What: Resist paintings done with sticky tape, made by several Kid 5s at one of the activity stations in our make-lots-of art birthday party.
How: I had a pile of those little canvas-covered boards that sell for about $2.50 each in arts and craft stores, about the size of an envelope. I got the kids to put a few pieces of sticky tape on their board (after writing their name in marker on the back!). Then they had free rein to paint anything they liked over the whole board, they had to cover the whole thing with colour. Once it’s dry, pull off the sticky tape and see what you’ve got!
Party setup: I had acrylic poster paint in five colours, each in plastic party cups with a paintbrush in. These kid 5s are all familiar from school with the drill that if the cup has a brush in it, that brush stays with that cup only. I’d also taped newspaper to the whole dining table surface to make the workspace. There was room for about four or five kids to work at once, and we just kind of funnelled kids through (or they funnelled themselves through, it was a bit hard to tell). The first child to seat themself at the table and say “I want to do THIS!” had a parent with them, who I promptly delegated to be a general supervisor of that activity station and help make sure each kid who turned up knew what to do. It turned out the little boards had plastic wrap on them, which was too well sealed for little fingers to pry open (why can’t that happen with snack foods!), so another spare adult got delegated to unwrapping them all. We left the boards on the table to dry. Turned out they didn’t quite dry by the time the party was over – they could have, if paint had been used a little more sparingly and not in large globs! But you get what you get. Plus some kids did their paintings much later than others. So the kids took them home with instructions to wait until they were fully dry and then take the sticky tape off. I have no idea how they all went after that.
Extras: This idea came from something Kid 3 did at daycare. They made little Christmas tree pictures, by sticking on tree shapes that had been cut out of contact and then painting over that and removing it. I considered doing contact shapes, or spot stickers that could be peeled, but decided the manipulativeness and simplicity of tearing and sticking pieces of sticky tape was going to run a lot more smoothly in the party context.
Other art party activities: suncatchers, balloon painting, paint making and party bag decorating, and the cake.