Kid's Art Project, Messy Art, Preschool Art, Process Art

Sensory Art Play

Messy Baby Art

I was first introduced to the idea of Sensory Art for kids when I lived in Portland, OR. The class was offered at an art studio called Art A La Carte that I frequented with my kids. Though my kids were too old for the class I fell in love with the concept. When I moved back to Knoxville in 2015 and opened my studio,  I felt like such a class would be great fit here in Knoxville. I first began offering sensory based art classes at my studio, The Basement Community Art Studio back in 2015. Messy Baby Art Classes were geared to infants (Sitting-24 Months).  Since 2015 the class continued to grow and grow in popularity. I have had the privilege of working with so many infants and toddlers through this program. When I accepted the Job at the MUSE Knoxville  in 2018, I added a similar class there, Mess Maker Mondays. Though this class is slightly different, it has continued to offer a sensory based art experience here in Knoxville.

Messy Baby 1
Sensory art can be a full body experience.

Sensory based art is something that I am deeply passionate about. I believe that fostering this type of experience from a very young age acts as a building block to support creativity and creative play as a life long habit.  So that begs the question…

What is Sensory Art?

Child development experts agree that young children learn best when their play appeals to their senses. When children engage their senses during play, they build powerful cognitive connections. They begin to learn about the world around themselves. Young children and infants uses all of their senses to take in stimuli from the world. When they are provided with an environment rich in sensory experiences they are able to make more of these types of connections. Being able to explore this way stimulates movement from the child and strengthens their motor skills and coordination as well.
As the child plays you can add language to their experience. Give the proper names of the tools they are using. As they reach for a tool, name it. “Sponge.” or “Feather.” You can also name the colors they are using. Simply say “Blue.” when they use blue paint… Keeping the language short and clear allows them to begin to make associations between the language and the object. It is much more clear than saying something like, “Yes, you found the blue paint. Can you use the feather to paint blue on the paper.” Simple language is best.

messy collage
Sensory art play is fun for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers!

Setting up a Sensory Based Art Experience at Home

During our sensory art classes we like to offer a variety of tools and materials for the child to explore. Basic everyday household objects make great painting tools! Possible ideas include:

  • Wooden spools
  • Toilet Paper tubes
  • Bits of Yarn
  • Corks
  • Sticks
  • Pine cones
  • Leaves
  • Food (potato, celery, apple) all make fun prints
materials collage
Using a variety of materials provides diverse sensory experiences. 

Look around your home and find items with an interesting texture that are safe for the child to explore. Try to offer them a variety of different shapes and textures to explore during their art play. Be sure to use child safe, non toxic art materials. I love Blick Student grade tempera paints, they are non-toxic, gluten and peanut free,  and washable. Using a variety of tools offers the child multiple sensory stimuli, plus it provides opportunity for further language acquisition when you name the tools as we discussed above.
There are wonderful art products out there for young children that you can purchase through stores or online if you wish, but you don’t have to spend a ton of money. You can find some amazing DIY art supply recipes for tiny artists online. From craft dough to edible paints and more, the internet is filled with great ideas you can make at home with common ingredients found in most kitchens! Have fun exploring and setting up your child’s sensory art projects (This can be a great creative outlet for you too)!

Where to create?

 

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Standing at an easel or wall can be a fun way to explore paint for toddlers and preschoolers. 

Provide your child with a variety of ways to explore the art materials as well. Once the child can stand consider painting at an easel. If you don”t have an easel you can tape paper to a wall at their height. You may want to use a drop cloth or larger paper behind the paper they are painting to contain the mess and make clean up a bit easier.
If your child is not yet standing simply spread out paper on the floor for them to paint on. Remember older children also enjoy working on the floor from time to time as well! Working on the floor can give them the opportunity to work much larger, using large motor movements which can be a nice change for older children.

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It can also be fun to involve your child in the clean up!

If you are concerned about the inevitable mess consider working outside on a nice day or use an old sheet/drop cloth on the floor under their work. When the art time is over simply fold away the drop cloth and store it for next time! Another fun place to create art is in the bath tub. When art time is over just clean the baby and the mess up at the same time.

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Working at the table, splattering paint on rubber bands. 

Tables are always a great place to explore art materials, but try to provide variety for your child with their art play. If you usually paint at the table, consider trying a new spot. Often as children get older, most of their art is done at a table. This limits the size of their art as well as the motor movements they use to create their art. An occasional change in location is always exciting and keeps their art experience fresh and new!

