Field Day T-Shirts

fieldtshirts Children will love this fresh take on the traditional tie-dying field day t-shirt activity.


  • To reinforce fine motor skills
  • To encourage creativity
  • To promote teamwork and cooperative play

Before You Start: You will need butcher paper or newsprint, trash bags, white t-shirts, Colorations® Fabric Paint, any assortment of the foam paint rollers (sponge wands work well with this project), disposable paint aprons, a stencil set (alphabet stencils are great if you want to stencil names onto the shirts), and fabric paint pens or markers.

Let's Get Started! Step 1. Spread newsprint down under the shirts to catch spills.

Step 2. Lay shirts onto the table (or floor). It is a good idea to spread a trash bag open inside of the t-shirt. This will stop the paint from spreading from one side to the other while you are painting.

Step 3. The children can experiment with ways to decorate by using any of the fabric paint accessories freehand, or they could paint over the stencils to add whatever designs they would like. Encourage the children to play with colors and to be creative with their designs.

Step 4. Set out fabric paint pens for those who want to add detail to stencil items.

Step 5. Another fun way to decorate the shirts is to pour fabric paint onto a paint plate and dab sponge wands into paint to create fun designs by dabbing onto the t-shirts. Sponge wands make it easy to add different colors to the t-shirts. You might also want to show the kids how they can gently splatter paint from an angle slightly above the t-shirts to achieve a "firework" effect.

Step 6. Encourage children to experiment with different designs using the array of fabric paint accessories.

Furthermore: To expand the learning possibilities, you might want to choose a theme for the t-shirts to correlate with a unit your class is covering. For instance, for a science unit, you might choose sea life as a theme, then as students decorate, they can incorporate elements of the ocean or sea life into their designs.

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