Sensory painting encourages play based learning by getting children to explore texture and colour mixing; encourage sensory development; develop fine motor skills; and promote imaginative play and emotional expression. This activity is ideal for a child who is ready for a more guided activity!

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Step 1: Setting up

Print a sea animal from one of the templates provided on the following pages. Cut shape out. Trace outline onto bubble wrap and cut around it so you are left with the shape of the sea animal. Display sea animal, paints and paper surfaces in front of the child in a way that invites them to play and explore.
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Step 2: Get creative

Guide the child to finger paint over the difference paper surfaces, prompting them to discuss what textures they are feeling. You can use these sheets to screen print onto a good quality sheet of painting paper or art board. This will create a patterned background for the sea animal to be printed on later. Tip: use the blue paint in this step to create an ocean backdrop!
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Step 3: Bubble bliss

Next, take the bubble wrap sea animal shape and ask the child to use their fingers to paint over the bubbles, ensuring there is good coverage. Tip: we used Micador Red and Yellow No-Drip Paint on bubble wrap to create the effect of fish scales above.
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Step 4: Press and peel!

Screen print the sea animal onto your background sheet or board by pressing paint side down on your artwork. Peel back the bubble wrap to reveal a rippled scale effect on the sea animal in your artwork!
Download this info as a takeaway PDF