Remember those days when you made ‘designs’ with your bike tires after going through a puddle and ‘drew’ on the pavement?
Typically, when we set up a painting activity, we have a cup with markers, or paint cups and paint brushes, but how about trucks? Aren’t they supposed to be somewhere else? I’ve used truck painting on the easel, on shaving cream and on goop.
The added benefit to this activity is that children are free to explore for a long period of time and, as you saw in the video, in many different ways as well. When we offer open-ended activities to any child, you create opportunities for children to approach “problems” from multiple entry points. Changing from truck to finger painting is a great sign that your children are exploring even more ways to use the medium and to start predicting change. They are also “taking risks” and they need to take such initiatives and try to get to their destination using the “road less traveled” sometimes.
In addition, they gain control over their muscles by practicing how far they can go until they have to stop, how much to push the cars, or until the tires run out of paint and they need more. They understand causality – when they run the trucks along the paper, something will happen because something else caused it to happen. Children need this playful way of developing their brains and opportunities to scaffold their thinking.
Set-Up for Episode #6:
- Paint (I usually use tempera)
- paint containers that can fit toy trucks
Some children might get upset when the paper tears. In those cases, I would start with card stock paper, or several sheets of paper stapled together. After they’ve explored, it’s a good idea to let them know that these things might happen and talk about why – what happens when paper gets wet, why these things happen, etc. It’s great to use scientific thinking to answer questions like these (i.e.: develop a working hypothesis, test it, create knowledge, evaluate, etc). There are also rubber gloves, or plastic gloves in those cases.
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