When my son finally transitioned from his crib to a full-size bed, we let him choose what theme he wanted for his big-boy room. Being the typical 3-year-old, he enthusiastically chose the construction truck bedding, and announced that he wanted his room to be all about trucks.
I bought several canvases of different sizes that fit his room and used the pictures of trucks from his comforter to inspire our very own truck painting (using his feet and hands as the parts of the trucks).
He was eager to help me with the paintings, so much so that I had to “sacrifice” a canvas to let him just smear paint all over it (this masterpiece is hanging in his bathroom… he said it was a painting of a dinosaur). Letting him have his own creative space helped me convince him to do the rest of the paintings “my way.” Win!
I let him pick the trucks from the comforter that we would copy, and he first selected the cement mixer (an excellent choice!). I used a paint brush to carefully apply paint to his hand so that I could better control the amount of paint (you don’t want it to be too globby).
I held his wrist and guided his hand to the canvas, instructing him to keep his fingers together so he made the shape of the cement mixer’s back end. Then I removed the canvas from his reach! He really does love painting and he wanted to take globs of it to smear all over the canvas. Again, putting another paper in front of him while I finished the truck painting was essential. He was happy and so was I.
Using the picture from the comforter as a guide, I carefully painted the rest of the truck. Once the paint dried, I used a marker to add in the smooth lines to further define the truck shape.
We used his foot for the front end loader, my foot for the dump truck, and his tiny forearm for the back of the tanker truck.
After all was said and done, I realized that our paintings needed backgrounds, so I carefully added in the blue sky, buildings, road, grass, and crane. I think the end result is fairly close to the original pictures, but the important thing is that when my son looks at the paintings on his wall, he remembers the fun we had that day and is proud that he made his own art.