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Large sheets of paper on the floor are always fun!

 

Keep in mind that art is messy, and the mess is part of the fun! Learn to embrace the mess as your child creates. With a little planning the mess can be easily contained and relatively easy to clean up as well!

 

Prepare for a mess

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Crawlers enjoy exploring the slippery textures.

Sensory exploration in art is often very messy, so be prepared. At the studio we recommend letting our youngest artists paint in their diapers or an old onsie. Older toddlers and children we recommend wearing old clothes paired with an art smock or apron. Most children’s art supplies are considered “washable” however, I have noticed that they do not always wash completely out. So, it is best to dress in clothing you are not too worried about. Adults facilitating messy art should also dress in clothing that can get painted…because it very likely will, lol.

Drop cloths such as a painters tarp or old sheet can help protect the ground or table around your art area, making clean up a bit easier.

Most importantly have fun and embrace the mess!

Check out this fun little video from one of my classes!

 

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Adult Art Project, Art Project, collage, Kid's Art Project, Preschool Art, Process Art

More fun with collage, part 2.

prompt 8 collage

In Fun With Collages, Part 1 we looked at torn paper collages, cut paper collage, and vision boards. The post was getting long, but I felt like there was still so much more to cover! So today we will look at recycled art paper collages, cardboard collages, fabric collages, and found object collages.

Just a reminder of the supplies you will need for your collage work:

  • Old magazines, Papers, Cardboard or even Fabrics
  • Glue (Glue sticks work well for lightweight papers, Mod Podge for fabrics, or a stronger craft glue for cardboard.)
  • Scissors
  • Something to glue your collage to. If you are working in a sketchbook or journal great, if not any piece of plain paper or cardboard will do.
  • Found objects and a low temp hot glue gun for our final collage project!

 

Recycled Art Paper Collage

old art collage
Old art from several different activities with kids between preschool and elementary age. I cut both geometric shapes and more organic shapes out. In many cases I let the shapes on the painting dictate what I cut out.

So in the last post we were mainly using magazine pages and other decorative papers such as scrapbook papers. Today we will be focused on recycled papers and repurposing old art work for our collage purposes. I enjoy doing a lot of process art with kiddos and myself, but you end up with a lot of art papers that really don’t have a function. So what are you to do with the ever-growing stacks of paper? Well collage of course!

 

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A quick little playful ocean life collage made from the fun shapes found in abandoned process art which was left unclaimed.

I often will cut up old art papers into fun shapes to reuse at a later time either myself or with a kid’s art class. I like to keep fun cut up papers on hand in a collage basket for kids to experiment with.

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This beautiful landscape collage was done by an elementary aged child using several of their own process art pages we had created in class throughout the year.

 

Cardboard Collage

Cardboard is a great medium for collage. Shapes can be cut and arranged on a larger sheet of cardboard to create a new image. Paint can also be used to unify the piece of art created. You can play with texture by peeling the top layer off a piece of corrugated cardboard to reveal the fun rigid texture! I recommend using either a craft glue such as Elmers or even a low temp hot glue gun as the cardboard will need a bit more sticking power!

cardboard collage

 

 

Fabric Collage

Another fun twist on collageing is using fabric scraps instead of paper. For fabric I like to use Mod Podge instead of glue sticks or craft glue because it dries flat without any ridges.  I usually will use the Mod Podge both under the fabric and as a top coat to make sure it is sealed. I usually will use cardboard for my backer but you could experiment with other substrates as you wish.

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A quick little landscape that I created one afternoon.
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Some fabric collage landscapes from a summer camp I ran. The kids were elementary aged.

Found Object Collage

The final style of collage that I want to discuss today is found object collage, sometimes refered to as assemblage art. For these projects you will need the low temp hot glue as many items are too bulky for craft glue. You will also need a sturdy backer or substrate. I often use wood or corrugated cardboard.

bird collage 2
This fun little bird used both old cut up pieces of art work and various found objects!

Quick tip: When working with children always be sure to use low temp glue guns. Point out the hot parts and let them know to place the glue on the backer surface and then add the small found object to avoid holding tiny items in their hand to glue which could lead to a burn. Show them how to use a small popsicle stick or some other stick like object to pres into the hot glue instead of pushing the object with their finger.

clooage mandala 1
A foun object mandala from a yoga and art camp I helped lead.

