Monday, 13 August 2012

Playgroup art and craft: Chalk drawing and water painting

Our first mild and sunny playgroup day in a long time called for outdoor activities. I put out some buckets of water and paintbrushes so children could 'paint' with water and do chalk drawings on the concreted section outside. 

A little later I put out a couple of easels - one with a blackboard on each side; one with paper and paints. 'Painting' the blackboard proved very popular, and in the sunshine the water dried up quickly. 

For many people these kinds of activities are too messy to do at home, or they lack the space in which to do them, so I like to offer them regularly at playgroup. Painting with a big flat brush is such a good feeling - the smoothness of the water as it coats the blackboard; the gloopiness of the paint gliding across the paper. It's a lovely example of the importance of process over product, especially the water painting which is done purely for the pleasure of the experience, the pictures or marks made soon disappearing completely. 

I watched one boy painting water lines on the concrete, totally absorbed by what he was doing. It reminded me of how my own son, at age 2 or so, loved to 'paint' with an old broom-head and water from my mum's bird-bath. It is such a privilege to spend time with little children as they explore their world.

K preparing to paint with water from mum's bird-bath - many years ago!

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