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Tinfoil Painting (Just Make Art!)

Yesterday, I promised my kids we would make some special art so we painted on tinfoil. I wanted to share this with you to give you a better picture of what we do around here. Generally, I share projects and activities that require special instructions. However, most of what we do around here is just play, just read a book, just make art–no themes, specific directions, or structure.

My kids like to draw or break out water colors almost every day and just create. Painting with anything else requires a little more prep so it doesn’t create a giant mess while they are creating masterpieces. So, it is more “special” when I give them tempera paints or acrylics.

To bump it up a notch further, I wrapped tinfoil around a piece of cardboard. I gave them primary and secondary color tempera paint in their palettes, a paintbrush, a cup of water, and a paper towel.

I briefly showed them how they can use the other end of the paintbrush to etch designs on the tinfoil.

My daughter drew a self-portrait in a garden…with a compass rose.

Then, they got to painting. Our paints stuck to the foil fine but I you can use a little glue or a drop of dish soap in the paints if yours does not. My son opted for a more abstract painting.

He started noticing that the colors mixed into new colors, including brown. My daughter said she wanted brown, too, for the hair in the self-portrait. We talked about color mixing, the color wheel and complimentary colors. She chose to mix blue and orange to get the right color for her hair.

Then, my son decided this would make for great finger painting.

After they each made two paintings, it was time to clean-up. They took the palettes, brushes, and cups to the sink and had almost as much fun washing as they did painting.

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Candace Lindemann, Yale, BA, Harvard Graduate School of Education, EdM, is an educational consultant and published writer. She enjoys new learning experiences with her children, ages 6 and 4 and 1.5.

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