Thursday, May 27, 2010

"Anything?" "Yes, anything."

I had some time to kill last weekend and popped into my favorite art supply store to browse. Right there by the front door was a stack of pre-stretched, pre-primed canvases under a sign reading, "70% off." I had to do a double take, but I snapped up two large canvases normally priced at $100 for a mere $30. I don't recall the exact dimensions, but they are larger than the kids.

I leaned one against the wall outdoors and within a few minutes it looked like this:

A little later, it looked like this:

Are you kidding me? This is a masterpiece and it was mostly created by a group of boys who rarely engage in art projects indoors. When the canvas was finished, they kept right on going:

The kids are really digging on being allowed to paint anything outdoors. "Anything?" "Yes, anything." And thus, most surfaces have hosted least a smudge of paint during these past couple months. Yesterday, we had several alumni students at school for our Pre-K play (I'll try to get the video up in the next couple days). They had never played in our new outdoor classroom and explored it thoroughly afterwards, putting it through the kind of paces only graders can manage.

It had been raining for the preceding 12 hours and Eli shared one of his discoveries while wiping his hands on his pants, "You know Teacher Tom, when it rains it makes all this paint runny. It gets on everything." He was right. I felt a little sorry for the parents who had to return to the office yesterday afternoon. I hope their colleagues didn't ride them too much for the paint stains on their suits.

Of course, rain also means we get to paint everything again, even the canvas:

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Umatji said...

I love it! I always mean to take pics of the painting stages but never quite make it. I always have that moment when I want to steal the paint brushes and make my boy stop painting but have to resist (well, most of the time!)

Deborah Stewart said...

This really is such a great idea Tom! I think by taking artistic opportunities out of the classroom and integrating it in their natural play world, you have opened their mind up to new fun and possibilities. I want to try this too!

Scott said...

They just kept painting? I love that. And thank goodness for the rain so they can paint it again.

Play for Life said...

I Love the easel painting Tom but I would have rescued it before the rains came and displayed it inside as a keepsake of the class of 2010. I also would have told my children ... You may paint on the canvas BUT YOU MAY NOT PAINT ON THE WALLS! Does this make me bad because that is the honest to goodness thing I would have said!
Donna :( :(

SquiggleMum said...

LOL Tom... you'd better not stand still for too long out there or you might be painted yourself ;-)