Children love to ooze and squish things and so this type of painting is perfect for them, no matter what their age. It teaches them about basic symmetry and colour, while encouraging them to look at their paintings in detail. So I give you a squishy painting for kids that teaches symmetry.
With a giggle I’m warning you now, you’re going to need lots of paper for this one because your child will want to do this type to painting over and over and over again. It’s fabulous fun and has an exciting element of mystery.
Recommended age: 2 years +
(Active supervision is required on all my activities)
Possum (aged 3.5 years) asked me if she could do some painting. We’d usually paint outdoors but the cold Winter, which we are currently experiencing where we live in Australia, has us doing more of our creating indoors. So this is a great and relatively mess free way of paint.
You will need –
- Spoon or brush
- Drip tray
So to begin you will need to fold a piece of paper in half and open it again. This is a great opportunity to talk with your child about basic fractions and what the term ‘half’ means. Quick chance to expose them to new words and expand their language vocabulary, even at a young age.
So talk with your child about the colours you have for them to use. You might also like to talk to them about what colours they know from their environment ie. green is like the leaves outside. Great way for them to make connections with their own environment.
Have your child add paint to one side of the sheet of paper. I had possible use a spoon for something different and also it ensured the paint applied was a good thickness for pressing.
Now for the extra fun part. Instruct your child to fold over the piece of paper so the two inside halves touch.
…. and press to squish the paint. Kids love this part, as you can just imagine.
Then it’s time to peel back the paper to reveal the gorgeous symmetrical painting inside. So beautiful.
Possum absolutely loved the mystery and anticipation that came with revealing the painting. You don’t know what it’s going to look like until you’ve gone through the process of adding and pressing the paint together. After a few paintings were completed I began to ask Possum what she expected each piece to look like before she revealed it. Her responses and justifications were interesting.
Some of the paintings started to look like butterflies or interesting insects. I’ve also seen these done where people have cut out the paintings and added eyes and other interesting features.
The easiest form of symmetry for kids to understand is called reflection symmetry where two sides are identical. It also has a line of symmetry, which I’ve highlighted in the image above.
Now Possum at aged three doesn’t really need to know about symmetry, even though this is the perfect activity to teach that, but it is something that I lightly mentioned to her. As a result she started to become quite interested in how one side was the same as the other because of her squishing efforts, so I’m glad I mentioned it to her.
This approach to painting is seriously so much fun for kids. Like I said, have lots of paper on standby because they will want to do pages and pages of these. The colours and shapes that are created are spectacular and it’s always a great mystery to what they will look like until the reveal at the end.
Would your child enjoy this approach to painting?
Here are some other ideas I know you will love –