This project is one that I do over and over again with the 4yr olds in art class. I think all of the paintings they make could hang in a museum, but especially these large collaborative ones! It’s such a simple yet deeply fulfilling process-art experience for them.
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~ Tempera paint (I buy these for my primary colors, these for my neon colors, and these for a few extra cool colors)
~ Glass jars (you can use your own collection, or buy these)
~ Brushes (I like to put one in each jar so it eliminates the water)
~ Roll of craft paper
~ Before the kids came, I papered the table, mixed some paint colors, and put the jars out on the table. When they came over to the table they knew just what to do. I did give them a prompt which was “Let’s start with circles”. But after that, I stepped aside and let them paint. Towards the end I helped them move the jars off the table so they could finish painting all of the paper.
I managed to take some video of them painting in action (click here to watch). If you are into process art at all, you will find this as fascinating as I do!
Collaborative art projects are so important for kids. They build community, foster cooperation, eliminate competition, and most importantly they are social and FUN!
I hope you try!
PS: Great idea for a birthday party!
What did you tell them so they wouldn’t run all the paint together and make it all brown?
ha! I didn’t tell them anything, Kristy. this group just instinctively didn’t mix them. I have had groups that do that, though. actually, it’s usually just one child who starts it. but that’s ok, too. it’s all about the process. I just lucked out filming these girls, they definitely wanted it to be flowery. I did instruct them in the beginning to start with circles, that was just my prompt. xx Bar
HI, love this idea! question, my tempera is realllyyyy runny…not thick at all. What am I doing wrong? thank you!!
some tempera paints are just bad quality, I’m afraid. I talk about my fave paints here, you just have to get better paints! hope this helps: https://www.artbarblog.com/cardboard-creations-master-supply-list/
Hi! I love everything about this and can’t wait to do it with my Kindergarteners. When you say your students knew just what to do when they saw the materials set up, is that because you’d done this activity before? If so, how did you first present it to them? Thank you! xox
hi Kathryn, yes they had seen that set-up before. When I first presented it, I told them they could paint on the table paper and move around to fill all the space. I started with the prompt to paint circles just to get them going. From their they made their own patterns and shapes. Hope this helps! xo Bar
do you have any suggestions for making this project with a group of 24 7th graders?
hi Kari, can you possibly split it into two tables? I think 12 kids would make for a great experience. 24 at one table might be a lot. You could also cover the floor in paper and have all the students work together! let me know how it goes! xx Bar
I am sooooo excited that I found you!!! I am a preschool teacher in a funky little town in Manitou Springs, Colorado. I looove everything that you and your sweet littles are creating!!! I also found your other website and am wanting to by the lesson plans. I think I need to buy the linsence ……is that correct?!? Hope all is well with you and your family! Thank you soooo much for shining brite and sharing your talents with us all!!!
Hi Amy, thank you so much for leaving a comment!! So happy you found me, too! I’m just noticing that you sent me an email, so I’ll reply to that to talk about the license. xx Bar