Monday, May 3, 2010

New Painting Projects

Mother's day is coming up so we began class this week with a spring themed gift-making project for all the moms. If you weren't in class... don't look! It's a surprise!The first step of the project is painting a clay pot (which I got from the local garden store). When they dry, I'll coat them with a sealer and then they'll be ready for planting our flowers.

In the toddler classes, the children painted their pot little by little, as they looked for other objects to paint. I decided to bring out the next activity (potato prints!) to work on simultaneously. To prepare the potatoes, I cut each one in half and carved a simple shape into the top to create a stamp. An easy way to do this is to use a metal cookie cutter to push down on the potato. This cuts the shape for you, then all you have to do is carve out around the cut. As the children get older, they can learn to do this step themselves.
Along with their paper, I gave each child a plate of paint to use with the potato stamps.
The fun part is pounding the potato onto the paper to create colorful shapes (and the potato is the perfect chunky size for their little hands).

This week I also introduced marble painting to the children. I offered each child a tray with paper inside, a cup of paint and marbles, and a spoon for scooping the marbles. They put painted marbles into their trays and shook them around to create a new kind of painting.
Some of the finished paintings...
The toddlers are still too young to be working with marbles (many of them try to eat our materials) so I gave each child a golf ball to use in the same way.

After experimenting with the new activities, the kids began to move around the studio to find more familiar materials.

A sweet moment of sharing!
Our third activity for the older children was to continue working on the spray mural that they made a few weeks ago. I taped it down to the floor and set out markers for them to use. Jordan and Anna first began drawing clouds and rain. It had been a strange day of off and on rain and sun. Here is a bit of thier conversation as they drew:
Anna: "Where do the clouds come from?"
Jordan: "I think they come for the rain."
Anna: "I think the sun is stronger than the rain."
Jordan: "I think the wind is stronger."
When Jason and Jessica joined them, they began drawing bridges. Jordan first drew the bridge she crosses to get to school, then Anna drew the Golden Gate Bridge. Then Jason said: "This is the Bay Bridge because it's so long."

With the new warm weather, the children began to ask to go outside earlier than usual.
I brought some activities outside for them to work on as we wrapped up class.
Rock painting...
Mural spraying...
But the water play is always the most fun!
Even siblings get in on the action at pick-up time!

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