I think it is really important to make sure your outdoor play environment provides opportunities for a kid to utilize their imagination. I enjoy as an observer and listening with their play – children truly are masters of imaginary play and if you listen carefully you’ll hear them working through problems, attempting to understand the world around them, exploring the roles of men and women and community. They’re also having a whole lot of fun!
Children often use play to help explore their current interests. Although children are very adept at using the materials and environment around them to generate their very own play it may also be nice to provide one more invitation to play with the target of extending a current interest and acknowledging that they wish to explore and create and ‘act out’what they’re learning.
My twins are still very thinking about facepainting and the role of a facepainter. It seems they are always having their faces painted lately – at Bunnings, parties, markets and even if out to dinner at family friendly places. And trust me when I say they are growing quite particular making use of their requests! They’ve become little facepainting connoisseurs!
I’ve let them paint my face, I’ve painted theirs and they have even tried to makeover your dog who ran far and fast once they headed toward him with the brush! But I wanted to setup an activity that could allow them to actually get creative and explore this role and their emerging interest on their own. And that’s when I decided to obtain the dolls out!
This activity was very easy to setup and even though my girls are 5 in these photos it will be suitable as a toddler activity too. It’s some of those activities that is ideal for multi age groups as children will modify it to match – older kids will love being more descriptive making use of their painting and toddlers will really love covering just as much of the doll as they are able to with paint! I also incorporated a water tub for washing baby and that is easily modified for many ages.
The thing you need for facepainting outdoor play
Washable paint – I used acrylic paints we’d readily available (You could do this with proper face painting materials to of course but I love to help keep activities budget friendly and easy to wash!)
Brushes – I supplied an assortment of brush ‘tools’as you will see in the photo below but what you may have will work. Thinner brushes allow more opportunity for getting those important details ‘just right ‘!
Water – A box of water to wash brushes because they work. I also setup a container with water and bubbles for washing creations off ready to start again!
Dolls – A doll that you can prop or sit up with a bigger facial area is perfect. Needless to say face painting will quickly become body painting for many so don’t worry to much about finding the perfect doll. Just make sure you are happy for this to obtain messy!
Extras – I cut up some kitchen sponges to utilize for cleaning and blending paint and then a few little mirrors so they might show their ‘customers’the finished design. I used glitter paint rather than loose glitter but you may certainly provide something sparkly for kids to stay glued to the face paint design!
If you want to keep it simple though just stick to the paint, dolls and paint brushes!
Then it’s time for you to step back and let the creativity and conversations begin!
Ruby decided her first character was going to be ‘Spiderwoman’and she put great emphasis on the ‘woman’part – Love it! There was plenty of concentration and attention to detail. Fantastic possibility to strengthen fine motor muscles and grip which she often struggles with.
I noticed plenty of experimentation with thick and thin brushes as different designs were created – there clearly was even only a little blending with sponges – just as the real facepainters!
If you might have heard the conversation and explanation behind this red face you would know that there is actually a great deal of thought that went into this design even though to the adult eyes it really appears like red paint everywhere!
Incorporating mirrors into play provides opportunities to explore self, faces, materials and the environmental surroundings from different angles and perspectives. And they really sounded like facepainters too as they asked their customers to check out their finished designs!
When it had been time for a fresh design they headed over to the water tub and washed off the paint with sponges which became equally as much fun and another chance for conversation and role play as they looked after their babies.
And then it was time and energy to start once again!
The simplest of play experiences can often invite so many opportunities for learning and creative self expression!