The benefits of art exploration

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”

PABLO PICASSO



Children often use art as a way to express their feelings and think creatively. In particular, children love to paint. Painting is a very tactile medium and an excellent introduction to art exploration in your home.


We created the Deluxe Art Kits (stage 1 and stage 2) to help foster your child’s creativity and self expression, but also to help you find more unique ways to incorporate activities that promote learning and cognitive development into your home.


Our stage 1 kit includes:



  • non toxic Stockmar watercolour paints,

  • an ox hair Kindergarten paint brush,

  • a viscose sponge,

  • acid-free, heavy-duty watercolour paper,

  • a recycled plastic painting board

Our stage 2 kit includes:



  • a few more paint options on the primary colour spectrum

  • a set of oil crayons.


Both kits come with “Mix It Up,” a book by Herve Tullet. He provides simple instructions to make colours appear, mix, splatter, and vanish in a world powered only by the reader's imagination. It is a fantastic book for helping children develop an understanding of colour mixing, and we think it compliments these art kits perfectly!


Why do we include only the primary colours (red, blue, yellow) in our kits?


First of all, providing young children with too many colour options can be overwhelming.


This is why the basics of colour theory come in handy.


When studying colour theory, one learns that all colours can be produced by mixing different combinations of the 3 primary colours, but, the 3 primary colours cannot be created by mixing any 2 other colours.


So with that in mind, children really only need the 3 primary colours to create all the colours they might want to use in an art exploration activity.

Plus, figuring out how to create colours is exciting - like magic, really!

All we need to do, as parents, is let go of all our adult caution because exploring, experimenting and mixing paints can get messy!

How to get started:


Put a small amount of red, yellow and blue paint on a piece of paper. Allow your child to experiment mixing those colours in different combinations (e.g. mixing red with yellow to create orange), using their paint brush or finger. They are bound to be fascinated that the secondary colours (green, orange and purple) will be created, magically, right in front of their eyes!

What do kids learn from a simple colour mixing activity?

Scientific Thinking:

  • Observation, Prediction, Comparison, Cause and Effect

  • They will ask themselves: What will happen if I mix blue with yellow? What if I mix all 3 primary colours together? How much yellow do I add to red to make orange? Is it possible to make the exact same colour more than once?

Mathematical Thinking:

  • They will explore the concept: more or less

  • They have to measure out the right amount of paints

Problem Solving Skills:

  • What happens when I struggle to make the colour purple?

  • What if the purple I made is not the colour I hoped for?

  • How do I make this purple brighter?

Fine Motor Skills:

  • Pouring, Squeezing, Mixing

  • Controlling the amount of colour used

  • Controlling a paint brush

  • Cleaning the brush in water

Language Skills:

  • Naming the primary and secondary colours (and coming up with names for any unique colours they create)


Painting and Montessori


In Montessori classrooms, painting is not only used for self expression and creativity, but it is a practical skill. For children aged 3 to 6, painting is a way of strengthening muscles and developing fine motor skills. Painting can also help to improve a child’s concentration and hand-eye coordination.


In addition to the benefits painting has on brain development, the process of setting up (e.g. putting on a smock, pulling out a piece of paper, filling a jar with water) and cleaning up (e.g. cleaning a paint brush, storing the paints in jars, putting a smock away) helps to promote independence.


In Montessori classrooms, and really in any excellent early years environment, there is a focus on the process and not the product.

What you see up on walls are not photos of a child’s final project, but rather, the steps they took to get there.

Children know when they feel satisfied with their process. This is when they usually choose to stop. Educators respect their process and don’t focus on the final product.

Art Exploration Extensions:

As children begin to understand how colour works, adding additional mediums to their art exploration makes the process even more exciting.


This is why we include the oil crayons in our stage 2 kit.


Oil crayons are soft and easy to use when simply drawing or when experimenting with mixing and layering colours.


As we know, oil and water do not mix. So experimenting with oil crayons and watercolour paints can help children understand this concept, adding a new dimension to their creative process.


Why invest in these art kits?


Winter is just around the corner and everyone is trying to stock up on indoor activities that will keep kids busy for more than 15 minutes. These kits will do just that!


You can use and reuse them. They are bound to keep parents and caregivers sane in the upcoming months, and promote creativity, independence, and wonder in the minds of your children.


Happy painting!


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