Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Gluing for Collage and Construction

This week we focused on gluing. We started off using colored glue on wax paper and adding collage materials to the glue. The kids were encouraged to squeeze out as much glue as possible! Once dry, the design can be peeled off the wax paper and hung in the window (but that requires lots of glue). If there's not enough glue, or the glue is scattered, the whole thing can be hung in a window- The glue and wax paper are transparent, so the light shines through the glue and creates silhouettes of the collage pieces.

For the 1s group, I added more paint to the glue so that it was easier to squeeze.

While some children were busy working at the table, others were learning how to operate a glue gun! (This was just for the 3 and the 4 year olds) I set out a large cardboard box and lots of found materials to glue to the box. Glue guns are such interesting tools because the glue dries instantly. They allow you to build in a way that wouldn't be possible to do with regular glue.

I first used low temperature glue guns, but they were still a little hot, so I switched to "cold shot" glue guns that are perfect for little ones.

An instant sculpture to take home!

The 1s and 2s classes were given regular glue and paint to use on the collaborative sculpture.

Some of the children worked on painting projects when they were finished gluing. I'm loving our new roll of white paper for painting on the floor!

It was a rainy week, but the sun peeked out occasionally and we managed to get some creative time outside!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Different Types of Collage and Action Painting

For the second week of the session, I decided to try a new form of collage with the 2, 3s, and 4s... hammer collage! First, I needed to find hammers that were small enough for toddlers, but still strong enough to drive a nail into foam. I searched three hardware stores and was unsuccessful. As I was leaving the third store, I began to eye the PVC pipe section, wondering if there was any way to use a plastic pipe as a hammer. The owner of the store, who was helping me in my search, saw my curious look and said, "How about this?!" He took a small PVC pipe, another one in the shape of a T, some rubber plugs and an end cap and began to assemble the perfect toddler hammer!
For the base of the collage, I glued together a few foam pieces to make it thick enough for the nail. We began by practicing our hammering skills with golf tees, to make sure everyone could safely drive a nail.

Once I was confident in the children's hammering skills, I offered them a small cup of nails (with large heads and fairly blunt ends) and an assortment of collage materials. They put the items onto the foam and created a design by hammering them in place.

It was great to see kids helping each other when they had a hard time holding the nail in place.
With a new found love of scissors, many kids decided to cut their own materials for the collage. Then, when one child realized that she couldn't nail a tube-shaped cardboard to her foam, she asked for tape. This lead the other kids to create tape collages with colored masking tape.

As the children began to finish their collages, I offered them paper and markers for "challenge" drawings, like the ones we painted last week. Just as I had predicted, the markers worked better than the paint to prompt circle drawings.

In the 1s class we worked on collages, but instead of using hammers we used clear contact paper. The children chose their collage items and placed them onto the sticky side of the contact paper.
We had some older siblings join us who were very helpful!

After working on sticky collages, I offered the children large finger paint paper, a plate of paint, rollers and a variety of tools from the shelf.

With most of the 1s class absent last week, I decided to bring back the watery squeeze paints. This time, I put a long absorbent paper on the ground and demonstrated "action painting," which is what Jackson Pollock was known for. The paint was flying all over, mostly landing on the paper, but also making some pretty puddles on the floor!

When the paint was all squeezed out, the kids found some brushes on the shelf and used them to move the paint around the paper.
The bucket of soapy water offered a fun, easy clean-up!
Our collaborative action painting:
Contact paper collage, hung in the window:

Monday, March 14, 2011

Color Mixing- All ages

It's a new session with very experienced, returning students! For the 2s, 3s and 4s, I was confident that they were ready to pump their own paint for our color mixing project so I set up a color bar. Each child was given a few cups and brushes to create their own colors. They brought one cup up at a time and pumped out their choice of the primary colors (red, blue, and yellow) then added white to make lighter tints (I used old gallons of paint and mixed in plenty of water so the kids could pump out as much as they pleased. I knew that the pumping would probably be more exciting than the painting, so using watered down paint was a good way to cut down on the waste!)

When they returned to their seats, they stirred and painted to check out the colors they had made.

For the 1s class, I offered them squeeze bottles with watered down tempera instead of pumping it straight from the gallon.
Once they mixed their paints, I offered them tissue paper shapes to use in their paintings. Sometimes we found that they had mixed a color that exactly matched a tissue shape.

The children began to collect new tools from the shelf to use with their paintings (mostly cars, combs, and whisks).

As the children moved around to work at the easels, I switched out their finished paintings with new paper that had circles and squares cut out of it. This was partly to continue the shape theme from the tissue paper, but also to see if the cut out shapes inspired them to paint differently. I got this idea from the Artful Parent, but she used markers which seems to make a difference- maybe next time we'll try that.
The kids began to experiment with pouring their paint onto the paper without mixing it. This created a marble effect that they could swirl and move around the paper... this is where the messy art really began!

In one of the 2s classes, the children were obsessed with pumping the paints from the gallon jugs (even though the paint began to squirt in all directions and was splattering all over them!).
I didn't want it to squirt in their face, so I threw a mat on the floor, moved the paint jugs down to the mat and let them go at it. This photo is a little blurry, but you get the idea! Then the kids took off their shoes and squished their toes in the colorful puddle. It was too slippery to keep it going for long, but it was fun while it lasted!
I wanted to offer a similar experience for the 1s class without the slip factor, so I set up a paint puddle station on the water table outside. We also experimented with making prints of our swirly colors.
Towards the end of class, the 2s groups requested scissors to practice cutting. This was a nice calm ending to a super fun, super messy day.