Saturday, October 29, 2011

Indian Corn Printing/Painting

A couple of weekends ago, we went to the corn maze with the Boy Scouts and I picked up a half a dozen ears of Indian Corn. The children had fun investigating the corn in our sensory bin. They spent some time husking it and looking at the various parts under the magnifying glasses. 

Then, I set up a station for them to paint and/or print with the corn. 
I decided to put a plexi-glass plate right over the sensory bin. (If you remember the cribs we dismantled, I saved the plexi-glass ends! The plexi-glass makes a great transparent tabletop... and is a wonderful surface to paint on!) I wanted to make sure that the children had ample choice in paint color, and that it was a self-service station. The squeeze bottles of tempera work great for this, and all of that squeezing is great for their fine motor skill development!

 Two children worked at the station at a time. They chose which paints that they wanted to squeeze out onto the surface, and then they started to roll the corn in the paint.
The processes of squeezing the paint and rolling the corn along were enough to keep most of them busy for quite some time.  However, some of the children wanted to roll their corn onto paper too!
 So, when they were ready, each child was given a sweater box sized tote and as much paper as their hearts desired. The could then drop the paint covered corn in and tilt the box to roll the corn back and forth.

 Hmmmmn... I wonder what will happen if I stand the corn up?
 For some of the other children, they were perfectly content to keep squeezing and rolling the paint on the plexi-glass surface.
 Look at all of those beautiful colors that they mixed!
 Rolling the corn made for very messy fingers, which only added to the FUN!
 My fingers are already messy, I think I'm going to finger paint for awhile... 
 Squeeze, squeeze, squeeze.... 
 Having two children at the station with shared resources provided a lot of opportunities to use our words and to take turns with colors.  "Sure you can have the yellow, I'm done with it." 
 Look at those lovely colors and lines from the rolling corn!
For some of the children, they really didn't want to roll the corn in the separate bins. They were perfectly content to continue to squeeze and roll on the plexi-glass. This is something that we really need to remember with children and their art. They need time and the freedom to really explore and we need to respect their process. (You can read more on the process of art here.)  
One of the reasons I really like to take photos and to share them with parents is that they can gain a greater understanding of the processes and steps their children take throughout the day.  Even though the child was done with their mixing and rolling of paint, I thought that it would be nice to try to capture some of the color and pattern by pressing paper down on the paint, creating a print of their work:
After I made one print, a couple of the other children decided that they wanted to try this process too.   If the paper picks up the paint and the pattern lines from the corn... What happens if I draw with the paint and then push the paper down?
 And yet.... another experiment, 
What happens if I mix all the color up with my hands and finger paint the corn? 
Some of the children went home with artwork that day... some of them chose to make prints or to paint on paper, while other were more than content to use a temporary canvas.

Like all open-ended, process art activities... each child took the materials and made the process their own. How do you promote process art activities? What are your favorite kinds of process art?  Do you have any great "paint brush" ideas to share! I'm sure that Indian Corn will be requested by my little ones again :).

This was linked up at:
PreK + K Sharing


Mullin Avenue Workshop said...

Amy, My children have painted with maize but we didn't have the chance to enjoy as much exploration. this looks like fun. Your children had lots of time to really explore.

We did have fun though, and also used ornamental gourds for painting with as well.

One year, I brought in dried poppy pods, and the top of these created a delicate print - although of course the children really enjoyed smearing the paint more, than making small prints.

We've also used sunflowers to paint with.

I'm happy to find you are posting.

Amy A @ Child Central Station said...

Thanks Brenda :). I love all of your other ideas for printing/painting! I'm happy to be back sharing, even if I'm turning into a weekend blogger ;). I only have about a month and a half to go before I'll have my master's project complete and life will be less busy!

crittersandcrayons said...

hahaha! So this is what a truly crafty person's blog on it looks like! haha! I'm not a super crafter, but I love spending the time doing these things every day with the kids! And, here I thought it was such an original idea. :) Love your post! Thanks so much for commenting on mine!

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