I love to paint and do art with my Grandkids. Every summer we pull the easels out onto the back patio and have at it with paint. I always let the kids use the "good" materials. So, they each got a stretched canvas, first they did a layer of collage with tissue and table napkins and matt medium. Then they started adding color with acyclic paint and large paint brushes. I usually ask them to think about their color palette before they begin. That way we don't always end up with mud. (sometimes we like mud!) Once they have filled in some of the space, then they usually like to splatter paint or use smaller tools to add some more color. The tricky part is knowing when to stop! I usually act as the assistant and keep my hands off the project, just handing out materials or giving suggestions as needed. My favorite part of the process is the conversations we have as they are painting, "oh, I like that black line that you made across the bottom" or "Let's make big and little dots" and "I want to add some water to the paint so it can run down the canvas etc, etc. The painting becomes the evidence of their thinking!
The painters are 4 and 8 years old.