Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Hands on Painting

We are in the process of building our knowledge of art mediums.  One of the joys of going through this process with a fresh group of children ever 2 or 3 years, is I remember what worked well and can improve upon it, and sometimes, if I have the gumption, try something new.
Today I offered paint on a piece of cardboard for C and H to explore.  We had already painted on it before so today I offered red and yellow.  First placing dots of red, then yellow.  It seemed as if H was the most interested in feeling the paint on his hands and his eyes kept following the squeeze bottle of paint.
I squeezed paint onto their hands, offering it first, "Would you like some on your hands?  Like this?"  H clapped with joy while C watched very carefully.  C reached out with one pointed finger and swished her finger through the paint.  Tasted it.  Touched the dots of paints again and came closer.   I offered some in her hand and soon both were pushing and sliding their hands across the cardboard.
Through our explorations on the cardboard and hands squishing and clapping, the bottles were still of interest.  H and C both reached out for them at one point.  It reminded me of my summer at the preschool where I created a color mixing provocation using squeeze bottles for the children to use.  I thought for a moment.  Then decided, Why couldn't the infants use the bottles as well?  I wasn't worried they would dump them out or run off or....

I handed H a bottle and he responded with a squeal of glee.  He tried lifting the heavy bottle and feeling the small hole in the top.  C was also pleased to be able to touch this new object.  It made sense to me.  We learn about paint and paper and cardboard.  Soon we will learn about painting tools, brushes and sponges.  Why not offer the bottles, which I would love for them to have competency over as well!  It was almost a relief to me as a teacher, realizing by allowing the child the opportunity they grow and we connect in new ways.  Giving them the trust allows for deeper ability and self-confidence.

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