I can day: tin can partner painting

by Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. on September 5, 2012

in Creative Art, Painting, Tin Can Painting


To extend our “I Can Day” we explored two different types of painting activities. The first painting activity was very simple but the second painting activity was a little more challenging and gave us our first opportunity to work with a partner…

Tin Can Printing

At one table, the children explored tin can printing. The table was prepared with tin cans, tempera paint, and paper….

The children dipped the bottom or top of the tin cans in the tempera paint then made prints on their paper…

Each child worked independently on this process and could add as many prints as desired and use as many colors as desired…

Tin Can Partner Painting

The next painting activity was a little more challenging but very fun. To prepare for this activity, we set out a box with two unopened tin cans (I pulled them from the back of my pantry and only took the wrapper off) and our squeeze bottles filled with tempera paint…

The children worked with a partner and began by squeezing paint into the box and on top of the paper…

Then the children stood at each end of the box and tipped the box back and forth to roll the cans across the paper and through the paint…

In between each turn (after a set of partners finished), I went ahead and rinsed the cans off so the paint wouldn’t get so thick on the cans and to allow for the new colors to show…

The higher the children lifted their end of the box, the faster the cans would roll. The children had to learn to work together to only lift one end of the box at a time rather than both lifting at the same time so the cans would roll…

And if the paint was too thick, the paper would roll up around the cans which the children thought was pretty funny.  It was easy to fix though – we just rolled the cans backwards and the paper unrolled too. It was usually a sign that their was way too much paint on the cans…

The children worked well with their partners and discovered how to manage the cans, the paint, and the box cooperatively during the process…

We set all the tin can partner painted pictures outside to dry and saved them for a different activity we will be doing next week…

Next up is the “I Can Day” activities we explored in our outdoor classroom so stay tuned!

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Comments on this entry are closed.

1 Kristina September 5, 2012 at 5:56 pm

Love this!! The partner painting looks like it was a blast!

2 Mud Hut Mama September 6, 2012 at 4:41 am

They turned out beautifully and the process looks like so much fun!

3 Emily September 6, 2012 at 9:17 pm

Would you tell me what tempera paint who use? Your colors are so crazy bright and thick I am jealous!

(Als0: I have enjoyed your site SO much! Makes me want to start a preschool just so I can have an exploration table. I’ve started using ‘easel starters’ for my four year old – today two circles on the opposite edges of the paper became pink-tinted eyeglasses. Thanks for sharing the cool stuff you do.)

4 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 6, 2012 at 9:48 pm

I use Crayola liquid Washable Tempera Paint!

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