This painting method is used in Waldorf schools around the world and is a great way for your 2-6 year old to experience color without focusing on line and shape. The wet paint dances across the wet paper beautifully as the young artist leads its movement.
I set out some form of wet on wet painting for my little artist each week because he loves it so much. The process is calming, sensory satisfying and exhilarating.
- 3-5 watercolor paint colors thinned with water
- Watercolor paper
- 3-5 jars to hold watery paint (each with its own brush)
- Crayons for drawing on top of the painting when it’s dry
- Set up the paint play invitation by taping watercolor paper to a table and wetting it with a sponge.
- Model the possibilities of how to use the materials.
- Let your child explore.
- Your child can be invited to draw on top of the painting with crayon or colored pencil when the paint is dry. I usually offer just a few colors for this, within the color theme.
Process Over Product
Art play for children is about the process, not the product. When your child is “done”, the paper could look different than you envisioned it would. Celebrate the process as it is.
I leave a project like this set up for most of the week. One day for wet on wet, one day for painting on top of the dry wet on wet, and a day or two for creating another layer on top of the painting with crayon. Mr. 3.5 leaves and comes back to it several times.
Give wet on wet painting a go with your child. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!