The Learning Resources® Jumbo Pets set has been such a staple in our play over the past year. The larger size of the animals, combined with their excellent quality and durability, has meant that we have enjoyed lots of creative adventures with the dog, cat, fish, rabbit, guinea pig, and bird. In this series of blogs, we share some fun and unusual ways to use your Jumbo Pets to keep the play creative and engaging. Next up, we are going to explore the fun combination of the jumbo cat and paint!

The Set-Up

This particular activity is fun for all ages, so I set one bin for my four-year-old and another up for my seven-year-old. I put out a selection of brightly colored acrylic paints and stuck a piece of white card to the bottom of the bins (from Dollar Tree). Inside the containers, I then left one jumbo cat and also a cat toy. These cat toys were just plastic balls with a bell inside, also found at Dollar Tree.

Add Some Paint

The first step was to simply add some paint to the piece of card in the bin. I always like to use small squirt bottles so that my kids can add their color. This is a great fine motor workout and also gives them an excellent sense of creative ownership over their painting. I encouraged them to add small blobs of paint all over the page.

Let’s Paint!

I wanted this activity to be as open-ended as possible to help it be fun for both ages. For that reason, I just told them that they could use what was in their bin to paint however they wanted to. It was so interesting to see the different ways they got creative with the materials.

My seven-year-old was fascinated with how the ball left tracks through the paint. He started by using the cat to kick the ball through the color. He thought it was fun playing ‘cat soccer’! Then he took the cat out and used a rolling technique. He picked up the bin and tilted it from side to side and backward and forwards. It left neat paint tracks and even caused the colors to mix in different ways.

Meanwhile, my four-year-old little sister was all about the cat and making cat prints. Straight away, she dipped the cat’s paws in paint and made paw prints all over the page. She even decided to roll her cat in the paint at one point! My preschooler enjoyed the color mixing opportunities, squishing the paint around and round and across the page.

Same Set-Up, Different Masterpieces

I love how different the two paintings turned out and the very different techniques used to make them. It was nice to see my children having the creative freedom to explore the materials however they wished, and their engagement was high because they were getting to paint with novel materials. The bell in the toy ball added a fun additional sensory element. After all the painting, we finished off by giving the cats a nice ‘bubble bath’ in the sink to clean off all that paint.

You can also print an adoption certificate for your not-so-furry friend!