So, I get to spend a good deal of my day bouncing around town and in and out of various child care centers. One of my VERY favorite things to do while I’m there is to look around the walls of the center…check out the various art projects that children are creating, and then share with my families! Here are just a few that I’ve seen in the past few weeks.
Indian corn painting: Using the lid of a box, or really, any type of low, flat box, line the bottom with paper. Help your child to paint on the dry Indian corn, using a brush or hands – you can just pick this up at your local grocery store, or get fancy, and pick it up at a pumpkin farm! Removing the husks will allow the corn to “roll” in the box. Once the Indian corn is painted, lay it down on the paper in the box. You hold on to one end of the box, and your child holds the other. The corn will then “roll” back and forth as you lift each end one at a time, leaving a BEAUTIFUL pattern of color and texture! To add creativity, you could mix up fall colors (red, orange, yellow, brown), or leave husks ON and dip them and paint with them on paper like brushes. An easel may work best for that. Lovely results!
Apple painting: Similar to Indian corn painting, use the lid of a box, lined with paper on the bottom. Paint the apple your desired color (we chose red) and “roll the apple around in the box back and forth with your child!
Apple prints: Cut an apple in half, and set aside. Pour a small amount of paint on a paper plate. You will need multiple plates and apples if you choose multiple colors. Stamp the apples in to the paint (just a thin layer!) and print them on to the paper! Again, child friendly, process friendly results! You can also do this with potatoes for some extra fun! Small wedges can be cut out of the sides of the apples to help your child grasp the apple for printing.
The most important point to remember when completing an activity such as these is that the PROCESS is more important than the PRODUCT. By “process”, I mean allowing the child to make choices about color or materials that will be used, follow directions (first wear a smock, next cut the apple, next line the paper in the box, next choose and pour the paint, and so on.) These are all pre-sequencing skills that are ESSENTIAL to building the foundation for mathematics and literacy! And it’s FUN! They get to spend one on one time with you, their primary caregiver. This allows them to use and comprehend language, identify colors, count out the prints or rolls, bond with YOU, and encourages social skills development! So, go get MESSY! Have FUN with your child! And celebrate their creation…what a confidence BOOST!