A very special friend recently asked me to host an art table at her daughter’s 3rd birthday party. I am so glad she did! It was so much fun. I had to do something that would work for all the littles, lots of twos and threes, as well as the older kids, ranging up to about 11. Stencil art with biocolors was a perfect fit. I set up the table with canvases, paint scrapers, biocolors in nancy bottles (possibly my favorite painting tool for little kids) and lots of plastic stencils. I also had washable tempera paint set up. The table was pretty small. With so many kids coming over at once the table got messy really quickly. I decided to just go with it and it worked out fine. Everybody made room and we just shuffled things around a lot.
We started with the nancy bottles filled with bicolors. If you’ve never worked with biocolors before, I highly recommend them, but they do work differently than regular tempera paint. The consistency is different and they definitely adhere to paper differently. In truth, I am still figuring them out. One thing I know is that scraping the biocolors over paper or canvas is absolutely awesome. The colors remain so vibrant, especially the flourescent ones and they stick to the paper. The flourescent yellow is definitely the most popular color. It is so bright and fun to work with. I encouraged the kids to pick three colors and make paint dots on their canvas with the nancy bottles. Then, for those who were interested, I showed them the paint scraper and they watched in amazement as the colors held their ground on the surface of the canvas. The nancy bottles are great because they are super soft to squeeze, which is perfect for little hands. The kids can’t resist squeezing them!
Next, I encouraged the kids to place down the stencil of their choice on their canvas and paint over it with tempera paint. The tempera was a nice addition to the biocolors and showed up differently, which I think added interest for the kids. The littles used the stencils but usually just painted over their work. They were more interested in just squeezing bottles, which fortunately I had a lot of.
I decided to get glitter glue at the last minute and I’m so glad I did. The kids were able to squeeze till their hearts content. I also had gems on hand to stick on the canvas as a final touch. I know this sounds like a lot of materials, but it was worth it. Everyone who came over to the table was really engaged and had a lot of fun.