Kids love to use the hot glue, and it can be done safely even with very young kids as long as you pay attention to safety measures. Yes, small burns do happen from time to time but small injuries are a valuable learning experience. It is worth the small risk to see the sense of wonder and excitement in the face of a child who has acted independently with a tool!

bottle cap art
Remember incorporating a bit of mixed media is also a fun way to unify found object collages as is the case with this awesome flower vase with bottle cap flowers!

I hope you have enjoyed this series of collage projects as much as much as I have. I love to both make my own collages and teach collage workshops and classes! They are so much fun and the possibilities are limitless!

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Adult Art Project, Art Project, collage, Kid's Art Project, Preschool Art, Process Art

Fun With Collage, Part 1

making collages collage

Collages are some of my favorite projects to do. There are so many ways to collage making this such a diverse medium. I have done colleges with children as young as 3 yrs old and I have done collages in my adult classes. You can go as simply or as intricate as you want. I encourage you to play with different papers and fabrics in your collage work. Below you will see some examples of my favorite collage projects from many of the classes I have taught throughout the years. These have been classes both for kids and adults…collage is for everyone!

For these projects you need:

  • Old magazines, Papers, Cardboard or even Fabrics
  • Glue (Glue sticks work well for lightweight papers, mod podge for fabrics, or a stronger craft glue for cardboard.)
  • Scissors
  • Something to glue your collage to. If you are working in a sketchbook or journal great, if not any piece of plain paper or cardboard will do.

Torn Paper Collage

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Try tearing your papers instead of cutting them. There is something about tearing little bits of paper that is quite therapeutic! The above rainbow color collage above was a simple little project I did with bits of torn paper. It was a quick and playful little collage that I did as part of a yoga and art class I was hosting one time. Plus, there is no right or wrong way to tear paper, simply start with colors, pictures, or words that resonate with you. Any size or shape will do. The idea is to overlap your torn pieces of paper so that you cover the entire page you are working on.

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This collage was part of a vision board workshop I hosted for women. I combined the torn paper with a cut out image and a bit of wet on wet watercolor play.

Cut Paper Collage

If tearing is not your thing try cutting out images and or words that resonate with you. Cut paper collages, just as torn paper collages can be done with many age groups. For the very youngest children I sometimes provide a series of already cut shapes (both geometric shapes and more organic shapes). If the child has scissor skill though it is better to let them cut their own shapes!

Cut pieces can be arranged in any way you wish. They can be layered over one another, used to create a new picture, or simply collaged to highlight the specific image or word chosen (Think Vision Board).

cut paper collage
These landscape collages were done by elementary age children. For this project they focused on using colors and textures to create a new landscape.
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This landscape collage was completed by an adult student, again they focused on colors and textures to create the sky and water, but they highlighted a chosen image for the flower field.
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The child who completed this collage was about 3 years old. This is an example of a collage using pre-cut shapes. For this project we were focusing on the gluing skill, so we isolated that aspect of the collage by eliminating the need to cut shapes.  A large variety of shapes, colors, and patterns were offered for the child to choose from.

Vision Boards

Vision boards are collages that focus on a goal or idea that you want to focus on. They are a very useful tool to help you keep your goals in mind as you strive to reach them. I have done vision boards with children and adults. They are useful, fun, and therapeutic! I like to start off my new year by creating a vision board for the year.

vision board collage
Three examples of vision boards. The far left was done by a child, we started by tracing her head then she collaged her interests and desires inside! The middle was in an adult board from a self-care class focused on intrinsic goals. The third was a board focused on life goals using a combination of words and images.

This should get you started with some fun creative collage ideas for yourself, or your kids. Try using collage as a group activity in a class or with a scout group, women’s circle, or club! Most of all have fun!

For more fun collage check out part 2

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Kid's Art Project, Preschool Art, Process Art

Simple toys for creative play.

Simple Toys for

Back in 2011 Jonathan H. Liu wrote an article for wired.com called “The 5 Best Toys of All Time” The title is linked to the article if you wish to read the whole thing. Here are his selections:

  1. Stick
  2. Box
  3. String
  4. Cardboard Tube
  5. Dirt

This article got me thinking about kids and creative play. As we enter this holiday season, our minds are focused on the next great toy. Each year there is that special coveted toy that makes every child’s wish list. It is usually flashy and colorful with buttons and noises. So much fun, right? Well yes, it is fun for a while… but have you noticed that once your child has played with it for bit they tend to lose interest in it?  That flashy, great, must have toy usually ends up in a corner somewhere collecting dust when the child loses interest and moves on to something else. Why is that? Well I believe that it is because children’s interest is better served with much more open ended play things. Toys that allow for creative play and thought. Toys that can be used in multiple ways and for multiple purposes tend to stand the test of time. Often times those toys are much more simple in nature, such as the box or the stick. They can represent many things at many different times. They grow with the child’s interest and knowledge of the world. They are  as dynamic as the child’s own brain. 

