Thursday, February 20, 2014

Muddy Tracks

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Some of Skyler's favorite songs and books right now are about tractors and farm animals, so this activity was inspired by all things farm related! This is one of the most entertaining painting projects we have done, Skyler happily painted for at least thirty minutes! For this activity, I gathered some of Skyler's plastic farm animals and tractor to use as our painting tools and I bought a foam roller for this craft as well (which was so well used for this activity it actually broke, I guess we will be needing another one!)

To make our "muddy" paint, I used brown craft paint and added coffee grounds (this picture was taken pre-grind) to give it a thick, bumpy texture. Skyler is not one to eat the materials we play with, but for children that like to taste their art materials and younger children this could easily be done with an edible paint (I have seen just yogurt and food coloring which looks awesome as paint!) and if you are worried about the caffeine from the coffee, I think the texture could be accomplished with cane sugar instead!

Since I knew this would be an exciting and messy painting project, I taped a big piece of poster board on our dining room floor to give Skyler a lot of room for work and so it wouldn't slide around (though, I actually didn't need to tape it as he was too entranced to get up and walk around while painting, he stayed sitting in the exact same spot!)

I took many, many pictures of Skyler's painting process - here are a few ;)

Skyler enjoyed touching the roller and rubbing the coffee grounds between his fingers!

                                      Painting his toes :)

 Of course, we ended up doing some body painting with the texturally exciting paint!

 He mostly used the roller, but did use the farm animals and tractor a little bit.

When Skyler said he was done, I put him, the plastic toys, and the roller straight into a warm, bubbly bath and we washed all the paint off! It was a nasty brown looking tub, but it was fun! Once all of the toys and Skyler's skin were free of paint, we rinsed out the tub and then filled it with fresh water so we could play a little longer!

While this was not our most attractive artwork ever, this was a process over product activity. With Skyler's interest in farm animals and tractors, it was a great way to incorporate the things we read and sing about. The painting tools and coffee-ground-infused paint provided Skyler with exciting new ways to create!


  1. What a great idea - it really looks like mud! We do mostly process art and it sure looks like he was having a good time with it!

    1. Thank you, Emma! The texture really did feel like mud/dirt it was so fun! At the toddler age, I think it is so important to have process over product! It's all about the exploration :)

  2. Terrific idea! Thanks for sharing on the Kids Co-Op, which I host on my site along with other bloggers. I'm pinning this one :-)

    Jennifer @ Generation iKid

    1. Thank you for the comment and pin, Jennifer! I am happy you stopped by :)