Tag Archives: art helps children develop small-motor skills

A Fourth of July Fireworks Painting, A Fun and Easy Art Activity for Creative Kids

Even if your Fourth of July fireworks is cancelled this year because of the pandemic, this fun and easy art project will help your children paint their own fireworks display!

All ages can enjoy this activity!

Be sure to look at the 2 sections at the end of this lesson to help you extend art learning into other areas:

  • How this art lesson can help your children in other areas of learning:
  • How this art lesson can help point your children to God:

Supplies

  • Tempera or acrylic paint
  • Flat lids or other wide and shallow containers for paint
  • medium paintbrushes
  • black and dark blue paper for the “sky”
  • cardboard tubes such as paper towel tubes
  • scissors
  • old but cleaned toothbrushes
  • paper towel

Helpful Hints:

  • Children may get a lot of paint on their hands with this project
  • This is a good project to do outside, especially if you decide to spatter paint at the end
  • If you do it inside, put down plenty of old paper or an old plastic tablecloth

Directions

  1. Cut narrow bands or flaps around one end of each cardboard tube (if your child is young you will probably need to do this)
  2. With your fingers push the flaps up so they can rest flat on the paint and on the paper
  3. With a paintbrush spread each color of paint on a lid or other container
  4. Swirl the cut bands around in the paint (you may also choose to use the brush to make sure all edges of the bands get covered)
  5. Holding the unpainted part of the tube, gently push the tube’s flaps down against the blue or black paper—up and down, up and down in a printing-type motion (you will probably need to push down on the flaps themselves)  Add more paint as needed
  6. Repeat with other colors,
  7. Spatter paint on top of the tube designs to finish up your fireworks painting

Helpful Hints:

  • Cut your bands as narrow as you can without making them too easily broken
  • Cut one or more tubes for each color, depending on how many children are painting
  • If you want a fireworks-looking design, don’t mush the flaps down too hard on your paper or swirl them around
  • When temporarily done with a tube, set it on wax paper so it can be reused or set it on the lid with the same color paint
  • Toothbrushes work best to spatter paint, but you need somewhat runny paint. To get your runny paint AND help with cleanup, just add a little water to the paint left on the lids and mix with your brush. This will give you runny paint to spatter!!
  • And contrary to all reason you need to pull bristles back toward you to spatter away from you!   If you push the bristles away from you, you’ll just end up spraying your own face!!

Clean up Helps:

  • Having an old plastic tablecloth to use as a drop cloth is helpful when spattering paint
  • If you’re doing this project inside and need to get children to a sink without too much mess on the way, give your child a wadded-up paper towel to hold in each hand while they walk to the sink. This also gets rid of a little excess paint on the way!!
  • Use your paint brushes to clean the plastic lids or pans. This helps to begin the brush cleaning process also.

Variations:

  • Use the tubes to make flower designs. Use lighter backgrounds and cut some flaps so they’re wider. After printing the designs, use a brush or cotton ball to paint the flower centers. Add stems and leaves and grass or a vase to make a garden or bouquet!
  • Use the tubes to print wild hair and fill in the middles with faces of people or animals
  • Swirl and mush the cut flaps instead of using an up and down printing motion and see what other types of designs you can make

How this art lesson can help your children in other areas of learning:

  • Looking at how overlapping some designs and printing some partly off the paper creates a sense of depth and movement, which develops vocabulary and observation skills
  • Using  these tubes is easier for small hands to hold than paintbrushes, but still helps develop fine motor skills.
  • Opportunities to make choices as in this activity, enhances problem-solving skills.
  • Discussing their choices as they work aids in vocabulary and conversational skills.

How this art lesson can help point your children to God:

  1. Creating art helps us relax, and sometimes this leads to great discussions about all sorts of things. It may help children open up about their fears and anxieties during this difficult time with its many unknowns. If so these verses may be helpful: Psalm 94:18; Psalm 18:1-3 and 30-31; Psalm 4:8; Philippians 4:4-9;
  2. In addition, a holiday like the 4th of July is a great time to discuss with children how wise leaders in government at every level can help bring justice and peace to people. Ask them what makes a wise and compassionate leader? Look at Proverbs 1:1-7 and James 1:5
  3. It can also lead to discussions about the responsibilities of citizens:  A. to pray for our leaders, and especially this year, for health care workers and first responders, and for justice and peace for all peoples.   B. to treat others as we would want to be treated. Jesus call us to love our neighbors. Matthew 22:37-40. Peter tells us to live peacefully with our neighbors. 1 Peter 3:1-4
  4. Finally you may want to help children see that no earthly government will be perfect. But when Jesus returns He will rule with perfect love, peace, and justice for all. Isaiah 42:1-4; Psalm 45:6.

______________________________________

Molly is back in her thunder shirt for the Fourth of July, in case she hears the boom of fireworks! She really hopes many of you will just enjoy making these painted fireworks! Do you see her spiky ball? It’s a favorite, and one reason she loves this lesson. She thinks the fireworks pictures look a little spiky, too.

Molly and I hope to see you right back here soon for Another Fun and Easy Art Activity for Creative Kids!