Joey and I have been reading the book Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh. When teachers typically read this book in their classrooms, they often include a painting extension activity so that the students can experience mixing paint colors together like the mice in the story. Joey usually loves art projects, and I wanted him to have the same experience as other Mouse Paint readers.
Although Joey enjoys when we paint with brushes or sponges, he has a difficult time keeping the brush or sponge on the paper. These projects often feel like they become more of an experience of me controlling Joey’s painting arm than Joey independently creating something. I am always looking for a way to give Joey more control and independence in these types of activities. This time, instead of using a brush, Joey and I tried painting with a golf ball.
For golf ball painting, we taped a piece of paper onto a cookie tray. We used a cookie tray that had a ridge around the edges so that the ball would not fall off easily, resulting in paint on the floor. The tape was needed to hold the paper down, because Joey can get excited and grab the paper off the tray.
I dipped a golf ball into one of the primary colors mentioned in the book, and rolled the ball across the tray to Joey. Joey lit up, both at the fact that we were playing ball together, and because the ball left a streak of blue paint across the paper. He rolled the ball back to me, making another line. After adding some ball-created blue lines, we changed colors, and dipped the ball in yellow paint. Later we added another ball with red paint. In addition to rolling the ball back and forth, Joey did some finger painting as well, mixing the lines and colors together.
The resulting painting gave us a mix of finger-paints and golf ball lines, mostly all produced by Joey independently, without an adult having to guide his hands onto the paper. Beautiful, isn’t it?
If you are trying this yourself, keep in mind that this type of art makes beautiful wrapping paper when giving presents to family members!