On the weekends, I love crafting with my 4-year-old nephew, Benjamin. Because Ben could use a little more practice on writing his alphabet, an occupational therapist recommended that we purchase sandpaper letters for him to draw on and trace. The therapist said if Ben traced or drew on top of the sandpaper letters, the texture would stimulate his brain and resonate more with his memory.
I was excited to do this with Ben, and to make the activity really fun for him. So, instead of buying pre-cut sandpaper letters or buying plain sandpaper to make letters, Ben and I made our own using BioColor® paint (#BIO) and Colorations® Craft Sand (#CS).
Here’s how we did it:
We mixed one part Colorations® Craft Sand to one part BioColor® paint. I would recommend using light or fluorescent colored paint and mixing in a different color of sand for extra contrast. I let Ben select the color combinations and do all the stirring! We used long, flat easel brushes (#SHPK) to mix the paint and sand. The effects were amazing! The green craft sand turned the yellow BioColor® paint into a really vibrant lime green. When we mixed yellow BioColor® (#BIOYE) with the red craft sand (#CSRE) the mixture turned electric orange! (My personal favorite was the fluorescent pink paint (#FBIOPI) mixed with blue craft sand.) (#CSBL)
We used Heavy Weight Sulfite Drawing Paper (#A80SU) as our canvas. Because BioColor® paint has a natural adhesive quality, the sand really stuck to the paint and the paper. While I painted one large letter per page, Ben painted some trucks and bulldozers. He even got out his little toy trucks and drove them through the sandy paint. He was quite engaged in the activity and enjoyed the sensory experience of putting his fingers in the paint to feel the grainy sand. The next day when our sandy-textured letters were completely dry, Ben used Colorations® XL Crayons (#XLCRAY) to trace them. The texture and colors of the painted letters are fun; Ben would just follow the painted lines of the letters with his fingers to feel the bumpy surface.
This was such a fun and educational activity for a preschool child and I would love to try it again. I was wondering if anyone else has tried adding craft sand to BioColor® paint. If so, what did you create? I would love some ideas for another project using this medium.