After watching it rain for the better part of the morning (better part of the week, if we’re honest!), I decided it was time for the mini-Artsplorer and I to buck up and embrace the weather.
We tossed on our best gum boots, grabbed a basket, and headed out for a wet weather nature walk around our apartment complex. I told her to be on the lookout for anything she saw that would make a good paintbrush.
As we walked she scouted leaves, flower petals, branches, seed pods, pine cones, and rocks, declaring with each new discovery, “this would be good!” Naturally, she also found her fair share of puddles to jump in, which was at least half the objective of the field trip.
Suitably wet and stocked on paintbrushes, we were ready to come home and paint.
I simply spread out a large piece of white paper (love the rolls of butcher paper from IKEA!), some poster paint, and then unpacked our basket of natural brushes.
I didn’t have any particular directive in mind, nor did I have time to give her any instructions before she dug in. She knew immediately what to do, and grabbed a large palm leaf, dipped the long stem into some yellow paint, and set off. She worked through a number of the “brushes,” exploring what patterns each would make, and what technique was best for each item. A pine cone was used for rolling, while a small rock became a stamper, and a stick created squiggly lines.
Eventually, she turned her hands into the brushes, and with a flourish, created big blobs, which she said were fireworks, and adorned them by pulling off confetti style pieces from one of the seed pods.
The painting was an exploration in sensory, pattern making, color mixing, and the creative use of tools.
The painting session held her attention for about half an hour (she’s 4), and I think you could get quite a bit more mileage out of this activity for older kids.
Of course, you can also do this activity on a sunny day, you just need to collect the materials anytime you feel like a nature walk. But, there was something a bit special about getting out in the rain, and turning our rainy day into something colorful.