Hello, my educators. Today, the children created art on a mirror and some CDs using window crayons. My curious toddlers have been exploring shadows, reflection, and symmetry on mirrors using their flashlights and some battery candles. I wanted to extend their learning, and I presented this art provocation.
Some days, I set up the provocation before the children get to school; others, I do an on-the-spot setup. This on-the-spot provocation was on our activity table. When I was done positioning the items, one of my toddlers immediately went to the area. Awe-struck by the materials, she quizzically looked at me. I nodded and gave her permission to use the materials. I sensed she needed acknowledgment to use the crayons to mark the mirror. Although I have worked hard to create a ‘yes’ environment, we have boundaries. I admired her unspoken words when she asked permission to use the crayons to scribble on the mirror.
Her first creative scribbled marks.
My older child asked to join the toddler; she wrote her name on the mirror and drew a sun on a CD.
Soon, another child came over and drew a face on the mirror. Soon, that small space had more hands than a pair, making marks on the mirror and CDs.
One child saw her friend Sun on a CD, and then she made similar marks on her CD.
The many hands making marks on the mirror.
After the children were finished, this is what the mirror looked like. I took this photo at the end of the day while cleaning up the daycare.
The following day, I wiped the mirror with baby wipes and cleaned it with a paper towel and vinegar. The good thing about window crayons is that they easily wipe off. This process art can be continuously repeated for as long as the children are interested. You can add or subtract different variables to further extend their play investigation.
Please know the children in your childcare environment. Some children are more rumbustious than others and may not have gentle hands when handling delicate items. I train the children in my daycare to have soft, gentle hands, and we incorporate practical life skills into our everyday learning. We incorporate using real forks and spoons at meal times. At times we use real china dishes and cups, pour milk from jugs and the children learn to clean up their spills. We use glass painting pots, wash the windows, wash items in big tubs, and hang dry them. Real mirrors are used for exploration and portraits.
I suggest taking time to teach the children some of the aforementioned skills before offering mirror paints to them.
Art in a Home Daycare
If you are a home daycare provider like I am and are hesitant about incorporating art, paint, markers, or crayons in your environment. I challenge you to start teaching the children how to use these items. Let repetition be your friend. Invent songs, games, and stories to teach the children what is appropriate. Model examples for young children to learn from. Ask your older three, four, and five-year-old children to help manage your classroom.
How might that look?
- Assign them as classroom helpers.
- Ask them to remind their friends where to use the art materials
- Allow them to be the watchkeepers.
- Allow them to help guide the younger children.
- Allow them to interrupt you – yes, I love it when my older ones get my attention fast, especially when younger ones are about to throw rocks, knock some toys down, step on toys, or even hurt another friend.
Keep creating and facilitating these young children. Until next time, I am Miss Sue, working daily in the trenches with you.
xoxo Miss Sue / Sue Sue