What do we do when my mess-averse husband is away all morning? We paint! The girls and I had fun exploring different ways to paint, from golf-ball painting, to painting with cars, to making bubble-wrap prints. It wasn't so much about the final product, but the experience of exploring this medium in different ways...
Squeezing the paint straight from the tube was a new experience for L and E (since I usually put paint into paper cups for them). Then I showed them how they can put a golf ball in the roll it around. They enjoyed this activity a lot. L especially liked trying to get the golf ball to move in different directions, and E enjoyed giving the ball a bath after it got dirty.
Then we painted with toothbrushes:
This didn't hold their interest for long, but the next activity sure did: painting with cars!
What's better than playing with toys and making a messy art creation at the same time? Washing the paint off the cars in their sink was a big hit as well (and I didn't even cringe at the resulting mess all over the bathroom).
L also tried some bubble-wrap print making:
I'll use this technique again for a more structured activity (maybe making an underwater scene). Since we were messy anyway, I pulled out the shaving cream for a fun sensory experience, which both the girls enjoyed:
I didn't encourage them to draw letters or anything specific, just to feel the squishy cream in their hands and explore.
As I'm starting to do more organized crafts with the girls, I need to remember to include plenty of this type of free art play, as well.