The 10 Best Face Painting Kits
Why Kids Should Face Paint
Parents of young kids know that if they send their little ones off to a birthday party, they're bound to come back with some colorful designs on their faces. Children just love to face paint. What they don't realize is that this activity is actually good for them, too. (Just don't tell them that, because you know children don't want to do something the second they know you want them to). Let's look at some of the benefits of this old craft. First, face painting promotes pretend play. For the grownups out there who've forgotten what this means, pretend play is simply when children create stories and pretend to live them out. A child can ask a face painting artist to make her look like a fairy, a ladybug, or any other creature that will help bring her fantasy story to life. Studies have shown that pretend play in childhood has an important role in cultivating creativity in adulthood. If you hope for your child to grow up to be an artist or novelist, pretend play and activities that enhance it — like face painting — are critical.
There is a second powerful benefit that can come from face painting. Extensive research has found that participation in visual arts and crafts at an early age is important for social-emotional development in children. Whether your child is doing the actual face painting, having her face painted, or sitting with her friend while he has his face painted, she is participating in the creation of art. This interactive element of the craft makes it especially helpful for shy children. If your kid has a difficult time opening up in social environments, her face art becomes a talking point with the other kids, as they all discuss what they got on their cheeks and why.
The third and possibly less expected perk of face painting is the conversation it opens up between you and your child. The art your child chooses for her face tells you a lot about her. If she asked to look like a Martian, she may be interested in outer space. If she requested a basketball on her cheek, she may have an affinity towards basketball and other sports. Sometimes, young children have a hard time talking about themselves, but face painting gives you and your kid a natural way to discuss her interests.
Tips For Face Painting With Children
If you'll be one of the artists at the face painting party, there are a few tips to keep in mind that will help things go smoothly. You are working with an age group that is curious and can be rowdy. Keep the paint stored away in a box that only you can access. This will keep children from picking up face paints and using them as finger paint. Bring two stools so you and the child have somewhere to sit. Your back and shoulders will thank you later. Plus, children seem to understand they need to stay still if you put them on a stool. A child standing up is more prone to move around.
When it comes to designs, the sky could be the limit, but it shouldn't be with kids. Have a few basic ideas in mind, that you've practiced beforehand, to suggest to the kids. You could even stick to a theme, like jungle animals or sea creatures. If you let a child choose from all the possibilities in the world, he may take a long time to decide, and irritate the line of kids waiting behind him. But if you offer up ideas, he'll likely say yes to one of the designs you've already mastered. Since kids aren't known for their patience, you don't want to learn a new design while working on a squirmy child. On that note, don't hesitate to use stencils if you're not yet good at freehand.
There are a few items that will bring your designs to the next level, and get the kids really excited. You could bring a few hair chalks with you, so you can color the child's head in a way that brings his face paint to life. Stickers and glitter also add a lot of pizzazz, without requiring much work from you. No matter what you do, just remember to stay positive and enthusiastic. If you're excited about your work, the kids will be, too.
What To Look For In A Face Painting Kit
The type of party you're working at, and the ages of the kids you're painting, will greatly determine the best face painting kit for you. Remember that each age group has its own set of risky behavior. If you're painting toddler's faces, it's important you buy paint that is safe for consumption because this age group loves putting things in their mouths. Small children also aren't great at following instructions (such as, "Don't touch your face for two minutes"), so look for paint that dries quickly.
You should think about cleanup and overall aftermath, too. Regardless of the age of the kids, opt for water-based paints. These wash off much easier, which is a feature the parents will appreciate. Consider fragrance-free paint so the child doesn't smell like chemicals when he gets home. Look for a kit that comes with a carrying case that has plenty of organized sections. You don't want to throw your paint and brushes into a dozen ziplock bags at the end of the day.
If you are working with children, you can likely get a small paint palate that just has the usual favorite colors, like the primaries and a few of their secondaries. However, if you're painting adult faces, you might want a larger color selection since your subjects could ask for more intricate designs. Having a few different brush sizes will also help you accomodate a variety of requests.