Firework Painting

When you think of the 4th of July, you probably think red, white, and blue--American flag--America's birthday--celebration--fireworks. Thinking about the 4th of July coupled with the fact that my children have been begging me to paint for days, led me to my latest crafty creation--firework painting. Now don't get me wrong, I could've just handed my son and daughter a paintbrush each, some paint and a piece of paper and they both would've been perfectly content, but in honor of America's Independence Day I thought something special was in order.

This activity is really easy and fun, but I need to give you this warning first---firework painting can be messy. I put both of my kids in smocks a.k.a. my old t-shirts and we did this craft at a plastic kiddie picnic table that I keep in the room we use as our office for just such occasions when I don't want a mess all over the kitchen table. Kitchen tables work great when covered with newspaper or a plastic tablecloth. Do not under any circumstance let your kids firework paint with paint that is not washable or in a space that is not easily cleaned, ie: on carpet. After we were finished both kids had paint on their smocks, all over their hands, on the floor, in my son's hair and on the wall-yikes! I'm not trying to scare you, although you are probably clicking out of this post right now, but I'm just saying take precautions. Everything was easily cleaned up with a wet paper towel and some soap. Now that I've completely scared you away from this activity, let me tell you how to do it.

All you need for this craft is paper, yarn, paint and a plate or tray to put the paint on. I used Crayola Washable poster paint in red, white and two shades of blue to keep with our America's birthday theme, but you can really use any colors. Also, I used plastic disposable plates that I rewash as paint trays.

First, I needed to cut the yarn into small strips, probably about 6 inches long (I didn't measure). My almost five year old son actually insisted on cutting the yarn when he saw the scissors. Although scary, scissor skills are something your child needs before going to kindergarten. Trust me on this. Then I placed small plops of paint on the plates.

I then demonstrated how to drag the yarn through the paint color and then press it down on the paper, making little straight lines. My daughter did exactly as I did, but my son decided to fling the yarn at the paper like a whip, while saying "pow, pow" like an actual firework. Hence the paint in his hair, on the floor and on the wall. I will say his portion of the painting did look very authentic.

I love the way their painting turned out. And despite the mess, it was a lot of fun for the kids and when they are happy, Mama is happy!