Monday, May 12, 2014

Painting with natural materials

Fancy getting creative but do not have any paint??? No problem! Reach into your fridge and cupboards and get creative. Today, we experimented by painting with beetroot, spinach, coffee, tea and curry powder (it was a bit stinky but very effective) This activity uses natural materials, so therefor it is safe for little ones to explore. You do not have to use the items we did, just get creative and raid those cupboards!!
From this to...

Who can play?
Due to the paint being from natural materials, I would recommend this activity for children aged around 8 months and above. Consideration needs to be given to the age and stage of development of the child.With young babies I would just use coloured yogurts, avocados or any other food that your child is being 'weened' on.

To make the natural paints, I had to use hot water. I would only recommend an adult do this stage to prevent potential scalding.
The liquid from the vegetables and coffee etc will stain clothing, so I highly recommend covering the table/easel and clothing with an apron.
If younger children are involved, use food that they have already tried and experiment with them on the paper

What do you need?
  • Half a beetroot,  half a cup of spinach, 1 tsp coffee granules, 1 tea bag and half a tsp of curry powder, but you can use anything in your fridge/cupboard that you think will make a coloured liquid
  • Hot water
  • Small containers to hold the home made paints
  • Paintbrushes
  • Paper
  • Apron
  • Newspaper to protect the table/painting easel
What did we do?
The first thing I had to do was make the 'paints'. To do this I placed each of the ingredients in their own container. I boiled some hot water and then poured one teaspoon in each of the containers. We spent a few minutes predicting the colours that each if our natural ingredients were going to make. 
The coffee and curry just needed a stir, but I left the beetroot, teabag and spinach to soak for around 5 minutes. Once I was happy with the colours, I removed them.
The natural paints 
Bee commented on how the natural materials made the hot water change colour. 
We talked about how the 'paint' smelled and which one we preferred. The coffee was her favourite and the curry she said was in her words 'pongy '.
It didn't take Bee long to start creating a natural masterpiece. She enjoyed using different techniques such as using the brush to make lines, swirls and splashed.
                                Experimenting with mark making                                
She held the teabag between her fingers and made marks going both up and down the paper, sometimes squeezing it to make it drip. Bee said it was getting quite messy, so she chose to daub her paintbrush on the top and then onto the paper.

Painting with the teabag
During this activity, Bee experimented with mixing the coloured liquids together. I introduced words such a light and dark when she had made a darker/lighter colour. 

Mixing colours
Bee enjoyed making her own paints and completely covered her paper. She had lots of fun and enjoyment and couldn't wait to show her Dad what she had been up to.
The final product...looks like a beautiful watercolor painting.
What did we learn?
  • Communication and language-Speaking, listening and talking about the things that they are doing.
  • Physical development- Fine manipulative skills when holding the paint brush and making marks across the paper.
  • Personal, social and emotional- Making relationships, social skills and developing a sense of smell. Fun and enjoyment and pride from finished product
  • Literacy- Mark making on the paper 
  • Mathematics- Shapes, space and  measurement when making marks on the paper.
  • Understanding of the world- Learning that you can make coloured water from food sources.
  • Expressive arts and design- Developing an awareness of colours and being creative with paint.

What could be done next?
  • Paint with mud outside. It is readily available and easy to wash off walls.
  • If you have any left over fruit and vegetables (after lunch/dinner) experiment with them instead of throwing them away.
  • Experiment with dying old clothes with the natural materials.

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