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Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Kids Art: Folded Paper Paint Blobs

Kids Art: Folded Paper Paint Blobs
This folded paper paint blob activity was Ana's favorite when she was about 2½. Now that Oggie is 2½ I was curious to see if he would find it as interesting as Ana did. All I needed by way of motivation was a simple "you can try it with Oggie" which was suggested by Ana's teacher not too long ago :)

Their personalities are such that, whereas Ana never used to gush and talk non-stop at that age, Oggie is a chatterbox. So, he was able to tell me, "I love doing this blue rain drop paint. This is so fun."

Items used: colored 9x12 construction paper (or any other paper handy), scissors, tempera paints, dropper (I used an old medicine dropper)
optional: artist smock or apron, vinyl or plastic mat for protecting work surface
  1. Cut the construction paper in half or even smaller if preferred
  2. Fold each piece in half to make a crease so it is easy for the toddler to open and fold the paper
  3. Dilute tempera paint with a small amount of water so it is still thick not watery, but can be picked up with a dropper
  4. Open a pre-folded piece of paper, drop some paint blobs, fold back and smooth down with hands, open out again
  5. Voilà!

Kids Art: Folded Paper Paint Blobs

Since this particular dropper is easy for the little fingers to squeeze, Oggie wanted me to leave him alone so he can explore to his heart's content. It must've seemed like magic to him when he dropped some paint, folded and smoothed with his little hands, and opened it out to reveal not the drops he put in but something entirely different.

He did keep asking for more paper though. I had reserved 6 sheets of construction paper cut in half - 6 pieces for Og and 6 for Ana, but seeing Og's joy, Ana voluntarily gave up most of her papers explaining she gets to do it in school so she can forgo at home...

The best part for me is, after each paint blob "design", along the lines of the infamous Rorschach inkblot test, I wait for the kids to tell me what they see. Whereas Oggie saw a pair of seashells in one, Ana described the same as a person upside down with large owl-like eyes. One was a butterfly, another was a pair of mittens and so on...

I like the metallic tempera paints which have a nice sheen and look wonderful on dark paper. Oggie loves all things blue and asked for just the blue paint first.

For slightly older kids, can guide them to create a paint blob butterfly, with paint drops of various colors. Or for that matter, any other symmetric pattern as the folded paper makes it easy.

Of course, after the first 15 or 20 minutes of focused open-drop-paint-fold-smooth-down-open-again-lookit-i-made-a-<blah> it was inevitable that, "I have blue hands now" would follow as Oggie started smearing the paint all around and on himself. Which is fine with me. It's easy clean-up, washable, non-toxic tempera paints anyway and this gets him to learn about color-mixing...

The artist smock I had made for Ana when she was a toddler - sparingly used as she is such a neat and dainty worker - is quite handy for Oggie The Messy Boy.

I have a running list of favorite art activities for kids - things we explore first and if it happens to be a hit, we revisit on and off, spaced out enough to not become stale and repetitive. So far Ana's favorites seem to be:
melted crayon stained glass,
water color and cling wrap,
abstract masking - rubber cement, as well as using masking tape (à la Piet Mondrian)
oil pastel or crayon resist,
glue and chalk pastel,
bubble painting,
textured paper for using in larger cut-paper collage work

Maybe as I do more such art activities with Og, I can make a list his favorites to revisit as well.

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At 4:27 AM, Blogger Kristine said...

Hi Sheela,
This was a fascinating read. i find it really interesting that your two are so different and engage in different ways yet enjoy the same activities.

At 1:25 PM, Blogger Sheela said...

Thanks, Kristine. For every few we activities we try, I get lucky and one of them appeals to both... Despite offering similar activities, it is surprising for me as well to see how Oggie naturally leans towards more "boy"ish things - the wired-in concepts (thanks to genes) that are hard to miss... not any conscious gender-bias, of course :)


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