Creativity · Nature

Mixed Media Bugs

If you have a child that loves to paint, this activity will be a lot of fun because it allows them to get messy and creative with unusual painting tools to make textured papers. Or if you happen to have a stack of painted papers from your child’s “free paint” that you can’t part then this is a way to put them to use!

I have a scrap bin that I put all left over papers from other projects or paintings done by my kids that were mostly about the process and not exactly frame-worthy. We pulled some of those out for this project that included leftover papers from our paint blowing activity and our watercolor painting with salt.

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If you don’t have any papers made yet, then this will be the fun part! Gather some tools from around the house that would be good for making texture in paint…some examples are credit cards, forks, hair combs, toothbrushes, toy cars, cotton swabs, sponges, or other items that can be stamped or drawn with. These texture tools are also great for making lines and grooves and this sponge wand is fun to have too.

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I set a tray of tools on the table and had the girls choose a few paint colors for their painting. They experimented with the tools, scraped, drew lines, and stamped their colors together.

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Once they were dry, we put our papers with our other stack of scrap papers to use for our bugs.

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I love incorporating books into lessons and activities to connect content and spark imagination so we read the book, A Beetle is Shy by Dianna Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long. If you haven’t been introduced to the series by these authors, I highly recommend it! They are cleverly written and the illustrations are beautiful.

We used our painted papers and began cutting out shapes to create our bugs. We also used decorative edge scissors for some of them.

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Lila suggested the idea of adding grass, leaves, and sticks for some of the details. I think the natural items really made these creatures come to life!

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I love this one! The long grass legs are so fun!

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