When many people think of body paint, they think of adult body painting, where you have people being painted that are entirely nude. However, if you've ever been to a community fair or a school event with activities for kids, you've probably seen the face painting table where a local artist may dedicate an afternoon to paint the faces of all of the kids.
When it comes to body painting for kids, the face isn't the only body part to focus on. Body painting can include designs on the arms, neck, and even legs. Luckily, if you want to try face painting in the classroom, there are a few great sites where you can get some really good ideas.
One of the best educational stages for body painting is in the preschool or nursery. Tactile stimulation is an excellent way to help children develop their senses. The first place to look for body paint ideas in the preschool are kid's activity sites like Baby Center.
Body Paint for Toddlers
Most of these activity sites offer not only body painting ideas that you can do with infants and toddlers, but some sites even offer recipes you can use to make your own non-toxic and sometimes even edible paint. You will be hard pressed to find a toddler that doesn't love smearing gooey paint all over their body.
For older children, you may need more elaborate and intricate ideas to capture the imagination of older students. Sometimes, all kids need in order to come up with really creative, artistic ideas is inspiration from other artists.
One face painting artist that publishes her artwork on the web is face painting artist "Fancy".
Face Painting Artist
Fancy actually does events such as birthday parties or school events, where she will paint the faces of children with some of the most remarkable designs. You can use the designs at her website to show your students just what artists can accomplish with body paint.
Another great source for body paint inspiration is retail stores that sell body paint supplies. One such site is Little Party Heaven, which has an entire section of the site devoted to body painting.
Body Painting Information
Out of all of the body painting sites on this list, this one is probably the most elaborate and offers the widest selection of ideas. The menu includes sections such as face painting guides, how to make face paint, and of course supplies that you can buy to do body painting in the classroom.
Of course, one of the best ways to introduce the activity of body painting into the classroom is to actually show kids how it's done. Text and images on a web page is one thing, but nothing will teach quite as effectively as a video.
While you'd likely find lots of how-to videos at YouTube on body painting, another excellent site for such videos is Howcast.
Body Painting Videos
At Howcast - a site devoted to offering how-to videos - you'll find body painting videos on topics like how to set up a face-painting booth, how to make face paint, and how to make edible body paint.
Combined with any of the other resources on this list, showing one of the demonstration videos at Howcast is a perfect way to introduce the idea of body painting to your students.
Another example of a commercial body paint company providing some useful examples of designs is Snazaroo.
Snazaroo is an online face and body paint store based out of the UK. On the website, you'll find all kinds of great images showcasing product use. These are designs that customers have sent into the company, so you'll see a very wide examples of what you can do with body paint.
Snazaroo Commercial Site
Not only will you find some great design photos to get inspiration, but the site also includes a beginner's guide and other printable, step-by-step guides that can help you develop the lesson plan for your classroom activity with these products.
You might even find some web-exclusive offers at the site that will help you save some money when you buy the supplies for your classroom activity!
Blogs are also a good place to go for body painting ideas, and a blog like Tinkerlab is of course a great place to start, especially if you're looking for toddler body painting ideas.
One cute blog entry posted in April of 2012 is titled, "Outdoor Body Painting". In this blog entry, blogger Rachelle provides a full play-by-play of her experience body painting outdoors with her 3 year old.
Creative Art Blogs
The blog entry includes some great, high-resolution pictures that show the entire process - including her 3-year old painting rocks before turning the brush on his little tummy and tiny toes.
If you're looking for some great inspiration for body painting with toddlers, blogs like this are a great place to turn.
Another great example of a blog with creative body painting ideas is The Artful Parent. Here you'll find lots of fantastic images of body painting activities. The nice thing about these blogs is that they are not only focused on face painting for kids, but cover some of the messiest full-body painting activities that kids really love to do.
The Artful Parent is also a great resource for other art projects as well, and it is an active blog with a community of readers that comment on nearly every post. That makes it a great place for art teachers to get ideas and inspiration.
If you are thinking about bringing body paint into the classroom, hopefully the website above has motivated you to move ahead with those plans. Body painting can entertain a class full of students, and in the process you'll get students creating some great art without even realizing it.