Its Time to Paint!

By Jenna S.


The  preschool three room is buzzing with energy this morning ; the day is Wednesday, March 22nd. Several games and activities are going on; the children, ages 3-4 , are engrossed in their activities, they are rambunctious as spring is in the air. I clear the art table of any materials and begin to place the art supplies on the table according to my planning sheet. Three children will be participating at one time so I may document the activity as I monitor them at the same time.  The table is set up with three table mats, each station has a small paper plate (to rest the paint brushes on), a paint pallet each, water cup, napkins, and one paint brush and large piece of paper. I set up a larger container filled with the primary colours as well as black and white, in the middle of the table for the children to scoop and fill their own pallets. I am now ready to begin so I call some children away from their activities and ask if they are interested in painting. The children grab smocks and I begin to explain the art experience. I give the children the opportunity to use the tools provided to take paint and place it on their own pallets then taking their paint brushes to create and mix colours together. It is important to demonstrate a sense of engagement by having the children be active members of set up and clean up of activities.

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The children begin to paint, some taking large scoops of paint on their brush and slathering it all over the page, others carefully dipping their brushes into different colours, mixing the paint on the brush and even more on their paper. They are excited and chatter to each other about their artwork or the paint. I ask one child what the colour red makes him feel, he replied “like a firetruck.” I thought that was very cute. I asked another child what she was painting and she told me “This is my mommy” pointing at the image she was currently adding blue to. I asked her why she painted her mommy blue, she said “Because she likes swimming” Opening up dialogue with open ended questions is a great way for the children to fully engage in what they are creating. The children were very engaged in their artwork, some using short and hard dabbing methods to create dots and splatter spots; others using large and small sweeping motions. Most of the children filled their entire pages with paint, some had created gray masses with vibrant strokes of colour shooting through it. I think the children really got to explore the feeling and movement of paint and how it can be mixed to form new colours or how it can be pushed across the paper using different techniques.

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I started off the morning with the children attempting to transfer their own paint from container to their own pallets; unfortunately there wasn’t any squeeze bottles available for paint so I used a plastic fruit container with five compartments for paint. I set out droppers to transfer the paint but the children either ignored them and used their own paint brush and dipped in what ever colour they pleased then proceeded to paint. Other children tried to use the droppers properly but were having great difficulty quickly getting paint to their pallet. This method of set up was definitely a bust, eventually I just took the individual paint pallets away and let the children dip and mix the paint straight from the large container. Placing a paper plate for the children’s brushes did not work out at all, none of the children used the plates, instead they rested their brushes on their artwork or the table. One large water bowl would be more acceptable, or two medium sized bowls depending on how large the table. Having a cup each turned into watery mess’ that I was running back and forth to clean up. All in all the experience turned out to be a an enjoyable one for students and teachers.

Thank you for joining us on our paint adventure today!! We hope you enjoy!!