Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Pendulum Painting

I am continually inspired by the amazing work that great teachers (in and outside of the classroom) and creative little minds have been doing! One of the things I have been meaning to try for quite some time is pendulum painting. I first saw this ingenious idea when it was posted by Deborah Stewart on the Teach Preschool wall on Facebook. The author of the blog, Teacher Tom, continues to inspire and create! We of course, had our own versions of pendulum painting....

For our first attempt, we used a tall metal clothing rack and a rather large section of roll paper. We determined that this option would be much too difficult for our shorter friends, and we would need A LOT of paper. So, we tried a few group projects with the tall one.

Then, we tried something different:

We used a shorter portable clothes rack. The wind was not helping us tody, so we needed to use some of our larger rocks and stepping stones to help hold the paper down. We realized quite quickly that the paint was pouring out too quickly. Our first attempt to fix this problem was to add a rock or two to the cup, the rocks would "get in the way, and the paint couldn't go as fast." We tried it. It sort of worked.... until..... we swung the cup too hard and the rocks tipped out the side. (On a side note, this experiment will lead us to another outdoor paint project in the near future- sliding painted rocks across paper.)

Our next thought was to use a different cup with a smaller hole. This option seemed to work much better. We also placed our paper on a large bulletin board/piece of wood, etc. (Something sturdy we could move it on until it dried.). Teacher Tom uses butcher paper, which we will definitely be using next time. Trying to move this type of painting when it is wet is a skill in itself as there is quite a bit of paint and the paper can tear easily.

Being that we really wanted to give children the opportunity to work together and really experience the process, we allowed them to use quite a few colors on each piece. The children decided as we were planning for our experience that we would have pink, blue, orange, and purple as color options.

We finished up our outdoor exploration just in time. It started to rain. We were all still curious and wanted to try some more pendulum painting, so we made a "mini" version with our BRIO Mecs set and one of the marker casings from our Markers that "Don't Work":

First, we tried it with just the marker casing. We found that the hole was "too big." What did we do outside when the hole was too big? "We got a different cup!" (and made a smaller hole.)

Well, it was pretty easy to get a different cup outside, but what were we going to do here? The marker casings all had the same size hole. What could we do?
"Ms. Amy, put a cap on it with a hole!"

So, we put a cap on it, with a hole:

We are still experimenting with paint consistency and the size that we think the hole needs to be.

We recommend using a pipette or a very small funnel to help you fill your marker casing.

I think we will be tinkering with this tomorrow. Today's thoughts.... I wonder what would happen if we used colored water and coffee filters? (on our mini version-- this one came for the children, so you know what we will be trying tomorrow). I'm tinkering with the idea of painting our parking pad tomorrow... Sidewalk paint, Giant Pendulum???? Here we come!!!

To my DC Parents, remember please make sure to send your children in play clothes. We will continue to get messy! (Check out a newer post where we went MONSTER size!)

This post was linked up at:
PreK + K Sharing


rsting said...

I've heard about this but have never tried it. It looks like a blast! Thanks for sharing!

fer said...

I´ll try it and will post some photos to share! Thanks for the idea!!

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 I learned a hell of a lot from Dan Hodgins.  He was mentor, a friend, and a "bone shaker" for many of us in the field of Early Ch...