Painting Fireworks

For a couple of months, I have been following the projects and activities over at Unplug Your Kids, meaning each week to actually participate in one of the challenges.

Well, when I saw that the new challenge was sky, and I happened to be home with the kids, and they happened to be really getting on my nerves, I thought it would be fun to try a new activity. So I went searching for sky-related projects and activities. I found a few, but they were pretty lame and many of them involved things I didn’t have on hand.

Thankfully, eight years of daycare experience has left me with more than just gray hairs. With the Fourth of July celebrations just days away, what better way to celebrate and incorporate the idea of sky than to create fireworks paintings?

We did this with the kids at work last summer and it was great, but I was at home, not at work with its magical never-ending supply of construction paper and tempera paint. What I did have was black cardstock and acrylic paints in red, white, and blue. If you’re going to do this project on black paper you probably will want to use the acrylic paint or it won’t show up. However, acrylic doesn’t work quite the same as tempera paint does, so I had to water it down.

What we did was put three blobs of paint on our paper, and then use straws to blow them around and theoretically make firework-type shapes. What happened the first time was that the paint was far too thick to spread out well, especially for the boys. Even I, with my well-trained lung capacity (thanks to years of yelling at large groups of children), had a hard time getting it to work right.

So we went back to the drawing board and mixed in some water and then all was well. The kids still had a hard time blowing effectively. Sam was perfectly happy just blowing and not accomplishing much except to get saliva all over his paper, but Ryan was not pleased that his weren’t turning out as pretty as mine. So eventually I blew into the straw and let him guide it around the paper.

We decided to be done when we were all suffering from a lack of oxygen (Ryan told me later that everything had started to look gray– um, way to go Mom!). But the pictures turned out really cute and the boys were really proud of them. If you do this with your own children, you might want to let them at it in small spurts of activity to prevent them from passing out. Or have them create one masterpiece and take turns blowing on the straw.

Here they are with their finished masterpieces:


13 thoughts on “Painting Fireworks

  1. Those are absolutely beautiful! I have a 2 year old and I think she would really like this! Last year she saw fireworks for the first time, and she called them “Go boom!”

  2. What an awesome idea! The paintings they made are just so cool! I’m saving this idea for Anna! She’s learning how to blow, but I think I’ll stick with the more washable fingerpaints LOL!

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