Art from the Heart: Paint Collaboratively with Your Kids

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A creative challenge for parents and kids to make art together.

By: Andrea Mulder-Slater

Have fun creating art together..

All you need is a permanent marker, some watercolour paint, a couple of paintbrushes, water (in a cup), and some heavy paper (watercolour paper or poster board).

First, draw some fanciful heart shapes on the paper using a black permanent pen (a Sharpie marker is great). Don’t stress too much about how the hearts look and if you find you need some extra shapes, throw in a few circles, or whatever strikes your fancy.

Then, casually invite your child to help you fill in the blanks.

Take turns dipping your brushes into bright bold watercolours as you work together to create a truly collaborative painting. Follow his or her lead and you’ll find that your “work of (he)art” will include some fabulous colour combinations.


If the paint is hitting the paper, you’ve won. The idea is not to manage or criticize one another’s efforts, but rather to go with the flow and see what develops.

This part is hard. Especially for someone – like yours truly – who likes to be in control.

But, if you can resist the urge to direct what’s happening, you will settle into a peaceful groove with your kiddo as you dip and dab, side by side.

At the end of the process, you’ll have created much more than a work of art. And – if it works – try out some other ideas. I’d love to see what you come up with.