Hi! I’m Rachelle from Tinkerlab. My home is currently buzzing with Olympic spirit, which is why we were excited to try the Camp Sunny Patch Splat-Painted Earth activity with our own Olympic twist on it. Click here for a printable set of instructions from Melissa & Doug and Camp Counselor Allie McDonald.
We started with a set of inexpensive cellulose sponges, scissors, and twist ties. I cut each sponge into long strips, tied two twist ties together, and then spun the ties around the middle of the sponge strips. I fluffed them out to turn it into a ball shape.
For the project, you’ll need poster paint in the colors of the Olympic rings: Red, Blue, Yellow, Green, and Black. I poured paint on paper plates and covered an area of the driveway with a piece of poster board. I placed a sheet of 8.5″ x 11″ paper on top of the poster board, and the paint splatting was underway.
My 4-year-old has turned into a tabletop painter and was hesitant at first, but once the first splat landed she was lost in paint-splat happiness. Lots of laughing.
We didn’t have any black paint, which presented itself as a learning opportunity in how black paint is made. I shared that black is a mixture of all the colors, and we had a color-mixing exercise to find just the right mixture of color to give us black. My daughter loved the process of mixing and testing, and I’d recommend it as its own stand-alone activity in “making black paint.”
Once we had splatted papers for each of the Olympic ring colors, we taped them up to dry. Once dry, I folded each sheet of paper in half, drew a half circle on the back (I traced a bowl), and invited my daughter to cut them out. Her cutting is less than accurate, which made for a wobbly set of rings, but she was so proud to do this herself.
After she cut the circles out, I made one more half circle cut inside of her cuts to create ring shapes. I invited her to cut a slit into each ring so we could loop the rings together. Once assembled, we used clear tape to connect the rings.
And now we have a homemade set of Olympic rings to set the stage for all of the summer game festivities!
Rachelle Doorley is an artist and mother of two. She publishes the popular children’s creativity blog TinkerLab.com, which has been featured in Real Simple Magazine, PBS, Craft Gossip, and Kiwi Crate. She holds a master’s degree in arts education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and lectures on visual literacy at Stanford and the San Jose Museum of Art.