Through September we have been welcoming all our new toddlers to our classroom! We have been busy getting to know each child so that we can support a sense of belonging for everyone in our room. By exploring a variety of activities with the toddlers we can explore what each child’s interests are and what cultivates their curiosity!
One type of activity the toddlers have all been interested in is painting! We started off with water colour paints. Each toddler was given a paper, paintbrush and a damp water colour puck. We showed the toddlers how to rub their paintbrush in the watercolour paint then transfer it onto their paper. During this activity the toddlers strengthen their grasp and build their hand eye co-ordination. As they manipulate the paintbrush on their paper, they are developing the muscles and movements that will later be needed to hold a pencil and print. Some of the toddlers turned this into a sensory activity as well by using the paintbrush on their hands and/or using their hands on their paper to spread the paint around. This type of tactile sensory input stimulates learning in a different way than audio or visual learning. By providing sensory rich opportunities we can support all types of learners in our room.
Seeing their interest in using their hands to paint helped us decide to do our next painting experience with tempura paint where they would have more opportunity to use their hands and further experience the sensory aspect of painting. To respect each child’s preferences, we still offered paintbrushes so those who didn’t want to get messy could still equally participate! We chose to use primary colours for this painting experience so we could also work on our colour recognition. As the children spread the paint around their page, they gained hands on experience with colour mixing. Through the eyes of a toddler this can be an exciting discovery, motivating them to further explore and learn!