Lately, we have been using droppers and paintbrushes to paint. Learning to use these tools has been a good challenge for the children. While the brushes and droppers both require fine motor skills, the droppers are especially difficult to master because the children have to carefully suck up and release the colored water and paint.
Activities that incorporate fine motor skills are important because they increase the strength and control of small hand muscles. Coordination and precision in these little muscles are required for children to accomplish daily tasks such as buttoning a shirt or eating dinner with utensils. Fine motor skill development is also important for children to accomplish more complicated tasks in the future such as writing.
Take a look at this link to learn more about the stages and value of fine motor skill development.
We constantly engage in conversation with the children as they participate in activities in order to promote communication and vocabulary. A couple of questions that we contemplated regarding our painting exploration included:
- What happens when we drop only a few versus many drops?
- How much force is needed to suck up and release droplets?
This exploration incorporated some important mathematical and scientific learning aspects. By using the droppers the children learned about absorption and displacement of liquid. They discovered cause and effect as they squeezed and released the droppers. We also counted the drops as they cascaded onto the paper.
Aside from serving as a wonderful learning opportunity, painting is also a fun way for children to freely express their creativity and transfer their ideas and imaginative concepts into something tangible that they can share with others.