Art in the Park- Painting Like Eric Carle

eric carle painting

It’s summer time and I love to take my daycare group to the park.  We pack a lunch and enjoy the beautiful weather. Today we met up with some friends and did a group art lesson.


We have been reading Eric Carle’s books so we decided to try out his painting style used in many of his illustrations. Textured painting is an easy technique for young children. I put all the necessary materials in a bin to transport to the park.

Art Caddies are a great way to organize your art supplies.


The children had a chance to look through many Eric Carle books and study the pictures.


I pointed out how you could see texture in the illustrations. The children spotted squiggles, lines, brush strokes and speckles in different pictures.  Then they figured out that the pictures looked like they had been cut and pasted onto a background colour.


I brought plastic table cloths to sit on and an old cookie sheet for each child.  The cookie sheet created a firm surface to work on. It was a windy day so the children collected some rocks to weigh down their papers.


Texture painting is a wonderful activity full of discovery.  I have a kit of different texture painting brushes but you can use household items instead.


These household items are popular favourites: old toothbrushes, sponges, rags, corks, spatulas, nail brushes, cardboard and forks.  A few of my children like to just use their fingers, sometimes simple is best!


This child is using a scrub brush to create interesting lines in her paint.


This painting was done with bubble wrap.


We let the paintings dry in the sun.


Once the paintings were dry it was time to complete the next step, cutting and gluing!  If the children were not sure what to create, I encouraged them to think of simple shapes they could cut out to make into an object. Some kids shared and traded their textured pages with each other.  This child used half her friend’s dark pink painting to make wings for her final piece.


This child made a forest with trees and added real leaves as grass. One of my favourite parts of creating art with children is watching them explore their own ideas and admiring the finished products.


This child glued her picture onto a background piece of paper she had painted in a solid colour.


The younger children and toddlers dived in and created several painted pages each during the first step of this project. There abundance of production helped out the older children during step two when the kids wanted different colours and designs for their finished products.


Even though it was a bit of work to haul all the painting supplies to the park, it worked out well with my mixed age group.  The children with the shorter attention spans were happy to play nearby in the sandbox while the older kids took their time with their art.  I brought a bottle of water and cloths to clean up hands.  The rest of the materials I scooped up in the plastic table cloth and brought home to wash up.

Happy texture painting!