Packing paper is big, easy to clean up, and free. Perfect material for kid art. Now what can you do with it?
1. Cover the table. Put packing paper over a table (it completely covered our kid table) and let them finger paint all over it. Give them some primary colors and let them mix it by hand to make secondary colors. The best way to learn is by doing, so let them get messy. Not feeling the paint? Give them crayons and markers and let them draw on the table while you make dinner.
2. Hang it on the wall. Tape up the packing paper to a long wall and let them create a mural.
3. Lay it out on the floor. The floor is the perfect place for sitting babies that haven’t mastered walking. Plop them in the middle of the packing paper and let them go to town. Have older kids lay down on the paper and trace around them. Then they can color themselves and design an outfit with paint, markers, or chalk.
4. Take it outside. On a nice day, put packing paper down on the driveway, deck, or sidewalk. Take off those shoes and make paint footprints!
Drawing with sidewalk chalk is a great summer activity. It’s cheap, easily washable, and gets kids outside enjoying the sunshine. Encourage your kids to do lots of free drawing, but also try out some of these ideas. Don’t overload them….just one or two ideas per chalk session.
(Common Core Standards appear in italics. They correlate with specific standards in different grade levels. These standards are used in almost every school in the country. Click the Common Core tab above to learn more.)
- Let them feel the chalk and try to make marks on different surfaces
- Color in one spot so there is a lot of chalk dust. Put baby’s hands in it and see if you can help them make hand prints on the pavement. Messy, but fun!
Toddlers and Preschoolers
- Draw different colored shapes a few feet apart. Play a game and ask them to stand on the blue circle. Then walk (or run, skip, hop, etc.) to the purple rectangle. (kindergarten-Identify and describe shapes)
- Big sidewalk chalk is perfect beginning writers. Draw dotted lines of shapes, letters, or numbers and see if they can trace it. Or write a letter first and see if they can copy it. (kindergarten- Print many upper- and lowercase letters)
- Write their name in REALLY big letters and have them walk the letters of their name.
- Write numbers in order. Let kids hop from number to number counting as they go. (kindergarten- Know the number names and count sequence)
- Draw a path for kiddos to use with their tricycle or bicycle.
- Make a Twister board with chalk and call out directions if you don’t have a spinner.
- Trace around your kiddo and then have him design and color the clothing. Or he could draw the organs (heart, brain, lungs, etc.) in their proper spot.
- Make a large grid. Work together to make a different pattern in each square of the grid.
- Tell addition stories and have your child draw to solve the problem. For example, “I have 3 apples. Then I buy 4 more. How many apples do I have now?” (grades 1 and 2- Represent and solve problems using addition and subtraction)
- Write numbers in order, but leave some out and have your kiddo fill in the missing numbers. Then have them skip count and hop to the different numbers.
- Kids write out the alphabet in big letters. Then say a word and they run from letter to letter to spell it. (grades K-6- Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing)
- Write out a silly sentence incorrectly (no capitalization or punctuation) and have kids correct your mistakes. (grades K-6- Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing)
- Ask kids to draw shapes and then divide them into equal parts to make fractions. (grades 1,2,3- Reasons with shapes and their attributes)