Last week for the toddler art group I taped a variety of materials to the studio tables with the idea of letting the kiddos explore what it felt and looked like to draw and paint on the different surfaces.
Here's the before photo. The tables are covered with crumpled aluminum foil, paper towels, wool, a plastic freezer bag, a row of wooden popsicle sticks, a sheet of fingerpaint paper, colored tissue paper, the insert to an acrylic box frame, some plastic easter eggs, and a plastic paint palette. In other words, surfaces with a variety of textures and colors that I thought would be interesting to draw and paint on. Other ideas include corrugated cardboard, bubble wrap, fabric, wax paper, sticky contact paper, sandpaper, and a mesh bag (the kind that onions or lemons are sold in sometimes). There are so many fun possibilities!
First I put out the Crayola Twistables Slick Stix (oil pastels in hard plastic cases — I love these for toddlers!) so they could experiment with drawing on the different surfaces.
After they drew for a while, I set out some tempera paints and chubby brushes. Here Joe is painting on the plastic freezer bag with one hand and on the aluminum foil with the other.
Even 13 month old Fiona, one of our newest members, seemed excited about the materials!
This is definitely a process-not-product activity. It's very exploratory and seemed perfect for the toddlers, but I actually think older kids would enjoy it as well. Perhaps I'll set one up for Maia soon…