It was the month before my oldest turned two. I had been itching to get a paint brush in his hand for quite some time (there’s just nothing so beautiful as kid-art!). I wanted to steer clear of the mess of finger painting, but I doubted that he would be able to handle using paintbrushes. I could just see them turning into toys (much like crayons do) or, if he was interested in their actual purpose, I was pretty sure they would be destroyed quite quickly− think: tip of paintbrush being smashed into the paper and scraped all over the paper. Not only would the paintbrush be destroyed, but I doubted the paper would have survived either. So I did what any intuitive, resourceful millennial mom would do− I googled it. =]
I searched around a little bit and came across the idea of using feathers as paintbrushes! OF COURSE! It’s perfect! You can get a ton of craft feathers in a bag for a few dollars so they aren’t anything you’re trying to wash, reuse and keep relatively nice. Besides feathers, all you need is tempera paints, drawing paper and small containers. Let the fun begin!
For our first go at it I gave Trevor three different colors with a feather in each different paint, I showed him what to do on my own paper and after about two seconds of that he grabbed the feathers and got to work on his! He was loving it; and I was loving watching him. He went into this quiet, focused state of just watching his feather drag across the paper leaving a trail of color behind it.
For my “containers” I just used plastic cups that I found in my pantry and cut them down to be more accessible for him.
Truth be told, I intentionally selected colors that would match Trevor’s bedroom… we moved him out of the nursery to make way for Zeke baby and I hadn’t gotten around to putting anything on the walls yet. I was intending to make artwork for on the walls in there for a while, but I think I was freaking myself out over deciding what I wanted to do and I just ended up not doing/finishing anything. That’s when I decided that Trevor should make the artwork for in his room!
I framed the two pieces that he painted and I couldn’t part with what he painted on the freezer paper that was protecting our table, so I cut that out in a square and framed that as well! I still love to look at the paintings in his room and sometimes I catch him lying in bed looking at them. Just the other day I overheard him tell his Daddy that they are beautiful. My squishy mama’s heart wanted to explode! And truly, he is much better at abstract art than I am… I way over-think it!
What do you think?! If you give it a try please let me know how you like it!
I discovered the feather painting idea on parents.com and here are a few other alternative toddler painting ideas they shared along with the feather painting if you want to try out some other techniques!