My 3 year old son Onetime likes cars and trucks, but absolutely LOVES the car wash! He is fascinated by the spraying water, rolling sponges and all the lights and sounds that go along with it. As soon as our car has even a bit of dust or salt on it – he lets us know!
When Louise of the Messy Little Monster blog asked me if I wanted to join in on her Process Painting Challenge – I jumped at the chance and immediately thought of this idea. The challenge is a month long adventure where a new painting technique idea is posted every day by a different kid blogger – all with a focus on the PROCESS of the art -not on the final product.
Our contribution to this project is Car Wash Painting – and it’s all about having fun (and engaging in a little make-believe) as we paint!
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To Car Wash Paint – You Will Need:
- a large piece of paper or unfolded cardboard box
- a canvas (optional)
- a couple of old toy cars or trucks
- a couple of sponge brayers, like these: Rimobul Artist Studio Sponge Painters
- a paint tray or paper plate
- some blue, green and white poster paints or acrylics and any other colour your child likes
- a car wash mitten – the more textured the better!
The Car Wash Painting Process
To begin, we spread out our cardboard on the floor, got dressed in our messy clothes and opened the paint!
I showed Onetime how to dip the brayer in the paint and then suggested that we could do some “Car Wash” painting.
From there, he started making brayer “roads” on the cardboard with green paint.
Next he decided to create an impromptu “water hose” to add water to our paint tray. Love those Tinkertoys for imaginative play.
Then the car washing began in earnest!
And of course, the obligatory hand painting had to happen!
Onetime wasn’t a huge fan of the car wash mitts, but he did give them a little try and seemed to like the dots they created when dipped in paint.
Pretty soon though, Onetime was back to the brayers to make a 2-dimensional car wash on the cardboard which he started driving his lovely “clean” cars through.
“Here’s where they go in Mom, and they go this way, and come out over here…vroom!”
Overall, our car wash painting lasted about an hour the first time, and Onetime asked to play again several times over the next few days.
Eventually, we threw out our well-used cardboard. It wasn’t a piece of artwork after all and was never meant to be – this activity is all about the process.
Giving my son the suggestion of a car wash, along with a few simple but unique tools (brayers and wash mitts) led to some fun artistic play, fantastic make-believe, and a few hours of freedom with paint and a topic that he loves!
I hope you give this a try and see what your child comes up with!
Guaranteed they’ll have fun and guaranteed it’ll be different than what Onetime created – that’s the beauty of open-ended activities like this!
To continue following along with this challenge – visit Messy Little Monster’s Painting Challenge page by clicking on the image below.
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Hope you have some “clean” fun with this!
I love this idea. It looks like you had so much fun.
Sue Lively says
Thanks Louise! We had a great adventure. Thanks so much for organizing this wonderful challenge!