Outside may have been a far cry from frigid, but the PTLL craft area was white as snow.Toddlers, Twos and Threes Art Groupgot fun and fluffy this week, experimenting with cotton balls and tempera paints. Never ones to fear a mix of textures and paint, our little artists got right into it.
Getting started is super fun. Make sure to have your kids feel the pile of cotton balls first. Ask them what they feel, them have them tear apart one of the balls to see how the texture, shape, and size changes. If they like, have them build a temporary sculpture out of the fluff and dismantle it one ball at a time as they use them for painting and other possible crafts.
The simplest painting method is to use the cotton balls like they would use a paintbrush. The kids dipped each ball in the paint and then smeared it around the page. Blending colors is especially easy with cotton balls, so encourage your kids to combine colors and see what new colors they can produce on their paintings. Point out difference in application – Where on the page is the paint heavier and where is it lighter? Where do the colors combine and where do they fade? Asking questions helps kids learn a vocabulary to associate with being creative.
Once your kids master painting with the cotton balls – and it won’t take long – have them explore the many ways to use the balls on the page. The fluff easily sticks to the paint, so have them use it in the work they create. They can even paint on top of the fluff for additional texture to their painting. Compare and contrast the brightness of the paint on the white cotton to the paint on the page.
Used cotton balls can be discarded or hydrated to use as texture for other projects. Kids don’t often like to use the same ball once there is already paint on it, but you can reduce the amount of balls you use by tearing them into halves before the painting begins.
As always, don’t forget to have fun and be a little messy!
Toddlers, Twos and Threes Art Group meets every Wednesday at 10 am and is open to all members and visitors (with paid admission to PTLL’s playspace). The group is run by Megan Spak and Elisabeth Moyer, with assistance by Emily Fear.