Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Droppers and Dabs

Even in the great state of Texas we have cold, rainy weeks. While I feel like curling up under a blanket with a great book, my boys usually prefer bouncing off the walls, the furniture or each other, which doesn't usually end well.

Two indoor things that the boys are enamored with recently are color mixing with droppers and painting with q-tips. Montessori Services sells this whole kit or individual droppers and bottles. We make up a tray with 3 dropper bottles (red, blue, yellow), a watercolor mixing palate (so they have more wells to experiment with colors) and a sponge. I can't tell you the hours that have been spent creating special colors and complementing each other on their color combinations.

I don't know why I haven't tried q-tip painting earlier. It is genius! The small, short q-tip gives them more control than a paint brush and they use a lot less paint. Our stay-within-the-lines son like to outline dot-to-to pictures with dabs, while our other son uses the q-tips to make wild messy streaks, much to his delight. Again, we use cheap watercolor palates with lots of holes and they also experiment with mixing colors.

Another boredom buster suggested by Kat awhile ago was marshmallow/toothpick building. I think we will use this later to practice forming letters.

Best wishes as we all brave the depths of winter!


Young Mom said...

Qtips! Why have I never thought of this? My toddlers keep breaking paintbrushes. Plus the quantity control would be great! Since they are always using waaaayyy to much. Thanks for the great idea, we are going to be stuck in the house until May up here. You start to run out of ideas after a while.

Right Said Red said...

Q-tips are an awesome idea! Maybe I'll actually use the box I have had sitting in my cabinet for several years.

Kat said...

Fun ideas, Tex! We're having the same rainy weather, which is a total bummer since we're having some work done on the house (hopefully!) before baby arrives. If we have to be indoors, these look like some great activities!
Your boys look great :)

Bethany said...

Q-Tips are one of the tricks many preschool teachers use as something different for children to experiment with. I'll also throw out the recommendations of dollar store toothbrushes which are fun and different to paint with and if you don't have a watercolor palate available, an empty egg carton can be a good substitute.

Another helpful idea for art projects is, if you can afford it (not that they're expensive just odd to buy), getting some cafeteria trays that you can use to color or paint on, use play dough on, make arts and crafts and anything else you can imagine. They can be stacked criss-cross for easy drying and easily cleaned even in a dishwasher. Some places you can find a dozen of them around $30 (you might even be able to find them for less with a little leg work).

Julia said...

Don't forget to try folding coffee filters (or just white napkins) and dripping colored water on them to make patterns before unfolding. My kids used to spend hours on this, using an eye dropper and an egg carton for holding/mixing the colored water.

That goop that you make from cornstarch and water is great fun, too. We use it in a 9x13 pan, so that there's space to drip and swirl it in, without getting too much elsewhere.

Mary Alice said...

We did colored water today, as called for in our Saxon K math book, I prepared pitchers of yellow and blue water and the twins had to measure and mix one cup of each, they were so excited when it turned green! Peter then spent quite a while making different colors with different amounts of colored water, I couldn't believe that an 8 year old would still be so in to this!

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