When working the Art Porch, we encourage parents to set up creative art projects that are open-ended, creative and enjoyable for young children. In keeping with The Oaks’ philosophy it is important to offer a minimum of direction and to emphasize the process rather than the product.
Be ready to listen if the children volunteer information about their art. Please do not offer advice, do not evaluate their artwork (e.g. “that’s a good/pretty/beautiful/gorgeous picture”), do not interrupt their work, and do not ask them what they are painting. Simply enjoy watching the children create their own art.
There are a wide variety of art projects that the children enjoy at the Art Porch, including:
- Easel painting – The easels are set up with paper, brushes and paints in plastic cups with snap on lids. Try mixing paint colors with white to provide a spectrum of colors.
- Painting on acrylic easel surface – Children can also paint directly onto the easel surface (without paper). A print may be made of their finished work. The easel surface is washed off before the next child paints.
- Finger painting – Use the finger paint boards stored in the outside art cabinets. Give each child a dollop of one or two colors. A print may be made of the child’s finished design by pressing a paper gently over the board. 3. Murals – Spread out a large piece of butcher paper on the table and let the children do a group painting or printing activity.
- Printmaking – Use paints and print with found objects such as leaves or kitchen utensils onto paper. The cupboards also contain various sponge shapes designed for printing with paints.
- Fish Printing (Gyotaku Fish printing) – Children can paint onto the rubber fish and then gently press a piece of paper on top to make a fish print.
The Art Porch is a wonderful area to bring new and creative projects; don’t be limited to simply painting on the easels.
- At 10:15 AM you can begin cleaning the Art Porch in preparation for a sensory activity.
- At 10:45 AM set out a sensory activity on the Art Porch table. These activities include play dough, water play, birdseed, flax seed, moon sand or other sensory activities. All of these supplies are stored in the Art Porch cupboards.
After Circle Time please tidy the Art Porch and put away all the supplies, sweep the ground and clean the table for lunch.
Creative ideas that work at the Indoor Art Table and Art Porch:
- Tabletop painting: Paint cups are filled and put in shoe boxes with cut-outs to fit the cups. Paper is placed on the table for painting.
- “Thing” painting: Paper of any size is used with small containers of paint in one, two or three colors. Children use different objects to paint with–cotton swabs, cotton balls, empty thread spools, corks, popsicle sticks, tongue depressors, cosmetic sponges, toothbrushes, cardboard tubes, marbles, and straws.
- Printing: Printing can be done with many different kind of objects, sponges, kitchen utensils, large flat wooden or vinyl animals. The paint is put on a piece of carpet padding in a pie pan. The children dip their sponge in the paint and then make a print with it on the paper.