Sponge painting is a fun and easy craft to do with kids of all ages. The paint can be anything from washable acrylics, watercolors, or even just water used to make patterns on the sidewalk or a wooden fence. While I’m sure there are pre-cut shaped sponges available to purchase, I decided to cut out my own shapes from a large new sponge, using cookie cutters as inspiration for the shapes.
I had in mind using the sponge paintings as decorations for our upcoming family July 4th BBQ, so I made sure to cut out a star
shape sponge. Using small cookie cutters, I traced the shapes onto the sponge with a sharpie pen. An exacto knife and scissors helped with cutting out the shapes.
Sponge shapes, either pre-cut or homemade
washable paint (even finger paint would work)
plastic dish for paint
Directions: Cover your work surface with newspapers or an old table cloth. Explain the process of using the sponges, similar to rubber stamps, to your child. Show them how to dip the sponges into the paint and then onto the paper to make any pattern they like. It helped to water down the paint to make it the consistency of melted ice cream. Using a small plate with sides helped contain the mess from the paint. Let your child be as creative as they want! For very young kids, they can use water as paint and make prints on paper as well…it just won’t be permanent, or go outside and use the sidewalk as a canvas.
To make a flag garland for our party, I took two of the finished paintings, ones with mostly star shapes on red and blue paper, and cut each page into eight rectangles. (I folded the page in half twice, then a third time to get eight equal rectangles.) I then used a hole puncher to punch out two holes at the top of each rectangle, about an inch apart and centered. All of the rectangles were threaded onto a long cord/ribbon to create a garland of flags to decorate for our party. This can be done for any themed party, just color coordinate the construction paper and the sponge shapes to match your theme! It is a nice way to incorporate your little kids’ craft projects into inexpensive and festive holiday decorations!
You can find more crafts and other adventures with a preschooler on Diane’s blog Knitting Zeal.