Sensory foil painting

To cheer us up on yet another wet and miserable day, we got the paints out to do some sensory foil painting.

Sensory foil painting

Inspired by the rain coursing down the windows, I thought we would have a loose theme of water/rainy days, so I set out some blue and white paint along with a few tools that could be used to create patterns on the paint. To make the painting experience a bit different, we used foil to paint on instead of paper.

I squeezed two blobs of paint, one white, one blue, onto the foil and let ToddlerGirl investigate. I thought she’d dive in with her fingers but she opted to use a paintbrush first to swirl the paint around the foil and mix the colours together.

Painting on foil is a lovely sensory experience. The smooth surface allows the paint to be moved around easily, the foil makes a faint crackling sound whenever it is touched, and the reflective surface provides added interest. ToddlerGirl really enjoyed using this different medium, examining it carefully as she painted.

After mixing the two colours together to create a lovely pale blue, she tried out some of the different tools: a foam ‘brush’ with jagged edges, which left sweeping lines through the paint; a wavy ‘scraper’ tool which produced a similar but softer effect; a small sponge on a stick that left tiny bubbles in the paint; and a roller with wavy indented lines, which she wielded with relish.

The hands, of course, had to go in too. I was actually surprised it took so long! The whole thing looked very tactile and inviting and ToddlerGirl swooshed her hands through, rubbing out some of the patterns she had made and leaving finger trails across the surface. She also had a go at painting her hands and arms with the roller…!

Once she’d had enough, I took a piece of plain white paper and laid it over the foil to make a print of her work. This was really effective, resulting in a gorgeous ‘rainy day’ painting.

She then painted straight onto another sheet of white paper. We looked at the rain running down the window and sang a couple of rainy day songs. I asked her what the rain looked like on the window as it dripped down and how she thought she might paint it and was really impressed when she started doing lots of long, sweeping strokes down the page. She concentrated on one area, rubbing her hands over it, telling me that “that’s the storm over there, Mummy”. The end result really does give the impression of water running down the page, in an abstract way of course! But it was really interesting to see how she responded to me talking about the rain and how it would look if we painted it.

If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em… We may both be getting more than a little fed up of all this wet weather but it certainly provided a great inspiration for some rainy day painting!

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2 Comments on “Sensory foil painting”

  1. Love this idea! I’ve never seen using the foil before–can’t wait to try it!


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