G is very excited about all things “America.” When we went to the zoo recently, he asked for America themed facepaint, and had red and blue stars painted on his cheeks. When we are out running errands he tells people, “I love America.” If anyone asks him where he lives he says, “In America.” (He sometimes adds “On Earth, in the Universe.”) On car rides, we count American flags. He asks me to take pictures for him of American flags we pass when we are out and about. With all of this red, white, and blue love going on, I wanted to be sure he got to create a star covered, red, white, and blue decoration for the 4th of July.
I thought he would have fun stamping his own banner using red, white, and blue paint and papers. I first made the star stamp by outlining stars onto a sponge. I traced a star onto the sponge, and used an Exacto knife to cut out the star shapes. I cut out 3 stars, so G could use one per color.
I then cut red, white, and blue sheets of construction paper into triangles. G wound up using 9 sheets – 3 of each color. We poured red, white, and blue paint onto paper plates, and G then dipped and and stamped the sponged stars. At first he started out tentatively, very precisely dipping the sponge into the paint and coating it.
But soon he was enthusiastically rubbing the sponge through the paint. He realized that different amounts of paint on the sponges created different stamped images and different textures on the paper. He also used differing amounts of pressure on the stamp- he tried “tapping” the sponge with his finger versus “smashing” the sponge by pressing down with his hand.
As a result, he was very covered in paint. At the end he said, “Look, Mama- I’m making purple in my hands!” because of all the red and blue paint coating his hands.
After the paint dried, I punched 2 holes in the base of each triangle, and he threaded the triangle onto blue string to hang. With a standard size hole punch, our yarn-covered twine was difficult to use because the yarn kept fraying, so I helped him out with threading a bit. We also got in a little patterning by stringing them in the order of red, white, and blue.
I had originally intended to let C turn into a red, white, and blue paint covered mess as well, but he decided to throw a curve ball at me and totally change his nap time around, so he was sleeping while we were doing the project. By the time he woke up, we were finished and ready to go to the pool. But don’t feel too badly for him, he had a blast at the pool, and I know he will have plenty of future opportunities to get smeared with paint!