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Paints on snow

Snow Painting

The snow is providing lots of opportunities for wee ones to have creative fun outside. If you are bored of snowmen try some snow painting. This is relaxed as a parent as you don’t need to worry about mess outside and it’s so simple to set up. This activity is nice for babies and toddlers as the colours look extra vibrant on the snow and they don’t need to press hard to get a strong mark. It’s also a sensory experience to feel the snow and see it melt in the paint. Just wrap up warm!

painting onto snow

You need:

  • Water based paints (or you could use food colouring)
  • Brushes or spoons
  • trays or bowls
  • Snow!

Chose some brightly coloured paints and mix them with the same amount again of water as they will be easier to play with if they are runny. Make sure paints are water based. Now set them up on the snow with either brushes or spoons and invite wee ones to explore them and see what marks they can make.

You could try showing them how to brush it on gently, or dab and make coloured holes in the snow, or splatter it from a height.

splatting paint into snow
coloured paint poured onto snow

We also tried adding the snow into the paint pots once there was enough space and this worked well to mix up and make coloured snow castles or to roll into a ball for coloured snow balls.

With some extra bowls and toy cooking sets this could become a fun ‘snow kitchen’ activity mixing up pretend food or potions.

Have fun experimenting together!

Homemade pavement chalk paint

We had a request this week for a pavement chalk recipe as lots of children have been chalking designs on the pavements outside their house. This recipe will make a chalky textured paint that you can paint onto the pavement or a driveway and will wash away in the rain or with a hose when you are ready.

You need:

  • cornflour
  • food colours or watercolour paints


Mix together the flour and the water. It’s quite tricky to stir at first due to the funny texture of the cornflour but if you keep mixing it will eventually get nice and creamy (I made it a bit too runny this time as you can see from the pictures). Then divide it between paint tubs or jars and add a drop of food colour or a squirt of watercolour paint to each one and stir in.  Now pick a dry day and let your wee ones try them outside. If there is a gap between making the paints and using them give them a good stir first as they tend to settle. We don’t have any pavement or drive so this week our neighbours kindly agreed to test run the paints for us.


Art at the Start on BBC Scotland

The Art at the Start team had a visit from BBC Scotland’s The Nine team.

Reporter Louise Cowie joined us for a messy creative session at DCA last week and then visited the Minime lab with her own mini me. The program aired on BBC Scotland last night. Catch it on I-Player here


All the little ones had fun with sensory play trying rainbow rice, a dinosaur swamp of jelly and peas and some cornflake farm land. Then we tried some messy painting with shaving foam marbling and bubble printing.


We had a great time and the little ones have all enjoyed seeing themselves on the TV today!

Art therapy groups this term

We are running art therapy groups for parents and their infants at DCA and at the Dundee International Women’s Centre this term. All the parents and their little ones got stuck in with painting on their first week. Here are some of their beautiful painty creations. They all definitely needed the bath afterwards, with as much paint on little people as on the paper!

If you are interested in art therapy groups yourself and have a child under 3 then please do get in touch with the art therapist for more information.