Jul 25, 2013

Toddler Art Class: Drip, Drop & Spin


Salad spinners and coffee filters make fun art outside the kitchen!

Art Projects:  Spin Art & Coffee Filter Color Blending 
salad spinners (I found mine at thrift stores and library staff donated a few)
small, uncoated paper plates (or cardstock cut into circles small enough to lay flat in the bottom of your salad spinner)
small squeeze bottles
eye droppers
liquid watercolors or food coloring
coffee filters

  cover art Monsters love colors / Austin, Mike
Music to make art by:  

cover art You are my sunshine [sound recording] / Mitchell, Elizabeth

 What Kids Do:
The weather was gorgeous and the projects were messy, so we moved the class out to the back sidewalk behind the library today.  It was a bit of a tight squeeze, but otherwise the location was fantastic!

 I'd originally only planned to do the Spin Art, but soon realized that 5 salad spinners and 15 kids is not a happy ratio, so I added this extra project in.  Each table got a few plastic cups of liquid watercolor and a handful of eyedroppers and each kid got a coffee filter or two.  The kids enjoyed learning to coordinate an eye dropper and made some truly beautiful "watercolor paintings."

 This young artist tried drawing with the tip of the dropper, and had mixed success.

The salad spinner Spin Art project was a new one for Toddler Art Class.  I'm torn about this project because the kids can't do this one on their own (my donated and thrifted spinners aren't particularly easy to operate), but everyone always enjoys it so much that I thought I'd give them a try.  It was a big hit!  You put the paper plate (or cardstock cut into a circle) in the bottom of the spinner, drip some paint on it, close the salad spinner, spin it as hard as you can, open it up and see what you've made!  Not quite right yet?  Add more paint and spin again!

 Even the edges of the spinner are beautiful!
 Still not sure you love that splattered look?  You can always continue your art project with your fingers!

Hindsight Tip: --the small-sized uncoated (cheapie, flimsy kind) paper plates are surprisingly difficult to find and at the last minute, I ended up having parents cut their paper into a circle to fit.  This was actually probably more expensive than the paper plates would have been, it was more wasteful and more time consuming.  Get the plates if you can find them!
--I divided paint into tiny squeeze bottles to prevent giant globs of paint that wouldn't spin well and would take forEVER to dry.  This was a good idea, BUT I had to re-fill the bottles between each class which was a bit hectic and messy.  Note to self:  consider purchasing 30 more squeeze bottles.
--I was lucky enough to snag some teen volunteers working at my library to wash the dishes after this class.  There was a LOT to wash (and I'd cut my finger on one of the salad spinners) and I am so grateful that they were willing to do my "dirty work!"  Find volunteers to help with dishes and to help fill those squeeze bottles if you can!

 Variations to try: 
If you don't have eye droppers, I also love to let the artists draw on coffee filters with washable markers and then squirt them with water in spray bottles.  It leaves a similar effect with a different tool (and slightly less chance of stained clothes or carpet).

Adult Challenge:  Ask open-ended questions!

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