This is super messy, but super fun. Cover yourself and your child accordingly. We recommend preparing for a bath or at least good rinse afterwards. We prefer to do this activity outside, but it can be just as much fun inside a garage or basement.
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Safe sidewalks and driveways work well outside. Tile, cement or other non-porous floors work well inside. This activity is not recommended for carpeted areas.
Tempera paint - We prefer to use tempera paint in jars like the kind found here. Use about 1 cup for a 12 by 18 inch pan, in any color you choose. Tempera paint jars are great because you can have more paint on hand for your child to have second, third, or even a fourth go!
Spread out your newspaper or tablecloth. First, tape its 4 corners down and then repeat every 6 inches or so to keep it well in place. Young helpers are welcome!
Place the paper in the center of the newspaper or tablecloth. Tape the corners down and then about every 6 inches, so that it doesn’t move when your kids are creating.
Pour and spread the paint in your cookie sheet, covering the bottom with a thin coating.
The fun begins when your child dips one barefoot and then the other in the paint. Now it's time to walk on the paper. Some children may not want to get their feet in paint. So it’s OK and just as much fun to use only hands for this activity.
Skilly Spark:Talk with them about how the footprints look on the paper. Make up challenges like: Would it look different if you went tippy-toe? How about when you are walking faster? How about sliding on foot and then the other? Keep it up until your child’s interest wanes.
When the printmaking is all done, it’s time to walk to the end of the paper. Make a trail of footprints until the paint is completely “walked off.”
Next up, hands! Dip their hands into the paint to make handy prints.
Skilly Spark:Try making different prints with just a few fingers at a time. Or maybe one finger at a time. Ask them to roll their hands around and see how that looks. Continue until your child is finished with all their handprint possibilities.
And last but not least, cleaning up can be fun! Let your child step right into the pail of water to wash their hands and feet. Then, dry off with towels.
Keep the fun going
Dancing prints! Play one of your child’s favorite songs and move to the music with painty feet.
Ditch the towels, let your child run on the dry pavement or the soft grass until their feet are dry.
Keep on going ... try color mixing with another color of paint.