Anything involving paint always goes down well at playgroup. Inspired by this activity from laugh, paint, create! I put out some paper plates with a few blobs of spread-out paint on each one; an assortment of things to stamp with (paper cups, plastic containers, plastic forks, our playdough cookie cutters, straws) and some large pieces of paper. I showed the children how they could use these objects to print shapes on the paper, then let them go for it themselves.
I was envisaging beautiful abstract patterns, but as usual R had her own ideas and the very first thing she put down on her paper was this:
The children were especially interested in the way the colours blended together, producing a rainbow effect.
The results are quite attractive and I love the circles made by the paper cups. Most importantly for our multi-age playgroup, this activity is stimulating for a range of ages - a toddler can enjoy the simple act of dipping objects in paint and transferring it to paper; a preschooler can observe and discuss the different shapes made, the patterns produced and the effect when colours are combined. I'm sure that my 8-year-old would have enjoyed this too, had I allowed him to have the extra week of school holidays he tried to negotiate this morning!
Apart from washing the cutters and forks, cleaning up was a breeze thanks to the disposable plates. And I had a lovely helper when it came to vacuuming time. Isn't it great when children are still young enough to think that cleaning up is just another fun activity!