Tuesday, 5 July 2011

More on Colours...and some science thrown in at the end...

I hereby dub July, "Colour Month."  Okay, maybe as a choice of name, it is a little counter-seasonal.  It is winter here, after all.  (Counter-seasonal...is that a word?  Words?)  Anyway, since winter here in sunny Western Australia is hardly dull, drab or grey, I think Colour Month is a fitting title.  And grey is still a colour...

Following on from yesterday's revelations on how to make colour a more interactive, tangible experience, today, we had great fun with the colour pink.  Borrowing THIS wonderful Montessori-inspired idea from the brilliant Totschool blog, I made Niamh a little water activity.

Here, she is using an eye-dropper to drip water I coloured with pink food colouring onto wax paper:

 A bit hard to see, but I had drawn some little circles onto the wax paper, with the aim of getting her to try to drop a single drop into each.  A bit ambitious for a first try with the eye-dropper, maybe, but it did give her the idea...although it was instantly WAY more fun to make BIG pink puddles, rather than little ones:

 It was fun to make little dots onto pictures:
You'll notice she is not wearing an art smock (but is wearing her PJs - really, sometimes that battle just ain't worth fighting first thing in the morning), and we are using a glass for our pink water and not a paper or plastic cup.  I really wanted her to a) engage in having fun without all the cumbersome bulk of the smock, and b) to work with real materials in order to learn both care for her clothing, and her tools.  If the glass had fallen, so be it.  If things break, we clean up the mess.  (The glass is still in one piece, by the way.  Even 1 year olds can learn to be careful with things that break.)

She loved, loved, loved this activity!  It was enormous fun to watch the water beading on the wax paper, and to break it up into smaller and smaller beads just by giving it a little push with the eye-dropper.  It was hilarious to suck the water back up into the eye-dropper (complete with slurping noise - think spaghetti, but pink).

Dyeing our fingers pink in the droplets was fun too:

 Next, we experimented with different kinds of paper and a paintbrush, as well as the eye-dropper:

On plain white paper, you could paint the dots into stripes and blobs, which was lots of fun.  Or just make really big, wet, pink puddles:

On paper towel, the drops made blotches which spread out:

It was just as much fun for me as it was for Niamh, I assure you.  We spent nearly an hour just playing with pink water, an eye-dropper and a paint-brush.  How's that for cheap entertainment?

After I finally won the day's "Ye shall now be dressed," battle, I was thrilled when she immediately asked for more painting, but this time, "a different one."  A week or so ago she had started to paint a little wooden jigsaw puzzle (a great idea - you buy the puzzle in plain wood, along with paints, then decorate it yourself - you can find them Here), and I suggested we finish it.  She agreed.

You'll note the art smock this time.  She was wearing a fairly new top and, well, the "mama-hates-a-washing-challenge" panic button over-rode my higher philosophical ideals...  Glass and pink dye smashed all over the floor is one thing.  An impossible washing challenge is something else entirely.  Ah, sweet, merciful, human fallibility...thy familiar embrace is a warm, numbing comfort.

When the painting was done, she immediately requested MORE drawing.  Here she is drawing some stripey balls with crayons:

The balls are actually in black on her left, and the stripes are separate on her right.  I love it.

After the artistic frenzy (seriously, 2.5 hours doing nothing except drawing and painting!), we headed to the park for a picnic and some fun with her favourite thing in a whole world - balls.

Running down the hill (she is "very fast"):

 Rolling the balls down the hill:

Uh-oh, better catch them!  (I love the look of concern - those balls are getting away from her.)

 I asked her, "Who goes faster, you or the balls?"  A rather stern look in return.  "The balls."  Duh.  Obviously, mama.  "Do you know why?"  Another look (you know, the one you get when you're an idiot), "They're round."

Wait...is that...physics...coming from the mouth of a child not yet 2??  Dagnabbit.  How dare she learn naturally!  I was probably in high school before I had that one spoon-fed to me.

Later, we made a slide for our fairy stick people to play on:

(I might not know physics, but I can ram a couple of sticks through a leaf.  Take that, science!)

Roll on, Colour Month!

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