Exploring a new art canvas in preschool

Exploring a new art canvas in preschool

These children are in their first week of preschool and today they explored painting on aluminum foil.

Many of the children began their painting with one finger dipped in paint. It was interesting watching the children slowly make little fingerprints on their foil canvas. They were meticulously going back and forth from paint to canvas, painting one dot at a time.

But it wasn’t long before they would realize it was fun to also draw lines with their fingers. The paint glided easily over the smooth texture of the foil.

And before long, they progressed to making full circles and designs.

In the classroom next door, the children crumbled up their foil a bit first then smoothed it back out. The texture of their foil was not smooth, it had lines and creases. These children used paint brushes rather than their hands.

As I compared the two approaches, I realized that it might have been nice to combine both of them so the children felt the smooth and the sharp texture with their hands first then jumped into painting.

I always enjoy observing the various approaches to a similar activity and I learn something new every time!

My message today, like many days, is to take ideas that are on the web or in a book and then just like these teachers do, modify or apply the ideas in such a way that your students will enjoy the experience.


  • polwig Posted September 3, 2010 9:19 pm

    That is such a cute idea, you can probably cut them out into snowflakes or sun catchers later 😉

  • Amy A Posted September 3, 2010 9:54 pm

    I bet this would be really cool with translucent or shiny paints :). I’ll have to add it to my list of new things to try. Thanks for sharing!

  • Jenny Posted September 3, 2010 10:16 pm

    Thanks for this idea Deborah – I’ve never seen it before and think we will try it out next week.

  • jess Posted September 3, 2010 11:01 pm

    i love this idea we usally do it once a year if you add some dish soap to the paint it wont flake off when drys .

  • Deborah J. Stewart Posted September 3, 2010 11:09 pm

    Great tip!

  • Ayn Colsh Posted September 4, 2010 9:16 am

    I am going to have to try this! What a cool idea!!!!

  • Deborah J. Stewart Posted September 4, 2010 10:37 am

    Hi Ayn, It is nice to hear from you! I hope all is well! I am going to hop over to see your oceans of fun!!

  • Deborah J. Stewart Posted September 4, 2010 10:37 am

    Oooh, great idea.

  • Deborah J. Stewart Posted September 4, 2010 10:38 am

    For sure – cutting foil can be a bit tricky since it tears easily. But it might be fun to even tear the painted foil and go from there too!

  • Teacher Tom Posted September 4, 2010 12:27 pm

    Ooo, I love the dish soap tip. The flaking paint has always been one of my irritations with painting on foil.

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