Found Object Sculpture collage

I am not saying that these fancy toys are bad or that you shouldn’t provide them for your child. I am only suggesting that they be balanced with simpler more open ended play things. Items that last beyond the lifespan of a battery.

I am reminded of two of my very favorite toys from childhood.

toys

  1. A wooden rope spool
  2. 2 pieces of plywood hinged together.

These toys were given to me and my brother for Christmas one year by a dear family friend and they provided hours of entertainment throughout the years…Yes I said years. I still had them when I went away to college! When we received these toys we were quite young. I do not remember exactly how old, but early elementary school anyway. At first the hinged wood became a fort/tent  to play in. We would set it up and hide inside. Sometimes it was a doll house of the cave for a stuffed animal. The spool was often used as a car or a wheelchair. Sometimes it was a tower as we built with blocks. I used to even pretend that it was a two story condo for my barbies.  I loved to try to walk on it, pretending I was in a circus act. Both of these toys provided hours of endless entertainment. As I got older the spool became a seat in my room or a night stand. The hinged wood became a table top, or a hard surface to draw on. These toys grew with us and allowed for many uses as we grew up and our interests changed. I can tell you I do not remember many of the toys I played with as a child. There are only a few that have remained in my memory, but these were two of them. These two simple yet creative and open ended toys remain as fond memories of childhood.

nature art collage

Throughout my work with children, I have seen the toys listed above turn into magnificent creations. When a child’s imagination is at play wonderful things happen. Creative play allows the child to process their own unique ideas and thoughts. It allows them to problem solve, to discover new ways to do things, and to build confidence in their own ability. 

bottle cap art

So with all of that in mind I would like to expand the list of toys to include a few more items that allow for creative play and foster the child’s imagination and creative minds. 

  1. Sticks of all sizes.
  2. Cardboard boxes, and sheets of cardboard.
  3. String/yarn/ribbon
  4. Cardboard Tubes (Toilet paper tubes , and sturdy mailers)
  5. Nature Item: dirt, leaves, pine needles, pine cones, acorns, seed pods…
  6. Corks
  7. Bottle caps, both plastic and metal
  8. Tin cans
  9. Wooden Spools, (both large and tiny!)
  10. Scrap wood (Large and small pieces, perhaps with a hinge!)

These are simple toys that are readily available to just about anyone,  they provide hours of creative play, and are engaging to all ages! Children of all ages can enjoy playing with these items. The photos throughout this post have been made by preschoolers, school age children, teens, and even adults! So go ahead raid your own recycle bin or collect some items from your yard.

What can you create out of these items when you allow your imagination to run wild?

cardboard tools

Consider the following tools to use with your creative items when playing:

  1. Low Temperature Hot Glue Gun
  2. Scissors (Sharp enough to cut cardboard)
  3. Tape (Try out different kinds!)
  4. Sharpie Markers
  5. Paints
  6. Simple hand tools (hammer and nails, drill…)

child with hot glue gun

Note: All of these tools can be used with children, however adult supervision is necessary to prevent possible injury with some of them. Just remember not to take over if you are assisting a child. Your job is to assist them in creating their ideas… even if you can think of a better way to accomplish the task. Failure is ok in creating…it provides opportunities to problem solve and to learn perseverance. Most importantly it shows the child that you have confidence in their ability and that their thoughts are valid. And always, remember to have fun!  🙂

creative play art collage

box costume

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I would love to see what you create leave a photo in the comment section or on Instagram with the hashtag #artbreaks

 

Adult Art Project, Art Project, Kid's Art Project, Preschool Art, Process Art

Blow Painting: Process art for kids and Adults!

Blow Painting

Blow painting is a fun process art activity for multiple age groups. Simply change the type of paint or pigment used for different effects and for different age groups. Read on to find out the general process plus check out my top 5 favorite projects using this technique! There are projects for preschoolers, school aged kids, and even adults…so read on.

 

Be sure to check out my top 5 favorite blow paint projects!

