We have a painting day as part of our weekly schedule. Currently it is every Tuesday. I try to have everything set up for after naptime. As I was setting things up this week I thought I could share with you what we do.
At the moment I am inspired by the wet on wet painting as done in the Waldorf schools. They are so beautiful, and enable the child to focus on the experience of painting rather than feeling that they need to “paint something”.
I set things out on the table so that everything is prepared ahead of time. This (ideally) means that painting is a wonderfully therapeutic activity. On the days that I actually do have everything ready in advance I notice how much I love this activity. When I am rushing to get things ready as my daughter is talking to me about a variety of things I feel harried and don’t enjoy the experience anywhere near as much. Actually, she doesn’t seem to be anywhere near as absorbed on those days either. Hmmmm, I really should remember this.
Anyway, on an ideal day there will be the painting board (we have a large chopping board and also a large piece of MDF that we use instead of buying an actual painting board….maybe one day!). Upon this is the prepared paper (we learned the hard way that it is worth spending the money on good watercolor paper), the paint jars and the paintbrush.
We use these jars and they are wonderful. The jars can be sealed and put in the fridge for the next painting session. They are sturdy and the paint jars will not fall over….which is a huge plus in my opinion!
A side note on the brush. I read somewhere that placing the brush with the bristles closest to the painter makes it super easy for the painter to get a good grip in one step. It seems counter intuitive but try it…..truly it is fascinating. When placed this way the child will pick up the brush easily. But, if you place the brush with the handle closest to the painter actually when it is picked up there are more actions needed until a comfortable grip is found. I haven’t explained this very well, but try it out and hopefully you will see what I mean.