Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Just Add a Pencil

Do your kids surprise you? The group I have now have surprised me off and on throughout this year. They also remind me that being flexible and saying yes are important to learning.

This week we were painting with cookie cutters.

Painting with cookie cutters (Brick by Brick)

We set up the table with paint, cookie cutters, and smocks. Ready for kids to come and get to work. We always put out pencils, too, to write names on paintings.

The first girl came to the table and asked about the materials. (I used my stand-by line: "Look at what's on the table. What do you think we might do?") She thought the pencils were to trace the cookie cutters. I told her she could do that or she could paint with the cutters or....

Painting with cookie cutters (Brick by Brick)

Other children came and went from the table. They painted. Of course, the results were mixed, as usual. Some made prints with some or all of the cutters. Some made multiple prints with the same cutter. Some make repeated prints on top of one another. The "usual" results of this type of activity.

Painting with cookie cutters (Brick by Brick)

Painting with cookie cutters (Brick by Brick)

Painting with cookie cutters (Brick by Brick)

Painting with cookie cutters (Brick by Brick)

Painting with cookie cutters (Brick by Brick)

A boy went to the table to paint. "What's the pencil for?" he asked me.

"I put it there so you could write your name," I said.

"And I could use it to make an eye for my fish," he said. I told him that was a great idea.

He worked at the table for a while, longer than I expected. I was involved in a complicated matching game at another table so I wasn't at the art table.

We put materials away and began to gather for our group learning time. The boy was still working at the art table. I walked over to check on him and begin to clean up the painting materials. Here's what I saw he had done.

Painting with cookie cutters (Brick by Brick)

He used the pencil to create an entirely unique scene. That's art.

I love when children make me think about things in a different or new way. We've mixed pencils and painting before. But these results were great!

Just add a pencil. And a little ingenuity and creativity of a 5-year-old!

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