Friday, 3 October 2014

Toddler Creations: Blue collage

This was one of my all time favourite activities to set up in my Reception classrooms. A large collage in one or two colours to work on collaboratively. Its a great activity to support sharing and discussion, it can help reluctant talkers talk as they focus on painting or sticking and it can be used for all sorts of great displays either as is or when cut up.

I decided in our week of colour based activities to set something similar up for L, I decided on blue as we are also making links back to our visit to the Tate Modern and the Matisse exhibition a few months ago.

I set up paints in a foil tray I had kept because the teacher in me knew it would come in handy. Its large open and low sided which is perfect for little hands to get into with a variety of brushes and stamps.

Taping the paper to the table is handy whenever painting with small children, even more so in this case because we took the painting outside. Just changing the location of an activity can engage children in different ways. Things can become boring and uninspired if it is always in the same place. For us taking something outside also means that L, who only lasts a short time at these activities, could wonder off covered in paint and it not be too much of an issue.

We also set up a water bowl and cloth for cleaning up. This is something L really enjoys doing for herself and sometimes gets very concerned if the paint is on her hands. This self care skill of washing hands in definitely a skill for life and something easy for toddlers to start with, especially when its set up like this.

I was pretty pleased with our efforts, and yes Mummy did do some, but its all modelling for my little lovely.

The next day I set up pencils, crayons and chalks, also all in blue for self selection and experimentation.

After this I turned our attentions towards something a bit more challenging, sticking and gluing. This is something L had enjoyed at previous art classes but was not something we had done at home. Again I kept the set up as simple as possible. One pot of glue and one brush for it alongside a small selection of blue things to choose to stick on.

We are going to use the end result to make a sign for our creation area at home. But you could just as easily make paper bunting or choose a small part to keep and frame. It takes time but the results are all the better for it. I also find that limiting the pallet gives the whole thing a very cohesive feel.

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