Saturday, November 7, 2009

Mommy & Me

Can I say I'm an expert in "pre-school" art since I have a four-year old?? Fortunately, she LOVES art and is always willing to be my guinea pig for any new project. I started doing "Mommy & Me" classes once a month this fall so we could have some fun together with our friends. We had a blast in our first session painting landscapes without traditional brushes. Here's what we did, and below I've also listed some things that I've discovered work well with younger children.

Supplies: I used the back of paper grocery bags for our paper-they are free, a great size and durable. Just cut out the side that isn't printed, or you can use the back of the printed side if you like. Tempera paint in various colors. Cut sponges, sponge rollers, sea sponges, foam brushes.
Have fun with it, but be specific (I was working with 3 & 4 year olds)-For example, I started off by asking what they see when they go outside and look up? They answered "the sky". What color is the sky? "blue" Let's find the blue on your paint plate and paint the sky on your paper. Point to where the sky will be--will it be at the top or the bottom of your paper? "the top". Then I instructed the moms to show their child where to draw a blue line (for the horizon line) with the foam brush. Next they need to have the child paint everything above it blue. I continued this questioning process with the clouds, the sun, the grass, trees, flowers and the house. Ask questions about colors, shapes, lines and directions. The painting above was done by my 4-year old daughter during class. She did it all by herself-love the pink roof! They all turned out really cute, and I was impressed how well they all followed instructions and stayed engaged in the project.

My tips for painting with young kids (ages 3-6):

1.Focus on shapes and color, not on skills or outcome (it's about the process)
2. Don't present a sample before hand-it can discourage or want to make it "just like that one"- demos as you are explaining work well-I have my little one demo for me.
3. Go with the flow-if they really want to paint a cow and you're painting cats, let them.
4. Use big brushes, crayons, pencils, etc., so they won't get bogged down in the details.
5. Let them mix colors on the paper
6. Have everything prepared and ready to go for project-no waiting for next steps
7. Use smocks or aprons and have lots of baby wipes for messy hands
8. Don't paint or draw things for them, just specific give instructions (draw a circle, now, where do the ears go? Draw triangles where you just pointed.....etc.)
9. Limit session to around 30 minutes.
10. Lots of praise on the process-"You've done great covering your paper with this pretty blue", "What nice, big brush strokes".
11. Don't ever try to "guess" what something is. For example, "I love how you used the pink here", (Hopefully they will tell you it's a pig).
12.Keep your groups small (I did 4 kid/mom pairs)

1 comment:

  1. OH yay! I look forward to seeing more Mommy and Me ideas!


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