Children always love the fun (and the inevitable messiness!) of painting, and these wax paintings have an element of surprise and magic that are exciting for young children. No special tools are needed, and all the equipment is probably already lying around in your home. Younger children will need some help to master the techniques, so cover any surfaces with plastic to protect them before you start. Here is what you will need:

  • Powder paints, or a selection of food colorings
  • Plenty of white paper
  • A selection of coloured crayons or a wax candle
  • Paintbrushes
  • Cocktail sticks
  • Kitchen roll and wipes to clean up

Activity 1: Color Wash

Make a colour wash using diluted powder paints, or a little food coloring mixed with water. Test the wash to make sure you can see it by painting a piece of scrap paper. Using the wax candle, draw a picture on a sheet of white paper. Paint over the picture with the color wash. Wait for the paper to dry. Repeat again with more washes to get a darker color. The wax picture will stand out clearly against the color wash.

Activity 2: Bright Crayon Pictures

Draw a bright and colorful picture using your wax crayons. Wash over with your color wash or with a thick mix of powder paint. The paint can´t stick to the crayon, so the picture can easily be seen. Why not try making a dramatic night sky with brightly colored stars and planets, then wash with black paint to highlight the stars?Or make a bright jungle scene and wash with brown paint? The ideas are endless, but bright wax crayons washed with dark colors work well for this activity.

Activity 3: Scraping A Scene

Color a sheet of paper with random blocks of bright color until the paper is completely covered. Take a cocktail stick and scrape a picture in the wax. An alternative method is to take a small card and color it using bright crayon. Then cover this completely with a layer of black crayon. Scrap away a picture on the card, and the colored lines undeneath the black crayon will show through to reveal your picture. The learning points in this activity are :

  • Hand to eye co-ordination
  • Artistic expression
  • Colour awareness
  • You can also talk about the scenes that you are painting