Plexi-painting in preschool

Plexi-painting in preschool

I wanted to share with you another way we used the plexiglass window books in my preschool classroom. This time, we used them for a little blot painting….

In case you missed how we used the plexiglass window books before, you can view the post “Looking at our world through a window book” by clicking here. After we used them as window books for nature, we rinsed and dried them off for plexi-painting…

For “plexi-painting” the children squirted paint from our paint bottles onto the plexiglass. We talked about using the paint to make lines and circles or different types of designs before they got started…

I hope these photos do this process justice because the results of the painting process amazed the children and amazed me too…

After the children had painted on one inside panel of their window book – they closed the book and pressed down to spread the paint – kind of like you would do in blot painting only for this process, you can see through the window and watch the paint spread out…

And then the children would open their window books to view the print on both sides of the panel…

For those who wanted to make a print of their painting, they simply put a piece of paper inside the window book and closed it back up again…

Of course, this left a print on both sides of their paper so we had to hang the papers up to dry.  For those who wanted to add more paint, they continued the process of adding paint, closing the book, and opening it again.  I think this little one spent 40 minutes exploring this process…

The window books could be challenging to open once they had so much paint on them but the children were up to the challenge…

We had all kinds of results from this process and using the plexiglass made the entire process unique and fun…

Once the children were finished exploring this process, I closed up all the window books and set them aside to rinse off later…

Now we will see what other new process we can explore with our window books!


I often get asked these questions so here are a few answers…

1. The squeeze bottles we are using in these photos come from Walmart in their kitchen section.

2. The plexiglass came from Lowes and I bought in pre-cut rectangles then taped the edges of two panels together to create a window book.  Lowes will cut the plexiglass to a size you want if you ask them to.

3. I used clear packing tape to tape the panels together.

4. The edges were not sharp but the children still used the panels with care.

5. The panels can be washed and used over and over again.

6. I use washable liquid tempera paint for most of the activities we do in our classroom.

7. We wear smocks on occasion – depending on how messy the activity is.

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  • Margaret@growingplay Posted April 24, 2012 7:44 am

    So pretty. This is definitely a process art work. Thanks for sharing your creative ideas. This would be great to do for older kids right before handwriting practice – all that pushing on the plexiglass.

  • corrie Posted April 24, 2012 1:28 pm

    Here’s an idea: You can fold the paper the kids use to make the prints in half. That way you don’t have to hang them to dry. :o)

  • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. Posted April 24, 2012 2:22 pm

    Great idea! Next time I will definitely try it that way!

  • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. Posted April 24, 2012 2:23 pm

    Another thing I noticed is it is a good work out on fine motor strength to open the book once the paint is added!

  • JDaniel4’s Mom Posted April 24, 2012 3:14 pm

    I love that you can use these over and over again.

  • maryanne @ mama smiles Posted April 24, 2012 4:00 pm

    I LOVE this activity for kids – what a beautifully visual way to learn about mirror images – and print-making! I should pick up some plexiglass, next time we are at Lowes – it sounds tremendously useful for childhood explorations!

  • crystal@growingajeweledrose Posted April 24, 2012 10:08 pm

    I love these picture books, and both the activities you have shared using them so far. I can’t wait to see what other ways you come up with for exploring them! (Oh, and we are definitely going to make a couple. Thanks for the tips on how you made them)

  • Rachelle | TinkerLab Posted April 24, 2012 11:39 pm

    This is one of my favorite all-time activities, Deborah! As an adult, I took printmaking courses, and this isn’t too far off from how real artists use plexi and paint.

  • Carolyn @ Mama’s Little Muse Posted April 25, 2012 12:02 am

    I love this! SOOOO cool! thx!

  • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. Posted April 25, 2012 12:11 am

    That is so cool and I didn’t know that! But I can see why, the process and ability to view the work in progress and the tools for pressing the paint work so well – I was totally surprised and loved it!

  • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. Posted April 25, 2012 12:12 am

    I am so glad you will try making a couple of them! I am betting you will think of lots more uses for them along the way!

  • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. Posted April 25, 2012 12:13 am

    It is a wonderfully visual process Maryanne!

  • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. Posted April 25, 2012 12:13 am

    Yes – that is an important bonus to this – especially since I made sure each child would have one!

  • Angela Posted April 25, 2012 12:06 pm

    Oh my goodness! This looks like so much fun! Squirting, squishing and experimenting, what else could a kid want?

  • Melissa @ The Chocolate Muffin Tree Posted April 25, 2012 8:35 pm

    This is beautiful! I know my daughter (And I) will love it. Very much like mono-printing.

  • Scott Posted April 26, 2012 8:27 am

    I think a trip to Lowe’s is definitely on my list. I loved the way you used them before and I love this even better. Thanks Deborah!

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