So, anyone that comes into the Burrow knows that we like a bit of creativity…from paint, to flour, to glitter, to MUD to well…anything!! We can literally make anything creative, mainly because the children take the lead and they have a knack of seeing the world differently.
This week in the Burrow we have been cotton wool painting, but not just any cotton wool painting.
Soraya had shown me a very very lovely book called Action Art by Mary Ann F.Kohl and Barbara Zaborowski.
Firstly, we covered our tray table and our cloak room peg stands in our art mats. We already knew this could get messy. I stuck some paper down, some on the back of the cloak room pegs and some on the tray table, so there were different levels for the children to mark make on. I then squirted some paint on some plates and got our cotton wool balls. We were ready to rumble.
A couple of intrigued Burrowers came over to have a little look, they immediately picked up some cotton wool, dunked it in some paint and made some marks on the paper in front of them. Until, I dabbed some cotton wool in the paint, I then threw the cotton wool at the paper that was on the back of the coat pegs. There were quite a few giggles. Then the Burrowers had a go themselves. All independently and all confidently. They took a cotton wool ball each, taking turns they put it in some paint and then they threw it on to the paper!
I was observing our Burrowers have a go. One of ours , B, held the plate of paint, offering it around to his peers saying “here go” or “some paint” for them to dunk their cotton wool in. This immediately shows me that he is making relationships, demonstrating friendly behaviour, initiating conversation and forming good relationships with his peers.
Some of the cotton wool balls stuck to the paper and some fell off, causing some more giggles! One of our Burrow girls, M, threw her cotton wool on to the paper and it stuck, she said “Oh Nic look, it’s stuck on top”. She threw another one that didn’t stick and actually fell off of the side of the tray table and she mumbled to herself “oh no, that one fell off of the side”. So M was using positional language and showing understanding of prepositions, which comes under both Maths: Shape, Space and Measures and Communication and Language: Understanding. The cotton wool ball didn’t stop M from having another go, she grabbed some more cotton wool balls and put one straight back in the paint. The paint plate she dabbed her cotton wool in had yellow and red paint in, some of the paint had already mixed together to make the paint go orange. M said, “It’s gone orange, let’s use orange”. Again, she demonstrated understanding of Expressive Arts & Design: Exploring & Using Media and Materials, exploring colour and how colours can be changed.
All the children who got involved with the painting were confident with their throwing skills as well as showing control in holding mark making tools, which comes under Physical Development: Moving and Handling. Plus what was really great, was seeing our Burrowers’ faces of achievement when their cotton wool hit/stuck to their paper!
It’s amazing to think that such a simple activity can be linked to so many statements in the EYFS, our children showing skills of Personal, Social and Emotional development, using Communication and Language but also showing understanding in Maths, Expressive Arts and Design and Physical development!
Activities like this are so easy to set up at home too and if you didn’t want to get so messy, you could use something like cotton wool buds! I observed their language and facilitated their learning by asking the odd question…”How did you make orange?’ “Why do some balls stick and others not?’ This all helps to further the children’s thinking which as they move through the world is a crucial skill to have in order to make sense of the world.
So keep your eyes peeled for the next creative activity! You’ll never look at a cotton wool ball in the same way!
Thanks for reading,