Ethan's first art project. It was the result of a fun activity where you place a piece of paper at the bottom of a box, drizzle some non-toxic washable paint on top, add a couple of marbles and roll/shake the box to your heart's content. Another variation: roll matchbox cars over the paint to make tracks. Of course you could just finger paint or paint with brushes but this was a bit more fun.
Since I am on the topic of activities (we have been having some rainy days here), here are some other ideas:
1) Making a shaker. We took an old water bottle then added some glitter, colored rice, and some colored noodles. Next up was decorating the bottle with some stickers. This is good for developing fine motor skills (twisting the bottle cap on/off, placing objects through a small opening).
2) Since it is too cold to use our water table outside we moved it indoors and filled it with beans instead. It's fun to play with the different texture and if you add some cups and the child learns how to fill, pour and dump. If you have different sized containers or shapes, you can learn about volume: the amount of beans the fill a small bowl will barely cover the bottom of a larger one, the round bowl will hold a different amount from the same sized square bowl, etc. Other variations to introduce different textures: fill with rice, sand, marbles, or add dry pasta shapes in water and they can watch how the noodles expand and change texture with water.
3) This was when Ethan was much younger, but he still sometimes plays with the bottles. Fill empty bottles (we used mini shampoo bottles from the toiletry kit at hotels) with different colored water, sand or beans. The different objects make different sounds when you shake it and adding different colors teaches you, well about colors. =P Add some liquid soap and you get bubbles when you shake the bottle. Ethan actually learned his colors this way. Plan toys actually makes some cool toys with the same concept: http://www.amazon.com/Plan-Toys-552301-Water-Blocks/dp/B0000663QL/ref=pd_sim_t_1