With a few strokes of white paint, kids can transform an old family photograph into a lovely winter scene. Painting helps strengthen little hand muscles for improved fine motor skills, and introduces kids to the artistic process. Encourage your little one to get as creative as possible—make a calm winter woodland scene, a snowy night, or even a raging blizzard!
What You Do:
- Study the family photo with your child. Can she tell what season it is in the picture? What clues can she find that tell her what the weather was like?
- Cover your work area with newspaper or a drop cloth to keep paint from getting on it. Place the photo on the newspaper.
- Have your child paint snow on the photograph using the paint brush and white tempera paint. There are lots of different ways she can paint snow; she can add lots of small dots so it looks like it's snowing, or create large splotches piled up high to make snowdrifts. Don't forget to add snow to tree branches, fences, and even people!
- If she likes, she can also paint winter clothes like hats, scarves, or boots onto the people in the photo with other paint colors.
- Set aside the photo to dry.
- Once it's dry, find a good spot and hang your photo for all to enjoy. You can even frame it, too!
You can also try this activity for other seasons. How could you create a fall scene? How about a spring or summer scene? Why not make one for each season and create your own seasonal painted photograph series?
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.