Thursday, August 2, 2012

Five tips for Painting with preschoolers

I did a workshop for preschoolers this summer called Messy Me. It's been awhile since I've done art with kids this age, since my youngest is now 7. This abstract was probably my favorite of the four projects we completed during the week. If you would like to see some of the other projects, click here or visit my facebook page at Sleepyhead Designs Studio. This painting project was done on a canvas panel with acrylic paints. Usually for this age group I prefer to use tempera, but with layers of paint, acrylic seems to work so much better.

We started out with cool colors and a big chunky brush. It took awhile for them to even cover their panel. Next time, I think I might make it a Mommy and Me class just so there is more one on one help:) Next they took brayers and rolled on a different cool color.

Stamping with a normal dollar store kitchen scouring sponge-love the texture it created. 

For the top layer, we introduced warm colors. I had lots of lids, bubble wrap and sponges they used to stamp on the top layer. The yellow stamp was the top of a cherry tomato container-created a beautiful star shape! I thought these turned out really cute!

Every time I teach a class I learn something new about teaching kids. Here's a few more things I learned about teaching the preschool age group.

1) Children at the 4-6 age group have a very short attention span-even a 1 hour class was too long. They got tired quickly of working on the same project and seeing it through to completion.  Lesson learned: Shorter sessions for the 4-5 age group.

2) Fine motor skills vary greatly at this age. Some can manipulate a paint brush, but some cannot. Lesson learned: When covering a large area, another method besides a paint brush might be helpful-like maybe a large sponge to spread the paint.

Brushes like this work great-click to see where to purchase.

3) Focus on fun and not so much on learning. My goals for learning for this workshop were colors, shapes and hands on art. Lesson learned: Make the lessons fun with the main goal being fun-not final outcome or learning. Let them learn to love to create. 

4) Learn to go with the flow :) Lesson learned: Be specific with directions and then give a demo, but don't set high expectations for final outcome. If you say stamp the color and next show them how, don't be disappointed when they stamp it and then take it and smear it all over the place-thats part of the fun for them!

5) They miss their mommies-a lot! And have to go to the bathroom-a lot! Lesson learned: Need lots of helpers or have class designed as mommy and me so there is lots of hands-on help. I had eight students and two teachers and felt like we needed more hands to help.

I would love to have your input on things you've learned about teaching this age group!
To find deals on canvas panels, click here.
To find great books like this one, click photo for more info.

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