A mural is a large scale design usually painted directly on a wall, often in a public space. You can find these unique works of art all across the country, from suburbs and school yards to inner cities and art galleries. Turn your home into a public art space by trying your hand at creating your own removable wall mural. This kid-directed design can be put up, taken down, or rearranged depending on your needs.
What You Do:
- Help your child decide on a theme: dinosaurs, outer space, the beach, or something else of his choosing. Once he has a topic, help him research it. Try searching for educational material on websites or at the library. Thumb through nonfiction picture books filled with vibrant photographs or illustrations, or even visit a local science or natural history museum.
- Spread the paper on a large floor space. Invite him to draw a basic outline of the scene with pencils or markers. Have him draw the ground first so he knows which direction the mural goes.
- Once he finishes sketching the scene, it's time to start painting. Since painting can get very messy, make sure your workspace is covered with newspaper or a drop cloth and your child is wearing a smock or play clothes. Encourage him to paint one section at a time, and allow drying time in between.
- After the paint has dried completely, tape the mural up on a wall. Move the mural as desired from indoor spaces to outdoor walls.
- Enjoy your new public art project!
This activity can be expanded to fit any theme. Ask your child to think of new and unique scenery to draw on the mural. Alternatively, try a more abstract mural creation. Explore shapes, patterns, colors, and lines as they mix together to form an interesting image.
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.