Everything is Paintbrushes

This camp invitation* was so simple and so engaging — all I did was collect a bunch of things that weren’t paintbrushes and set them out with a big piece of paper and some paint!

A big piece of blue paper rolled out onto the ground outside, on a sidewalk and overlapping onto the grass. Next to it are an assortment of random items: beads, paint squeegees, strainers, plastic silverware and dishware, and lots of other smaller things. There are several bottles of paint as well.

The possibilities are, of course, endless, and any replication of this activity would end with a zillion zillion different permutations of how it would turn out.

Some of the materials I set out were: forks, colanders, a big hexagonal sock organiser thing, Mardi Gras style plastic beads, Pop Its fidget toys, rubber frogs, toy cars, pom-poms, squeegees, marbles, a strip of Theraband, (plastic, pretend) cooking knives, bubble wrap, some pottery making tools, some cloth, tongs, tweezers, pinecones, etc.

A large honeycomb hexagonal pattern made as one large print.

I did not gather these materials with some magical occupationally therapeutical end goal in mind. I gathered these materials because they were a random assortment and to spur and support someone else’s creative ideas and exploration and thinking 🙂

Orange streaks against blue paper, made by dragging beads in a circular motion.

It was so fun to watch people experiment with how they could make different kind of prints with the different items! Even the grown-ups got really invested in the exploration.

Several prints made with Pop Its fidget toys, in square and semicircular outlines with little dots filling them in.

The next day, one of the kids was trying to participate in a different painting activity and asked one of the other leaders what they were supposed to paint with. The leader offered them some paintbrushes and they protested, “But yesterday everything was paintbrushes!”

That pretty well sums it up!

*I’ve recently run a week-long, sensory-rich, arts-and-crafts, child-led play day camp for 30 kids and their parents! I’ll be talking about it for awhile. You can find all the posts under the tag Camp Creativity.