Store bought paint by numbers are often boring and less than educational. Try helping your child to create her own individualized paint by numbers art project. Choose any theme that interests you and your child, and begin the creative process! Incorporate bold shapes, curving lines, and vibrant colors for an artfully fun experience.
The colorful Make Your Own Paint by Numbers activity will not only help your child to develop as an artist, but will also help your child to grow as a learner. This hand crafted activity also doubles as a basic math skills and literacy activity. Young children can learn number recognition and counting skills (as well as geometric shapes) while designing imaginative art. Additionally, this activity will encourage your child to develop important sequencing and matching skills. Literacy skills such as letter and word recognition can also be developed through this painting project.
What You Do:
- Discuss a theme or picture for the design with your child. At first, try something that is comprised from clear, simple shapes. Examples include a frog, a cat, or a train. Ask your child to tell you what shapes make up the object to be drawn.
- Encourage your child to begin drawing the object with a marker. Make sure that he is using simple, bold shapes.
- Ask your child to write a number in each shape. These will correspond with the paint colors therefore it is alright if more than one shape has the same number in it. For example, if your child has drawn a cat, both eyes should have the same number for the same color. If your child is unable to write the numbers by himself, lightly write them for him. After you have written each number, encourage your child to trace over the numbers with a marker.
- Make a list of colors to be used. These may be realistic to the picture or uniquely imaginative. Write the numbers that correspond.
- Begin painting! Ask your child to identify the color word and the corresponding number. For added fun, have your child create his own special palette of colors through mixing the paints. Ask him to name these new colors with creative names such as Yellowberry Green or Magic Magenta.
As an alternative to paint by numbers, try this activity as a paint by letters! Assign each shape and color a specific letter of the alphabet and follow the directions.
Erica Loop has a MS in Applied Developmental Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education. She has many years of teaching experience working in early childhood education, and as an arts educator at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh.