Painting is today’s play-of-the-day for some kindergarten readiness and Valentine fun and learning. Kids can paint with anything: brushes, hands, feet, fingers, marbles, wheeled toys, q-tips, rollers, dabbers, and salad spinners. Paint can be practically anything too: food coloring, water paints, candies soaked in water, fruit juices, and vegetable peels. This time of year, any art cut into a heart shape looks great for Valentine’s.
We used some paint dabbers on coffee filters to make a sort of tie-dye valentine. Because the paint soaks thru, it’s really important to protect the table with some newspaper or plastic. First, adult hands cut out a heart shape and then child hands folded the heart in half, and then half again. Little Sister needed some help, but Big Sister did it by herself. Then came dabbing on the paint. When held still for just a few seconds the paint soaked right thru to the other side. While they were drying, we sang 1 little, 2 little, 3 little valentines, all the way to 10 and back again.
As children are painting, they are:
- experimenting with ways to express themselves and their creativity,
- exploring their own ideas and stretching their imaginations,
- strengthening small muscles in the fingers, hands, and arms,
- building concentration and attention skills,
- practicing making pictures on paper and in their minds (visualization),
- discovering what happens when colors are mixed together,
- learning new vocabulary such as lighter or darker, swirls, zig-zag, etc,
- and extending language to explain what they are doing.
This activity was pretty short and it took longer to dry the hearts than to paint them. When dry, it was a surprise to unfold the hearts and see what they looked like. They are so colorful, we can use them on the window. What can of heart art is happening at your house?