Painting masterpieces without brushes

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On Saturday at our Mentor-on-the-Lake Branch, we gave children paint of every shade of the rainbow. Then we gave them plastics forks, bubble wrap, Q-tips, balloons, sponges, combs, cardboard tubes and plastics bottles.

The only thing we didn’t give them was a paint brush.

But that’s OK. Who needs a brush when you have the muse?

And, as you can see, the kids didn’t need brushes to create something memorable.

It wasn't just the kids who got creative. When we ran out of table cloths, we used plastic bags to cover our tables.

It wasn’t just the kids who got creative. When we ran out of table cloths, we used plastic bags to cover our tables.

The idea for No Brushes Allowed came from Lake Branch Manager Ariel Johnson. She said she thought of it while looking at the textures in some of her favorite works of art.

“Sometimes I look at a painting and think, ‘There’s no way they did that with a paintbrush.’ That’s when I started looking at everyday things in a different way!” she said.

Ariel told the kids that Saturday’s program was all about creativity—using items in a way they aren’t always used. Of course, you don’t have to explain creativity to a kid. By the end of the program, they had used typical household items to paint things we couldn’t have imagined.

And when they were finished, the kids got another set of plastic utensils, sponges, combs, cardboard tubes and bottles to take home with them, in case they wanted to paint some more later!

Adlyn finds some paint in her big sister’s hair.  (We assured Sidni that her hair wouldn’t be orange forever.)

Adlyn finds some paint in her big sister’s hair. (We assured Sidni that her hair wouldn’t be orange forever.)

For more programs and events at our Lake Branch, check out or our event calendar. If your kids enjoy painting and art, they make also like Studio MPL—our art club for kids.

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