If you’ve ever tried to make something you found on Pinterest, I’m sure you can identify with the idea that sometimes those ideas just don’t pan out the way “they” said. Today was an example of a successful experiment when we used the salad spinner to make spin art. The idea was to make monster faces (it’s almost Halloween) and the children chose not to do that, though they did have some good laughs at the few monster faces I made to show them what was possible.
Everyone’s spin art on the drying rack.
This activity turned into a great opportunity to practice squeezing and to use our knowledge of how to make hypotheses during an experiment.
“I can do it MYSELF”
We had tempera paint sticks to draw on the plates first and then there were four color choices to drip onto our plates before spinning them. We experimented with what would happen with a few droplets of paint versus big globs of paint and explored concepts of cause and effect as well as problem solving as we tested out fast and slow pushing of the spinner handle.
Drawing with tempera paint sticks first, then dripping paint to spin on top.
We also did some practice using the tempera cake paints. During circle time, we talked about how to use them successfully. The children described the way to get the most colorful paint by dipping the brush in the water, swishing it on the dry cake and then applying the brush to the paper.
Our collaborative painting made during circle time.
First, I made some red lines on one side of the paper that was taped to the white board. Then we took turns each adding a set of marks to the page.
Georgia takes a turn working on the collaborative painting.
It was good practice in waiting our turn and gripping the brush and making creative choices. And we even got a chance to do some social conflict resolution when one friend made marks that covered another friend’s marks. This was an awesome chance to work on negotiation skills as we talked together as a group about whether we all wanted a second turn to return to the painting and make another set of marks.
Collaboration is tricky for preschoolers, we got to practice taking turns and problem solving as we worked on our piece.
In the end, we had a beautiful painting full of interesting marks: some dry, some wet. And we even got to experiment with color mixing when one friend showed the others that if she swirled her brush on the red cake and then on the blue cake it would leave purple paint on the paper.
Doing collaborative work can be very hard for people of any age. And particularly difficult for children that have a strong sense of how they would like their work to look. It is an excellent opportunity to practice communication skills however, and the end result is often stunning and unique.