Here’s one that the kids in my classes always loved – painting with unusual paintbrushes.
Look around your house and try to look at the objects you have there a little differently. Are there any branches lying around on the ground outside your house? Carefully use a knife and “fray” one end of it so that it can be used as a paintbrush. Or do you have any leftover balloons from a birthday party? Use some sort of stick for the handle of the brush (a skewer, a plastic utensil, a stick from outside etc.) and tie a balloon or a small bundle of balloons. This makes for a very different effect than your typical paintbrush! You can also try tying on feathers, strings or yarn pieces, or rubber bands. How about cutting up and old sponge and seeing what kind of effect you can get from painting with the various pieces? Toothbrushes make for fun paintbrushes too. You can simply dip them in paint and run them across the page or run your thumb over the toothbrush to splatter the paint onto the page. Try painting with strips of sandpaper, popsicle/craft sticks, cotton balls, Q-tips, rags, or pipe cleaners. Wad up a piece of paper and use that for painting – now try it with a piece of aluminum foil or waxed paper and see if it creates a different effect. Put some paint down on your surface and cover it with a piece of plastic wrap. Smoosh the plastic wrap around to create wrinkles and see what kind of apparent texture has been created when it’s removed. How about painting with pipe cleaners (chenille stems)? You can use them as is or form them into shapes and then paint with them. Provide your kids with a variety of materials and start them off with a couple suggestions but then you might want to ask them to go on a “treasure hunt” through the house with you, looking for things they’d like to try using as alternative paintbrushes.