Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Painless Painting


Ever since I visited a Montessori classroom, I have been using this method to enable my small children to paint pictures as often as possible with as little trouble for me, and without a permanently messy table or corner.  I keep individual colors of watercolor paint, cut-up rectangles of paper, a small brush and a bottle cap on a small tray on top of the refridgerator. When my children need something to do, I take it down and let them paint.  The key to low mess is keeping the amounts of paint and water small.  Like the Montessori teacher suggested, I cut up plastic strips of watercolors from the store into individual colors so that small children can focus on one task: using the brush correctly.  I show them how to 'tickle' the paint gently with the brush with the very end of the bristles in order to make a painting. 


Older children can have more colors so that they can experiment with mixing colors (what do yellow and blue make when you put them together?) or with creating their own masterpieces.  The tiny bottle cap of water ensures that there's not much mess to clean up, and the small paintings don't take up much space on the table for drying or on the wall for displaying.

8 comments:

Sarah said...

This is a great idea! I especially like the use of a bottle cap for the water. So. smart.

Elizabeth said...

Wonderful idea - the thought of little ones painting always causes me stress.

Elenatintil said...

What a fantastic idea! I'll have to keep this in mind for when I have my own little ones!

Mary said...

I agree! A bottle cap is a great idea!! So is the suggestion to keep the tray on top of the fridge! Perfect! (Hmmm...I might have to stack about five of them up there, but still!) Thank you!

Kristyn said...

I love the "less is more" mentality of all things Montessori. When I was a little girl I visited my aunt's Montessori school on occasion and I can still remember how much the orderliness appealed to me.

Laurence from France said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laurence from France said...

With our 14mth old, it doesn't strike her inner creative genius YET. I'm glad we tried though. Kind thoughts.

izyperspective said...

I teach art to children and am always looking for ideas. I like the idea of having them focusing on one task at a time. Teaching is such an art in itself.