 

For this project you are going to need:

  • Thinned paint or ink, depending on the group you are painting with. More on that later!
  • A dropper or pipette
  • Paper or canvas, the type used needs to work well with the choice of paint/ink you are using. Being sure to use a high quality substrate that matches the intended project will always offer the best results. For kid’s projects I like to use a 90# mixed media paper or a watercolor paper. For adults I might use the watercolor paper, canvas, or specialty paper depending on the paint medium being offered.
  • A drinking straw.
  • Optional: Additional items to finish out your project, i.e googly eyes, glitter, sharpies, ect.

Process:

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  1. Prepare your paint. I love to use liquid watercolors but watered down tempera paints work well also for the first three projects. The 4th and 5th projects require their own special paints and papers/substraits.
  2. Drip your paint/ink onto your paper using the dropper. 90# mixed media paper or watercolor paper work best for this project. Thinner paper tends to rip too easy.
  3. Aim your straw at the paint drip and blow into the straw, allowing the paint to spread and splatter.
  4. Try turning your paper as you blow through your straw to spread the paint around more.
  5. Continue to drip paint and blow through the straw until you are satisfied with the result!

You can enjoy this projects as it is or extend it with one of the following project ideas to finish it out!

Check out my top 5 favorite blow paint projects below!

 

Project 1: Blow paint monsters

blow paint monster collage

Recommended Age:  Preschool – 9 years

Simply add one or more googly eyes to the paint splatter to create a blow paint monster. If the paint is really wet you can probably just add the googly eyes to the wet paint, otherwise you may need to use a dot of glue on each eye.

 

Project 2: Flower Gardens

flower collage

 

Recommended Age: 6-12 years

  1. Direct the children to aim towards the middle of the page to drip the paint and blow the splatters out. Encourage them to make several splatters, allowing colors to mix.
  2. Next give them some green paint. I like to use a couple of different shades of green to create a bit of depth.
  3. Have them hold their paper up or prop it up on an easel. Ask them to create the stems and grass for the flowers by using the gravity painting technique. Hold the dropper at the bottom of their blown out flower and allow the green to drip down the page.
  4. Create a few leaves by blowing through the straw at the green stem in a few places.
  5. Optional: Once the paint has dried completely allow the child to add details to the flowers or accent certain shapes using ultra fine point sharpies.

IMG_20170517_201720_229

 

Project 3: Blow paint portraits

hair collage

Recommended Age: 5-12 years

  1. Have the child draw a bald character on a piece of paper, being sure that they leave room for the hair! I find that a bust (head and shoulders works best for this project).
  2. Have the child use the dropper to drip the paint on the hairline.
  3. Use the straw to blow the hair out and away from the face.

 

Project 4: High flow acrylics on Canvas

liquid pour collage

Recommended Age: Teen- Adult

For this project I like to use canvas panels as opposed to paper. Canvas panels are also cheaper and a bit sturdier than stretched canvas. They do not tend to droop the way a stretched canvas might under the weight of pooled up paint. You can use high flow acrylics or you can make your own by adding a bit of elmer’s gel glue and water to your acrylic paints. The consistency should be similar to pancake batter.

Tip: These will take a long time to dry so I have found it useful to place the canvas in a box as I work. Gift boxes work well for this. You can also use plastic bottle caps to hold the canvas panels off of the bottom of the box so that as it dries it does not stick to the box.

  1. Set up your work space by placing the canvas on a level flat surface. See the tip above for ideas incase you might need to move the piece prior to drying.
  2. You can either pour your high flow acrylics directly onto your canvas or you can add smaller amounts by using a dropper/pipette as described above in the other projects.
  3. Use the straw to help move the paints around you canvas by blowing into it. You can also tilt the canvas and allow gravity to move the paint.

Note: Part of the fun of this type of painting is letting go of the control. Allow yourself to enjoy watching the paint move and flow. Remember that often the paint will continue to move a bit as it dries, so it will likely continue to change form as it dries.

