Sunday, September 16, 2012

Patience at Paint

When I reflect on how I began to introduce areas to the children last year, I realized that everything started too quickly and there was too much! Even though we focused on putting minimal and purposeful materials out for the children, I don't think we took things as slowly as we could have.

This year, our goal was to take things really slowly. It is hard I will admit, especially since I am not the most patient person. However, I will say that I have never been so impressed and inspired by the children and their art...and it is only week 2!

This year we have taken turns sitting with the children at paint. We began by looking at the materials that were out in the paint area.

We have our paint brushes organized in large mason jars to allow the children choice in the type and size of brush that they use. We have small, medium and large brushes. We had a conversation about what we may use a small brush for - one child said "babies are small, we need a small brush for that!". Another child added that "small brushes are good for making eyes and noses". We discussed when we may use a medium or large brush as well.

After examining the brushes we talked about how to use a paint brush. Although it seems simple, painting is a skill that needs to be thought about and discussed! Perhaps a more important skill at the beginning of the year is the always daunting mixing of paint. We had water and paper towel for the children so that they could wash their brush when they changed colours.

They quickly understood the concept of changing colours and how it would change the paint if we didn't wash our brush. Of course later in the year or when their interest peaks, we will explore mixing colours and paint.

It is a beautiful thing to quietly watch a child create art. Their thought process and actions fascinate me. Some children have a clear plan that they quickly set out with, other children simply make marks on the page and determine what it is as they are working or when they finish.

By having conversations and painting alongside the children this week, their attention to detail and patience in painting was remarkable. Some children took over 20 minutes to create their masterpieces!

I am so glad that we are being patient as we bring paint into our room and I am really looking forward to how it will impact their art process throughout the year.

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