Monday, January 7, 2013

32 Blank Surfaces For Inspiration

What inspires me the most is something that isn't there yet, a blank surface waiting for imagination and creativity to take over.  Blank surfaces are valued spaces in our home.  My five year old has become very comfortable with filling in what's empty, and surprises me with points of view I didn't know he was capable of.

To inspire others I'm sharing a list of blank surfaces you and your children can use to make the process of painting, drawing, and creating a little more novel than using typical white paper.

1. Cardboard

2. Bathtubs 
          Growing a Jeweled Rose has a great messy play example here.

3. Windows
4. Driveways
          Use chalk or paint, take a picture, and let the rain wash it away.

5. Paper bags

6. Paper plates

7. Contact paper
8. Construction paper

9. Packing paper

10. Styrofoam or Craft foam
          I love Tinkerlab's printmaking post.

11. Skin
          Ever brave body painting with toddlers or preschoolers?

12. Etch-a-sketch
          Classic toy!

13. Magna Doodle board

14. Refrigerators
          Use magnets to create designs.

15. Whiteboards
"They are running a race" -Aidan (age 5)

16. Chalkboards

17. Wallpaper

18. Shirts

19. Pillowcases

20. Cookie sheets/Sensory Trays

21. High Chair Trays
Try Love, Play Learn's recipe for pudding paint with older babies and toddlers.

22. Snow
          Use your feet or hands to draw or color the snow like Hands on as we Grow did.

23. Sand
Use seashells to make designs.

24. Dirt
Rocks and sticks make great drawing tools.

25. Walls
Have you been thinking about freshening up a wall with some paint or child's artwork?

26. Tabletops
          The Imagination Tree has a wonderful idea here.

27. Shower curtains

28. Plexiglass
See Through Sketching

29. Mirrors
          Washable paint or dry erase markers are best if you'd still like to see your reflection.

30. Scrap wood

31. Aluminum Foil
 Picklebums shared this activity here.

32. Rocks
Please share your other blank surface adventures, I'd LOVE to hear them!  Do you have a favorite blank surface at your house or classroom?

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  1. What a great go-to list for creating art with toddlers! I'm always trying to think of something new to keep him engaged and excited about creating. Thanks for sharing!

    1. A wise educator schooled me on keeping things "novel."

  2. What a great list! When I read the title I thought "Hmmm I think I can come up with about 10-15 but not 32!"
    Here's one to add... felt board ->

    1. Felt is a fabulous blank surface...I wonder how many more we could add to this list!

  3. Great list, our favorite blank surfaces are our huge front window, our art tables, the whiteboard, and our kitchen floor!
    Thanks for sharing! :)


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