Unscheduling, Letting Kids Be Kids, and a New Way To Paint Together

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How To Paint with PIping Bags

With summer on the horizon, my kiddos are already asking “what are we going to do this summer?”.  Over-scheduling is the norm with these guys, and it’s not always because I want to, but because we have to.  Losing so much time to school and homework during the week leaves a lot to cram into our weekends.  When I was a kid, summer meant running around outside with my sister, playing make believe, riding our bikes… normal kid stuff.

That’s what I want my kids to do this summer: just be kids.  No gymnastics once a week, no soccer, no birthday party after birthday party.  I want them to use their imaginations, play with each other, learn how to do something new on their own terms.  I want them to get out and get dirty.

Painting Supplies

My daughter is super into art, so I always try to have supplies on hand for her to flex her creative muscles.  My son is interested sometimes, but not always.  When we decorated cookies for Christmas, I noticed that he was really, really into piping icing.  It was the first time we’d made iced cookies using piping bags.  I will admit that I’ve been super mesmerized by the cookie decorating videos that have been showing up in my Facebook feed.  I was thinking about those the other day and decided that I might be able to use cookie decorating to get my little guy on board with a little more art this summer.

Filled Piping Bag

While piping amazing cookies is art in and of itself, we can’t spend the summer with a house full of iced cookies.  None of us need that, especially me!  So, I decided to try piping paint onto canvas instead.  I must say, I was rather pleased and am sure that this is going to be a project my kids will be ALL ABOUT this summer!

My inspiration for my design was a coloring page from an adult coloring book I bought last year.  Sometimes adults like to be kids too.

Sketch Out Your Painting

You can pick up canvas, paint and piping bags at Walmart.  The only other things you need are scissors, a pencil and a glass.  The glass makes it easy to fill your piping bags.  Just put the bag inside of the cup, fold the edges over the outside of the cup and fill.  Pull up the edges and lift the bag out and you have a paint filled piping bag without the mess.

Using my coloring page as a guide, I lightly sketched a rough outline onto my canvas.  Did you know that pencil will erase off canvas, just like off paper?  Yep!  If you make a mistake, just erase it.

Piping Paint

Pick a color, fill your piping bag, snip off the very teeny-tiny tip of the bag and your ready to go.  You’ll want to twist the top of the bag to help keep the paint flowing evenly (see the picture near the top of the post with the yellow paint filled bag for an example).  I started with yellow since it was the central color for each flower and worked out from there.  I suggest finishing off everything you plan to do in one color before moving to the next.  Once you’ve piped on all of your colors, all that’s left to do is leave your artwork to dry!

Piping is pretty easy once you get the hang of it, but if you’ve never piped before, I’d suggest a little practice before you put paint to canvas.


If you want your background to be colored, I suggest painting it a solid color before you sketch your design on in pencil.  My art work will be hanging on a light blue/gray wall, so I wanted to leave the background white for depth.

How does it look?  I know it’s not exactly like the page from the coloring book, but I never aim for exact.

All Fresh Clean Essentials

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How are you encouraging your kids to be kids this summer?  Do you take a break from organized activities, let your weekend plans be “kid-led”?  Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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2 Responses to Unscheduling, Letting Kids Be Kids, and a New Way To Paint Together

  1. Carolyn West says:

    This is the coolest thing ever. I love how the painting came out. It’s just beautiful. #client

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