Sep 2, 2015

Toddler Art Class: String Painting

Experimenting with color blending and the patterns and textures string can create.  (a guest post by Rebecca Pettyjohn)

Art Project: Painting with string rolls and stampers
Toilet paper tubes
Paper towel tubes
Egg cartons
Big sheets of paper
Paint, washable tempera in primary colors

I got my inspiration for the rollers here: But did not have enough rolling pins. So we made our own:


  cover art The line / Bossio, Paula 

I loved the chance to model reading a wordless picture book in a storytime setting. Using our imagination to narrate what we saw on the page and what the little girls imagined she could do with her string. A fun way to set the tone.

 What kids do:

Make patterns with string art (egg cartons wrapped in string) stampers 

Or just use the stampers to blend and swirl their yellow and red to make orange.

Or throw the string idea right out the window because those egg carton bottoms make just cool patterns! 
Especially when there are a ton of them!

Use the rollers to blend primary colors.

And make line patterns all over the tables:

Experiment with the textures the string can make on the painted surface.

The ends of the tubes make great stamps too.

 (this is what happens when you next decide to make the tube into an elephant nose...)

Or dismantle those pesky rollers to you can just use the string!

Hindsight tip:

We changed the way we used the paint from the first class to the second. Initally, we just had paint on paper plates without enough room to roll, and not a lot of autonomy on how the kiddos wanted to mix their colors. We ended up with enthusiastic mixers and just a lot of paint on their hands rather than being rolled or stamped on the paper. We changed it in the second class to the paint in long lines on the tables, drawing on the idea of “the line” again and giving each child more space to mix and explore. It worked so much better. Definitely an outside and messy activity, and need smocks or shirts, but a success. 

Variations to try:

-        Actual string art with string not on rollers or stampers, but possible an older child activity

-        Mirror images with string: (especially if you want a take home art piece, but we were more focused on large communal pictures)

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