#PEMfromhome \\ Drop-In Art Activities

Bird finger painting

Birds are amazing creatures to observe with many different characteristics. Did you know that there are four general wing shapes found in birds? These shapes include: passive soaring wings that are very long and narrow; active soaring wings that are long with visual gaps in the wingtips; elliptical wings, which look shorter and are highly maneuverable — perfect for bursts of speed; and high-speed wings, which are medium length, narrow and meant for sustained speed. If you could fly like a bird, which wing shape would you want to have? In this project, learn how to paint, play and explore wing shapes of birds in flight — using only our hands!

  • Paper (ideally larger than 8½ x 11 inches)
  • Paint
  • Palette knife (or paintbrush)
  • Palette (such as a piece of cardboard)
  • Water
  • Paper towels

Step 1: Prepare your paper and paint palette. Hold your paper horizontally and pour out paint. Using a palette knife or paintbrush, spread your paint into a thin layer. Tip: Spread the paint out to the size of your hand.

Step 2: Place your hand in paint and press it on your paper with your fingertips facing away from you. Next place both of your hands into your paint and press them at an angle on either side of your original handprint. Tip: Try to press your hands closer to the palm of your first handprint.

Now dip your fingers into your paint. Press them facing away from you along the edge of your angled handprint wing to create features on your bird’s wings. Then dip your pointer and middle fingers into your paint then press them a few times at the end of your original handprint.

To create the bird’s head and beak, dip your fingertips in paint and press them into the end of the bird neck. Use a different color to paint the beak. Tip: Add a multicolor look by switching colors and finger-pressing in different colored feathers!

Step 3: Create lots of different colored birds. Have fun exploring all the different wing shapes that you can create with your finger-painted birds in flight!

Explore more of our #PEMfromHome Drop-in Art Activity video tutorials on our youtube channel.

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