create (with kids): vertical painting

By freshlyplanted - 7:54 PM

What do you get when you combine paint, a ziploc bag, and a window? Early literacy skills! Does that surprise you as much as it did me? While I taught English, it was never to little people and so I've had lots to learn with the process of teaching someone how to become reading-ready. It turns out that creating on a vertical surface- whether it's writing or drawing or painting- helps to build arm muscles, confirms the "up and down" of writing, and helps to improve hand-eye coordination. And last, but not least, it's fun!

To begin with, you'll need a ziploc bag (You might consider splurging for name-brand or freezer bags for extra strength against little nails). Then you'll add your paint to your bag. We did all three primary colors, which did inevitably turn into brown at the end. Next time I think it would be fun to add only two primary colors to really focus on the new color that develops. 

Then you get to poke...

 ...and squeeze...

and write! Isia enjoyed this for a long time, and continued to come back to it throughout the day. Billy toddled over at one point and wanted to join in the fun too. He loved poking at it although he really wanted to rip it down. To keep it on the window, and not all over my floor, I ended up taping not only the top of the bag but the sides too. It worked! 

Color mixing notes: The lighter a color is, the less pigment it has. So it's very easy for another color with more pigment to change it. For example, it takes only one or two drops of blue to turn a batch of yellow into green. However, it would take batches of yellow to have the same effect on blue. Coincidentally, if you do only use one or two colors make sure you give greater priority to the lighter color. For the primary colors: yellow is the lightest color of all, red is darker than yellow, and blue is the darkest of all. Also once the colors are mixed in your bag, and everyone's curiosity had waned, don't forget to snip off a bottom corner and squeeze out your newly mixed paint to use in another project (smile).

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