Sandpaper Art


Exploring and broadening minds

Let's talk sandpaper. Most Dads, and if you are a keen DIYer, mums too will have some in the drawer or doom or the box that happens to hold all the tools. In our house, there isn't a tool box, it's just a miscellaneous plastic tub with a lid that doesn't fit on top of it because it is overflowing with nuts, bolts, allen keys, WD40, black tape (only way he knows how to fix things) and other items which neither of us really know what they are used or kept for. Anyway, I was rifling through said, 'tool box' and spotted this decade old pack of sandpaper and thought I could definitely utilise it for some craft. Obviously. 


Now, moving on from sandpaper let's talk sensory play. I have talked about it a lot over the course of The Rainbow Tree's creation as well as in many freelance posts I do for so I'm not going to go too much into the benefits for Little Feet. Just know this, sensory play is extremely important for their development. It stretches all of their senses and helps them understand and learn more about the world around them. Also, it is often their favourite kind of play. I know that I definitely love getting involved in their sensory play with them. It's not just for Little Feet, Big Feet continue to learn too! 


Using sandpaper as you would normal sketchbook paper adds touch and movement senses into the picture. Depending on the type of sandpaper you have in the cupboard or buy will depend on how rough or smooth it is. The rougher the paper the more interesting the craft I reckon. Your Little Feet will run their fingers over it and feel the difference. They may ask questions about it. They'll find that their is more friction when they try and draw on it. Off course, they won't understand what friction is but they'll feel that something is different from normal. 

Once they have completed their sandpaper drawings, you can add the heat. We've all seen wax crayon art where people melt crayons onto canvas. If you haven't just take a trip to Pinterest... There is something seriously hypnotising about watching crayons melt under heat. It's no different heating crayon on sandpaper. In fact if you have overlapped your crayon drawings you will soon see that they melt into each other and really look more like a painting! As your Little Feet watch and gasp in glee as it melts before their Little Eyes, now is the time to introduce the concept of states, so solids and liquids in this case. Keep is super basic. The crayon is solid, it is being rubbed on to the sandpaper, when you put heat on it, it melts and becomes liquidy. When you take the heat off it solidifies again. Use an example of ice melting in heat and then if it gets cold again refreezing. 


Watch the magic in action below. 

Sandpaper Art.jpg

What you will need:


  1. Lay out your sandpaper sheets on a table, rough side up. 
  2. Let your Little Feet explore the texture and how it feels to draw on the rough surface with their crayons. 
  3. Encourage them to overlap their crayon drawing and experiment with different pressures on the sandpaper.  
  4. If you have older children that want to join in, get them to cover the entire paper with crayon as it can be more effective at the end. Leave your Little Feet to just experiment with this sensory play. The end result is not necessarily what this is all about. Drawing on sandpaper is about exploration of a material they may never have come across. Rough to touch, more friction when they draw on it. Let them have fun with it. 
Sandpaper Art-2.jpg


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