (see above), which as you can see, started immediately. :) Perhaps even putting the clear tape over the bag completely would help?
So there you have it. A fun quick, easy, no mess activity for children of all ages! Ever done this? Let me know! I'd love to hear about it!