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Balloon Painting

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Painting with brushes is for sissies—especially when the kids have managed to hide all of the paint brushes again. Where do those things disappear to, anyway? Luckily, there are plenty of materials available for your kids to paint with, particularly if you exercise just a little bit of creativity.

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Blow up water balloon sized balloons and prepare your paint palate. You can use a single color, a couple of colors, or, for extra fun, a few colors that blend well together. Squirt them onto a paper plate. You can do them completely separately or blend them together—you’ll get a cool effect if you let them blend a little bit.

Dip the balloon into the paint, then apply to paper or canvas. Even toddlers will get the hang of this one pretty quickly. Cover your paper with balloon splotches. You can space them out, or put them on top of one another until the entire paper is covered to create a fantastic effect.

For the most part, the kids can do this one without a whole lot of supervision. Older kids can do it entirely alone; obviously, you won’t want to leave your toddler alone with the paint unless you have a burning urge to have your walls and floors decorated with balloon paint blotches (but hey, no judging—it could be a great look for your house). It is a fast project—the balloon is a relatively large surface, and it covers the paper pretty quickly, so don’t expect this one to keep your kids entertained all afternoon. However, it’s a great project to fill a few minutes while you’re working on something else or waiting to be able to move on to the next activity; and you can always pull out more paper and keep them busy longer. Think on a large scale for your canvas; small scale probably isn’t going to cut it.

The toddler verdict: “I want to paint more!”

The big kid verdict: “Pretty cool. Can we go outside and pop the balloons when we’re done?”

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