April Showers

25 04 2012

Anyone visiting the UK at the moment would be forgiven for thinking a hosepipe ban is another sign of English eccentricity. Believe me, I think most people in the UK don’t understand why there’s a hosepipe ban when the day it came into effect was the last warm, sunny day we had. It’s been raining constantly and doesn’t appear to be moving off. Anyone with a garden is probably not thinking about using their hosepipe anyway…

I on the other hand, decided that we needed to do a bit more than get soaking wet on our walk to and from school (even though splashing in or riding through puddles is positively encouraged). We’ve been doing a series of tree pictures using the thumbprint tree from this wedding site. http://styleunveiled.com/wedding-fingerprint-tree  Autumn involved crushed leaves, winter involved a lot of glitter and a windswept gluing action, the spring one involved coloured paper from the hole punch (excellent hand eye coordination and motor skills. Mainly on my part as I avoided getting my hand squashed by overenthusiastic hole punch operators). Anyway…LBM mentioned doing a rain painting – an idea from pinterest which involves dropping watercolour onto paper and then letting the rain splash on it. We’ve done some in the past but the tree was a nice touch which added to our tree series and really is going to be a memory of what water based art can be created during a drought. LBM really does love using pipettes though so our first picture was not one I wish to publish. Just imagine a blood coloured piece of paper with tree branches. I know it’s all creativity so I may encourage him to add Halloween stuff to it at a later date but I doubt anyone would like to hang it on their wall. Once the red watercolour was removed from the table we only had pink and gold left. Far more April showery and produced a lovely wet, blossom tree. Instructions are below.


1. Give child a large amount of free reign with watercolour, pipettes and paper.

2. Wash stained hands and put paper carefully outside in the (guaranteed) rain.

3. Watch watercolour splash, bounce and bleed slowly off onto the decking. Wonder how the hell you’re going to pick that thing back up without dripping it everywhere. Use tissues and hope. Wash (still stained) hands again.

4. Try again with another tree, limited colour palette to avoid one big coloured blob and put it onto the lid of a plastic tray. Much easier to move in and out without pouring watercolour everywhere. Encourage your child to try and do one drop at a time convincing yourself that you’re not limiting creativity but helping them develop fine motor and listening skills.

5. Stand in rain and watch the picture change and melt and morph into something rather beautiful.

6. Bring in to dry and get changed for the second time in one day after getting wet again.

7. Be grateful that you found something to do on a rainy day that kept a little person occupied, engaged and creative.