 

Project 5: Alcohol Inks

alcohol inks collage

Recommended Age: Teen to Adult

For this project you are going to need a few more specialty items:

  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Alcohol Inks, my favorite brand is Ranger.
  • Yupo Paper
  • Small plastic paint pallet
  • Droppers/pipette
  • Straw
  • Optional: small paint brush, old plastic gift card, alcohol wipes

Process:

Scan_20161116 (2)v 640

  1. You can drip inks directly from the bottle onto your yupo paper if you wish.
  2. Use the straw to blow the ink around. The ink will continue to blow around until the alcohol evaporates.
  3. Alternately you can mix a few drops of alcohol with a few drop of the ink in your pallet and use the dropper or a small brush to add it to the yupo paper.
  4. Play with ways to manipulate the ink by blowing through the straw, painting into it with the paint brush and more ink or even plain alcohol, or scraping it with the plastic card.

Note: The inks can be reactivated with more alcohol and reworked.

*To clean up your alcohol ink tools use the rubbing alcohol rather than water.

I hope you enjoy these projects as much as I do! I would love to hear your experiences. Feel free to leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts.

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Until next time,

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Art Project, Preschool Art

Gravity Painting with Preschoolers

Paint the Rain

One of my favorite projects with preschool aged kids is gravity painting. There is something so rewarding about watching paint drip. The kids alway have such a great time with this one! This project is very easy to set up and can be done easily at home. Keep in mind that it has the potential to be quite messy though so if you are worried about a mess you may want to try this one outside!

gravity painting collage

You will need:

  • Small jars
  • Eye droppers or pipettes
  • Washable paints, I prefer liquid watercolors though tempera paint works well too.
  • Water to dilute paint.
  • Paper to paint on. I like to use a watercolor paper or at least a 90# paper for durability.
  • Drop cloth for floor or table if painting inside.
  • Some sort of easel or wall that you can attach your paper to.

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Set up:

  1. Prepare your space by covering the floor and or table where you will be painting.
  2. Attach your paper to an easel or wall. Be sure that it is at the correct height for your child. They should be able to comfortably reach the top of the paper.
  3. Prepare your paints by mixing with water. Paints should be thin enough to be collected in the dropper and to drip. I like a fairly watery consistency for this project. Just make sure that you have enough paint to give a rich color.
  4. Place one dropper or pipette into each color.

A note on paints: For this project select 2-4 colors of paint to work with. Be sure to keep your paint colors in the same color family in order to avoid brown drips…unless brown is what you are after! Warm colors: reds, oranges, yellows work well together as do cool colors: blues, greens, purples…

Spilled paint
Remember messes are likely!

For this project I love to tell the kids that we are going to be painting rain! So I tend to choose dark blues, purples, and turquoise colors to paint with.

Process:

Gravity painting collage1
A mom guiding her child to squeeze the dropper by gently placing her hand over his to demonstrate when to squeeze.
  1. Invite the child to paint. As I said before, I love to tell the kids that we will be painting rain. This is a fun way to relate this project to their life experience a bit.
  2. Show the child how to squeeze the dropper or pipette in the paint to collect the paint. I like to really slow this down and exaggerate my movements. Ex: Say, “Squeeze” and very slowly squeeze the dropper in an exaggerated way.
  3. Then say “Let go,” and while the dropper is in the jar completely remove you hand from the dropper, showing the child your empty hand. This is important for children who do not yet have experience with droppers. Otherwise they tend to continue squeezing as they lift the dropper and the paint comes back out before they get it to the page.
  4. Next demonstrate lifting the dropper out of the paint. Point out the paint in the dropper to the child. Finally show the child how to hold the dropper at the top of the page again. Say, “Squeeze” allow the paint to drip down the page.
  5. Hand the dropper to the child and say, “Your turn.” It may take them several tries to collect paint and get it to the paper. That is OK. Unless they are showing signs of frustration allow them to continue exploring it unassisted. If they seem frustrated, repeat the above steps or gently guide their hand as you demonstrate.

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Exploration is key here. Allowing the child to fully engage with the tools is the goal. It may take some time for them to master the tools and they might instead try to paint with or draw with the dropper. All of that is ok. They are exploring something new and relating it to their previous life experiences. Most of all have fun with this project. If the child loses interest, don’t force it. Perhaps try again later. I have noticed that some children respond better to a project the second or third time it is introduced. So don’t worry if your child is not interested, simply try again at a later time!

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This project is a great exploration for older toddlers and preschoolers, but it can also be extended for older children. I have done this project with kids up to 12 years old with great results. For older children try having the child paint a landscape or an umbrella type rain scene on their page first. Then you can have them add the rain to finish it off. Kids of all ages enjoy watching the paint drip!

gravity painting collage2

I hope you have a blast with this project! I would love to hear your experiences with it. Feel free to leave a comment.

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