Oct 3, 2012

Toddler Art Class: Water Painting

Painting with water on stone, a Zen art form that delights toddlers!

Art Project:  Water Painting 
slate tiles (I used 6" squares found at a local home improvement store in packs of 4 for $3.50)
paintbrushes of various sizes
cotton balls
cotton swabs (Q-tips)
shallow bowls
cardboard or paper bags (optional)


cover art 

Puddle jumping : a book about bravery / Quay, Emma  

Music to make art by:  

Coal Train Railroad by Coal Train Railroad 

What kids do:
--Use the different tools provided (paintbrushes, cotton balls, etc) to "draw" with water on the stones.
--Some kids drew intricate designs while others focused on getting their whole slate soaked, both sides!

--If they soaked an entire slate and still wanted more painting experience, I gave them a piece of thin cardboard (simliar to a cereal box) to paint on.

--One girl loved to "paint" her fingernails with the water, while others loved dabbing their faces with the wet cotton balls.

Hindsight Tips & Notes: 
--I was concerned that the slates wouldn't dry between classes, but within 15 minutes even the most wet tiles were dry.  I did dab them off with paper towels if there was visible standing water on them.
--One slate did break a corner when dropped and the edges were a bit sharp.  This project works best over carpet or other soft surfaces for that reason.
--The back sides of the tiles had a ridged surface (to help grout grip) which provided a different texture to experiment with.

 Variations to try: 
If the weather is nice, this is a great project to take outdoors.  Use large paintbrushes (the kind you'd use to paint walls), maybe even rollers and let them paint the sidewalks or driveways!

Adult Challenge:
I once again challenged the adults in the room to "just watch" to see what their child chose to do.  There is really no wrong way to do this project (okay, jamming the Q-tips in your ears or throwing the tiles might be discouraged!), so just sit back and let your child create on their own! 

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