Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Art and Cooperation


Do you have some of those "go to" activities? Ones that you use often or pull in when the time seems right? Well, I probably have a lot of those. But one of them is marble painting with a friend.

We use an oatmeal box, paint, and (of course) marbles. Slide paper in the box. Drop marbles in paint; use a spoon to scoop them out and drop them in the box. Put on the lid. Roll the box back and forth with a friend.


I really like this activity because kids work together and it's fun and the painting is very self-contained. I don't mind a little mess but it's great to paint with minimal possibilities of spatter. And my more paint-averse friends like it, too. (Of course I usually still go home with paint on my hands...or somewhere on me!)

When we last did this activity, we had three friends who wanted to paint at the same time. I also like this activity because it is expandable. Just add three friends around a table and they can roll in to one another. You don't just need to use two kids.


Of course, you must do it three times so each child can take a painting home. (If that's important to your kids - or you.) But I don't think they cared. That was just more rolling and fun together!


This is a great activity for cooperation. It's difficult to do this activity alone. And often, kids that don't normally work together will do this together. If someone comes to the table to do it alone, I say that my friend needs someone to help. I always get at least one volunteer to partner up!

These three boys had a great time painting. Then, later, I saw them working together to construct in the blocks center. Would they have done that anyway? Possibly. But I think their cooperative efforts in painting helped them feel as a "team" and work together in other ways, too.

An art activity that helps teach social skills? I'll take it.

(Here's another post about marble painting together.)

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