My husband was a little bit nervous about this one! I sent him a picture of our daughter painting on mirrors and his first reaction was: I hope the paint comes off! It’s true, sometimes I look at activities and think, “Well, that must have been tough to clean up.” But, I’ve made the decision that clean up doesn’t matter to me (ok…I’m trying not to let it bother me) because there are so many opportunities for kids to learn and to explore if we just get out of the way and let them! The good news: I have a little trick for clean up and this paint came off easily (Cue: woo hoo!). The better news: my daughter loved every minute of this!
I owe all of my fascination with mirrors to a co-worker I worked with about three years ago. She had four IKEA mirrors that she did everything with: drawing, painting, dramatic play, etc. Those mirrors were put to good use in her classroom. So, when we were close to an IKEA a few weeks ago, I knew I had to make the trip over there and pick up my own set. I grabbed a pack of four square mirrors for around $10. For me, this is a score because I look at mirrors as reusable canvases. Less paper means a happy Momma :-). And, I can use them for many other activities as well.
- Make sure it’s washable paint! I used washable tempera here and the paint washed away easily.
- Add some liquid soap. It will make for an even faster clean up!
- Be safe: One of my mirrors chipped slightly and it’s so important to be there when your child works with materials like these.
- Be clear: My daughter knows that these specific mirrors are for art in our house and that other mirrors or surfaces are not necessarily canvases, too.
I lined all four mirrors along our outside table so that she would have ample space to move and to paint. At first, she painted slowly and in a very small area. She started painting on one mirror, but as she got comfortable, she started to move and make larger strokes.
It’s hard to articulate the joy that I witnessed as my daughter painted. I later washed this painting away with the hose. It’s not something that we kept or put up on the fridge, but it was such a unique experience for her. It was all about the process, not about the product or what it looked like in the end. I love that in this process she explored mixing colors and created a volcano without any direction from me. As much as she loved this activity, I felt lucky, too. I was able to watch my child create with joy and enthusiasm and that was absolutely priceless!
What do you think of painting on mirrors?