Lately our students have shown quite a bit of interest in the toy dinosaurs we have in our classroom. Our curriculum encourages forming provocations based upon student interests to achieve optimum levels of engagement and to satisfy their existing curiosity. In this exploration, we played off of their interest in dinosaurs by bringing out some of the toys and paints in a variety of colors.
Once the materials were made available, we stepped back and let the exploring begin! Pairing the new, exciting toys with a more familiar tool like paint allowed the children to have a fun, relaxed time of free-play and learning.
The children quickly began to dip the dinosaurs in the paint. They then placed the dinosaurs on the paper, creating footprints. Each dinosaur left a unique set of print marks, varying in shape and size. Eventually the footprints turned into whole sets of tracks, showcasing different colors and patterns on the paper.
Creating, observing and comparing different shapes, sizes and patterns are foundational concepts of mathematics and geometry. This activity also allowed the children to engage and build upon other skill sets ranging from color identification to interpersonal communication.
Not explicitly a team activity, the children were free to individually create and paint in accordance with their own imagination. However, sharing space, paint and tools allowed them to practice working side by side, fostering a comfortable environment for any desired relationship building or collaboration to take place.