Car Tracks: A Super Simple Project for Pint-Sized Motorists

By Mary Ann Kohl

There's no doubt about it: Creativity is as natural and necessary for children as fresh air and sunshine! By exposing children to creative experiences, we give them the gift of a rich and memorable childhood while laying the foundation for a lifetime of creative expression - all topped off with a heaping helping of important learning skills.

Materials

* liquid tempera paint
* liquid starch
* cookie sheet or tray with sides
* paintbrush for mixing
* small toy cars
* other toys with wheels
* large sheets of paper

If there has ever been a reluctant artist, this activity will invite and involve even the most stubborn individual. Driving toy cars through paint and then across large sheets of paper is not only beautiful, it's great fun.

Process

1. Pour a puddle of liquid starch onto the cookie sheet or tray.
2. Squeeze a big spoonful of paint into the starch puddle.
3. Mix the paint and starch together with a paintbrush.
4. Roll a small toy car through the paint.
5. Then drive the car over a piece of paper creating designs and tracks. Place the car back on the tray.
6. Roll other wheeled toys through the paint and then over the paper.
7. Dry the painting completely.

Variations

* Place several different colors of paint on the tray so a mixing of colors will occur both on the tray and on the paper.
* Incline a board, cover the board with paper, and then place blobs of paint on the paper. Next roll cars or other objects through the paint, down the incline. Have paper at the bottom to catch drips and toys.
* Experiment with pressing the car's wheels onto an ink pad or food coloring on wet paper towels, and then drive the car over paper.
* Paint a "Car Track" play mat for toy cars to drive on when the sheet of paper is dry.

Mary Ann is a renowned educator and the author of several award-winning art books for children and teachers from Bright Ring Publishing. This art project is featured in "Scribble Art" and is available for purchase along with her other books in many area bookstores.

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