I’ll admit it, I’m pretty blessed. I work with amazing colleagues, kiddos, and families. I get to teach in a way that aligns with my educational philosophy, and I get to do super fun activities with the kiddos. Like this amazingly fun summer art project that we set up during one of last year’s summer camps.
Simply put, we let the kids paint a car. Yes, we did!
Be sure to pop over to my SUMMER FUN Pinterest board for more ideas!
Related: Awesomely Messy Play for Summer
Incredibly Fun Summer Art Project
Ms. Smarty Pants, my amazing summer co-teacher, was excited to tell me that her friend suggested this activity.
In fact, he’s even the one who “donated” his car to be painted! Just had to share that, in case you were wondering where the random car came from! 😉
Materials we used
Washable tempera paint in a variety of colors
One white car
Lots of eager kiddos
What the kids did during our summer art project
As you can probably guess, they painted. And painted. And painted some more!
The kids worked together to paint flowers, paint their names, and create colorful collages on the car. They painted their hands, then made hand prints all along the car.
They mixed colors together to make new colors. And so much more!
Related: Summer Art Projects to Try Outside
I had an absolute blast watching the kids as they painted the car. They were SO excited to be doing something completely different.
Giggles and laughter abounded! The children spent over an hour engaged in this creative fun.
Related: Summer Snacks to Make with the Kids
I found it highly entertaining that they started painting themselves and each other, too! They were in their swimsuits, the paint was washable, and we had a hose nearby. So it was all good!
By the end of it, one of the girls looked like she was the star of the book I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More!
An Important Step – The Clean Up!
Once everyone was happy with the finished products of painted kiddos and a painted car, it was time to clean up. I took a ton of pictures so we could immortalize their artwork before we cleaned up, of course!
We grabbed buckets of water, soap, and some sponges. The kids had tons of fun cleaning the car (and each other)!
I love it when the clean up is just as fun as the activity itself.
Related: Top Summer Science Projects for Kids
In case you’re wondering, almost all of the paint came off the car very easily. We did notice that the purple paint left behind a slight residue the first year.
We’ve done this multiple years in a row now, and we have decided to stay away from the red-based paints just to be safe (so no purple or red, for example).
If you decide to do something like this, be sure to test the paint out beforehand!
If you’re concerned about the use of paint, consider using homemade liquid chalk paint instead.
All in all, this was an awesomely fun summer art project for the kids! It’s been a year, and the teachers and kids STILL talk about that day.
What fun, over-the-top and art have you and the kids tried recently? Any other fun art project for kids that you’d recommend for us this summer?
A Frequently Asked Question
Some readers have asked about how we kept the kiddos from doing this to other cars. Here’s what I told them:
We did this last year at summer camp, and not a single one of those kiddos went on to paint (or write or draw) on a car! I promise! We stressed that this was a “super duper, oh-so special activity” that could only be done on this one car.
We pointed to other cars and ask, “Do we paint on this one?” and the kids responded with a loud, “NO!” We asked about parents’ cars and cars in parking lots (we added lots of humor) and they all said no with us.
The kiddos were ages 3 to 6, so I think they were all old enough to understand what we meant! It was a SERIOUSLY FUN activity, perfect for an old car!
Preschool Summer Lesson Plans
If you’re running a preschool summer camp, check out some of these already done-for-you lesson plans (of course, they’d be great during the regular school year too):