|painting on foil is a wonderfully relaxing art activity|
The other day, someone asked me if we did a lot of crafts at daycare. I cringed, just a little and told her, no, we didn't do a lot of crafts. Most of my buddies were 3 and under at the time, so traditional crafting was a little beyond them.
Instead, what I have found, and this works for buddies of all ages, is open-ended art activities. This allows every child, regardless of age or ability, to explore the materials, to choose their design and create at will. Each child can feel successful and feel pleasure in the process of creating.
This simple foil painting activity was an excellent example. We did this a few years ago (with older and younger buddies) and are due to do it again. I had prepared their foil ahead of time by taping it onto some shirt cards that had been donated. This gave them a surface to paint on that was sturdier and less likely to crinkle or tear as they painted.
I also provided a tray of paints and some brushes, though they were free to paint with their fingers. Paint on foil has a cool and slippery feel that some of my buddies particularly enjoyed. Other buddies used brushes and carefully picked colours and placement on their foil.
The best part of open-ended art in a multi-age group is that the children lead the activity. I'm not telling them what to cut, or where to paste or what to do at all. I'm not doing it for them either. It's all them. They enjoy themselves, it's a relaxing and pleasant activity. Some of my buddies spent a long time on this activity, while others finished more quickly and went on to other things.
In the end, my buddies had a creation to take home that was all theirs, made by them. We'll do a craft, perhaps, another day, but not this day.