Sunday, January 27, 2013

Expanding on Water

Cohort 5 has always greatly enjoyed water play. One of our very first additions to water play was the introduction of color to our water. While we still greatly enjoy bringing a simple tub of water out during the day, we recently decided to take our interests a step further and work with water colors. First the children painted with very watered down water colors. This gave them a chance to work with the brushes (a new tool for many of them) and paper with minimal permanence. They were very focused on the process of getting the brush from the container of color to the paper itself.

Recently, though, they used the water colors at their full strength. The past experience with the brushes was evident in the way each child worked on their own paper. LC carefully dabbed the tip of her brush into the water color before moving it quickly to the paper, attempting to minimize the loss of water color on the way. IS had a different technique to accomplish this same goal: he would dip his brush heavily into the color then held the brush above the container to let it drip a while before moving it to his paper.

Each child had their own approach for painting on their papers as well. VR moved his brush in a circular motion on his paper, making a big swoop of blue. Meanwhile, WG showed much interest in painting the corner of his paper. He dipped the brush in water color then dabbed it at one corner until that corner was fairly covered in color.

QM was determined to saturate the paper with color as much as possible. He pressed his brush hard against his paper to soak all of the water color out. After only QM was left at the table, he slowly poured the water color out onto one corner of his paper. When he finished his designs showed through on both sides of his artwork.

 Our adventures in water color over the past few weeks have both been a delightful next step to our water play and a chance for the children to explore a new medium and new tools. We plan to continue using water colors alone, working on layering them over the course of may days, before adding in anything else. Feel free to comment with any suggestions about what to mix with our water colors! One thought we've had so far is shaving cream.


  1. Corn Starch (make thick corn starch and water mixture...ooblick) and add a couple drops of color. It takes lots of finger work to slowly mix in the color and the swirls that happen in the process are delightful!