Updated: Jun 25, 2021
If you’re looking for a new way to “paint” without all the mess and clean up, then Light Painting is the activity for you! By filling a clear bag with paint and taping it to any window in your home, this activity is sure to promote sensory development for preschool and early school-age children. Although this activity is incredibly open-ended, allowing each child to create in their own fashion, it can also be used as an educational tool for older children. For example, they can practice their shapes, letters, and numbers! An added bonus for this already exciting activity is that it can be used over and over again, without having to replace the paint or remove the bag from the window. If desired, this activity can remain on the window for several days (up to a couple weeks) without
damaging the window.
You Will Need:
Ziploc baggies (sandwich or quart size work best, but any size will work)
Washable paint (whatever color(s) you- or your child- choose)
Tape (duck, painters, masking, etc.)
Step 1: Open the Bag
In preparation for pouring in the paint, make sure that your baggie is open wide enough. Make sure that your bag is the correct size for the amount of paint you wish to use (i.e. use a snack sized bag with a smaller amount of paint or quart size bag for a large amount).
Step 2: Pour Paint Color(s) into Bag
Next, with your bag open, pour the paint inside. In this step you can add as many colors as you would like to the bag for an exciting color mixing experience.
*If your child is old enough, they can assist you in this step by squeezing the paint into the bag while you hold it open*
Step 3: Seal the Bag
This might just be the most important step to ensure a mess-free activity for your child! Make sure the bag is sealed completely, with as much air out of it as possible. For added security take a piece of tape and seal in over the opening of your bag.
Step 4: Repeat Steps 2 & 3**
Although this step is not required to complete the activity, you can fill multiple bags with paint for more opportunities for fun!
*Filling multiple bags can be a good option when there are multiple children who want to take part in the activity*
Step 5: Locate a Window
Now it’s time to find a window that your child is able to reach. If they are not able to reach the window without assistance, you can provide a chair or stool to help them reach, but, always make sure they are supervised
*Although this activity should be mess-free, if you are worried about the activity space around the window getting messy, make sure you lay down a towel or sheet*
Step 6: Tape Your Bag to the Window
For this step, take your tape and use it to seal your bag to the window. Make sure you only apply half of the tape to the bag, ensuring the rest of the tape sticks to the window. Do this on each of the four sides of the bag.
*For this step, you can allow your child to assist you in holding the bag to the window while you apply the tape. Or, if your child is able, allow them to peel, tear, and apply the tape to the bag on the window.*
Step 7: Get Creative
Finally, the real fun starts-create with their bags of paint! If using two or more colors of paint, you can see what happens when they mix together. As mentioned previously, you can use this activity as a fun way to learn to draw shapes and write letters. However you approach this activity, your child is sure to love it!