A sunny day, a collection of colourful paints and a piece of carpet — that’s all that’s needed for a creative craft. Our girls love painting, and this activity was a treat.

Upon returning to our home base, the girls asked if we could get out the paints. Painting isn’t something we do much of when we’re on the road, and I keep most craft supplies in storage in the shed for our times at home.

Originally I planned to let our girls paint on paper. But when I was retrieving the paint from the mezzanine floor, one of the jars fell down and spilled — all over the carpet.

Girls sitting on carpet, March 2012
We have large pieces of carpet lying on the floor of the shed.

David lying on carpet with Aisha, Calista and Delaney nearby, March 2012
Instead of bemoaning the stain on the carpet piece, David offered it to the girls as a canvas on which to paint.

Painting on carpet outside, March 2012
We lay the carpet piece out on the grass and strip off the girls in anticipation of them getting some paint on them.

Girls painting, March 2012
All the girls love painting, and the carpet square is big enough for everyone to share. I made up the paint into little cups which couldn't get tipped over.

Rainbow of paint colours, March 2012
Brioni's first creation is a beautiful rainbow of many colours.

Mixing paint colours, March 2012
Extra bowls are on hand so the girls can mix colours into new hues. They enjoyed experimenting with combinations.

Brioni painting her name, March 2012
Brioni writes her name and then decorates it with a heart.

Aisha with painted hands, March 2012
Aisha paints her hands and makes hand-prints.

Delaney painting herself, March 2012
Delaney copies her sister and starts painting herself too.

Aisha painting herself, March 2012
It doesn't take long before they start painting their bodies too.

Painting a big piece of carpet is a bit easier than painting a sheet. When this activity is brought outdoors, paintbrushes are almost not necessary, and it’s wonderful to see how the children experiment with colours on their own bodies.

Mummycraft factor: 6. A mummy is necessary for the set-up and the clean-up and the supervision. A mummy’s greatest challenge with this craft is avoiding cuddles by well-painted children. (The Mummycraft factor tells you how much of the craft the mummy ends up doing. 10 is full-on-Mummy-does-the-craft and 0 is walk-away-and-come-back-to-a-finished-craft.)