I shared this video last week, expressing to everyone my reasonable assurance that little kids can do big things.
And they definitely can! Watching this video together, my kids were able to see the changes happening within very specific parameters of the screen on my iPad. The time lapse feature is a perfect tool for little minds to visually comprehend the word “transient” and what that can mean when we are discussing art that has no stopping point, that can change and grow and develop. It was exciting to see their expressions change, hear little gasps as the painting was totally covered in black or white, and listen to which images were their favorites.
My littles had a wonderful time working on an extra large gallery canvas of their own as we explored collaborative art and worked on a painting together. This has been the best way I can think of to get young children away from being stuck on “product” and more into the actual art making “process”. There was no frustration here. No anxiety about finishing, no anger about inadequate skills. There was a safety net I could see on their faces that came from the anything goes atmosphere I tried to create.
The longer we painted, the more enthusiastic the kids got with the paint. Each child began painting with timid hands, taking over ownership of a small space of canvas that was closest to them. But after a little bit of time had elapsed, all my littles began to loosen up- to walk around the table and move the paint around a little bit more freely. Of course, once they got their hands into the paint- it was a little bit of a free for all. But if that is how a child wants/needs to explore a certain medium then that is great with me.
When art class was over for the afternoon, the kids went outside so I could take the opportunity to further change the painting into something less recognizable to them when they saw it next. My intention was to continue to paint the canvas over and over for a few classes, but once this one was dry and placed in lovely little corner of our school, I think we all kind of fell in love with it as is.
There are many more collaborative preschool painting projects in our future. As our artists skills continue to grow and develop it will be interesting to see where the kids take this project next time.
See? Little kids- big things!
And a few more projects my little artists have been working on…
While painting pumpkins may seem inadvertently “crafty” this actually requires a fair bit of fine motor skill practice, holding the paint brush in such a way that allows the paint to get onto all parts of a curved surface. Plus- these cute little pumpkins are pretty fun to look at, especially with the edition of oh so cute googley eyeballs!
We talked about color mixing and patterns…
After my kids had so much fun working the giant canvas with their hands in the paint, I thought it was high time for some finger painting. We whipped out some trusty Crayola brand finger paint and had a relaxed morning working in a mess.
And some turned into this…
A note about the purple trays we use so much- they are RECYCLED work material from my Mom’s job! How great is that? We put them to excellent use and they don’t just get thrown out at the end of the day. Ask around if you are in need of something like this for your classroom. You have NO IDEA how much awesome and useful “artsy” stuff gets thrown out every day. From glass jars to plastic trays, there is always a use.
We also made some air dry clay pinch-pots in my after school art class for preschoolers.
With my daytime students we made pumpkin bowls out of paper mache- these took several weeks as there needs to be adequate drying time in between each step. I used a product called “Art Paste” which is purchased in powder form and mixed with water. You could also use good old flour and water in a 1-1 ratio.
I don’t have pictures of every stage as paper mache is goopy business, but we used plastic dollar store bowls as our molds (right onto the plastic- no vaseline or cooking spray or plastic wrap needed). The kids had to add 3-4 layers of paper to make the bowls sturdy enough, but I would have prefered 6-8 layers of paper. If you do this project, more is best!
Last but not least, some simple oil pastel and watercolor resist paintings.
I began with a pumpkin example but my kids were not into pumpkins on this particular day.
(another one of my examples sans pumpkins)
That’s all for now. I’ll be sharing some elementary projects soon that I’m having so much fun working on with my older kids.
Happy making 🙂
If you loved this project be sure to check out these easy crafts for kids! We all need a few more of these in the idea bank, right?!
Remember, if you ever make anything inspired by The Sweeter Side Art Room, please be sure to share it on instagram or twitter @SweeterSideMom or leave me a comment. I’d love to feature your kids art on the blog and see the masterpieces you all are creating!