Toddler art: painted driftwood

Mr tMatM has been travelling quite a bit lately and the summer holidays are in full swing. Peaks and troughs!

So I have been keeping everyone busy (read: exhausted) with activities. And one of the things that all 3 of the older children (7, 5, and 3) enjoy is some kind of art project.

But the problem with art is that a lot of the really excellent ideas out there (and there are lots) often require extra new materials and – crucially – a whole lot of cleaning up after.

So I’ve been on the hunt for smug, lazy art ideas that require no investment and/or disproportionate extra work.

And it turns out, the best solution is painting, outside, and mixing up the surface that you’re painting on to add the all-important novelty factor.

I’m thinking: painting on foil; on egg cartons; leaves; paper plates; on precut wooden shapes. Maybe even giant amazon cardboard boxes that might be lying around if you found yourself ordering new things to keep your spirits up while your husband was away. Not me, but you know.

But the best of all painting surfaces: driftwood / tree branches, or pebbles.

The finished result will look nothing like this beautiful and tasteful affair (image:


Yes, you may have to steel yourself to see the beautiful bleached driftwood turned into something that would look more comfortable in a backpacker’s beach side dive bar. But this is the perfect summer holiday activity.

Perfect because the gathering up your items to paint is also a morning’s work. We went on a big driftwood and pebble hunt with buckets at the beach. And, as an aside, we were the only people doing that at 8.30am on a Sunday morning, as a sign of my commitment to the cause (commitment, or desperation? A fine line)

Then, settled down to paint – inside at first before I realised outside offered up a whole world of reduced clearing up.

They were all pretty enamoured with the grain of the wood showing through the paint

Ta-da! Beautiful, garish, driftwood art.

The best bit: wondering what to do with all these painted branches and pebbles? Obviously, make a fairy garden outside! No sneaky trips to the recycling bin required with this art.

tMatM x


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