I spied several of my children using the cap of the paint jar to make circles over the past several weeks. Some viewed this as a misuse of materials. I thought perhaps it was the absence of materials needed to serve this interest in making circles. Last week, I put out a circle cookie cutter and a matching sized dish with white paint to be used for exactly that. They loved it and repeated the work again and again.
I don't suggest they make things like snowmen or such. Instead, I listen to their comments about their work.
"Many moons," was one of those.
In this short video, you can see the child putting such great effort into this work. His friends gathered around to watch. This was the first time he used the materials. Gosh, he really enjoyed himself.
The next day, I offered the same child, who was engaged in doing the circle work, three cookie cutters. These were to be used with the paint (a larger dish of paint to match the size of the cutters was also provided) so as to print those shapes onto the paper. The three offered were polar bear, fish and bird.
I have observed the significance of using similar/same images or patterns in regards to language acquisition and image identification. Simultaneously, these serve as a comfort for very young children. Via the consistency of images/patterns (polar bear, etc.), the child is more likely to accept their use with different materials (i.e., clay, paint, rubber stamps) and engage new work. Initially, these same three cookie cutters were offered for use with the salt dough work.
Exploring the world at large with known or familiar tools provides greater opportunities for focused work and academic/intellectual leaps.
to paint: imprinting/printmaking.
Material Note: Not having handles on the cookie cutters was the greatest challenge. It was difficult for the children to grasp them and hold onto them when they were printing an image. I am working on that.
Next - using the same tools to stamp/print tote-bags and...well, that is a secret - an end of the school year surprise. I have a plan and you know what happens when I do...