I thought it would be fun to build a painting using foam counting blocks glued together in a few different shapes. The idea was to build a painting using these blocks like you would build blocks placing one on top of the other.
Of course my daughter reminded me that art is a process not a product as she did her own thing. She showed me how a real artist works as she built, dotted, swirled, and pushed the paint around on the paper in many different ways. It was inspiring to watch. She ended up making two paintings, while I made one.
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How to Build a Painting with Foam Blocks
- Tempura paints – Non-Toxic Washable Tempera Paint Set
- Foam counting blocks – Soft Color Cubes
- Waterproof craft glue – The Ultimate Glue
- Painting paper – Artist Paper Pad
- Large Paper to put paint and blocks on as a pallet – Giant Floor Pad
- Painters tape – Painters Masking Tape
Step 1 – Glue the counting blocks together in various shapes.
- Make one shape for each paint color that you will be using.
- You can see the shapes we made in the photo below.
- Glue the blocks together to make each shape.
- Allow to dry
Step 2 – Place paint and shapes on a large piece of paper
Use a large piece of paper to place paints on. Tape it down with painters tape so it doesn’t move around. Place one block in each paint. We used 7 colors and made several shapes. Here’s how we did it:
- Yellow = 2 squares glued together
- Orange = 4 squares glued together a straight line
- Red = ‘S’ like tetris shape
- Hot Pink = single cube
- Green = 4 cubes glued together to make a square
- Blue = 3 cubes glued together in a straight line
- Purple = 6 cubes glued together to make a rectangle
Step 3 – Build a painting
I recommend demonstrating how to do it before allowing your child to give it a try. Children learn best by watching others.
- Tape a piece of painting paper on to the surface you will be working on.
- Have your child pick up the block they want to use and stamp it onto the paper.
- Replace it when done and grab another block.
An artist at work on her first painting.
Mother and daughter foam block paintings
An artist is born!
Painting with foam blocks is an easy and fun activity to do with kids. You can either build a painting like you would build with blocks, or do process art. My daughter did both. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
Painting with foam blocks is one of 101 painting ideas being shared at ‘Emma Owl’ this month as part of their Paint-A-Thon. New activities will be added daily so do keep checking back by clicking here.
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Nell has over 20 years of experience working with children and is the founder of Rhythms of Play. She believes in the power of the imagination, learning through play, making this world a greener place to live, and getting outside in all seasons! Learn more…