I struggle a little with art projects. It isn’t that I don’t love seeing what my children create, it’s that I have trouble getting started.I have trouble letting them get started.
I fear the mess. And it takes me time to work up the courage to let them open the paint, especially since I haven’t trained them to clean up properly. I hate the word trained. I guess that’s part of the problem.
The supplies for this project (a messy box of plaster of paris) sat for three months. I regret that. We created little Roman fresco paintings without doing any permanent damage, and we all enjoyed the process.
Of course, I mixed the plaster in secret, making the process much less messy. I know I just removed some of the fun and learning opportunities here, but hey, I let them do everything else!
Creating the plaques for them to paint was easier than it sounded. I used several small boxes (jewelry box tops were the recommended size, but I had to experiment a little) and lined them with aluminum foil. We cut a slit in one side large enough to slide the paper clip in to the plaster.
We used acrylic paint mixed with a little water and it worked beautifully. I was not, however, able to get the paint out of the Butterfly’s favorite dress.
The Adventurer made the largest piece and it cracked when she used a little too much pressure. The plaster is delicate, so I suggest making at least one extra plaque as backup.
The idea for the project came from an old copy of Learning through History- Ancient Rome. It’s a terrific resource and includes a few projects, recipes for creating a Roman meal together and a section on what it was like to be a kid in Ancient Rome.
You can read up on the history of Roman Fresco Painting if you would like to share some fun facts with the kids while they paint. Or you can just relax, let them play, create and enjoy the process.