This mixed media art was created by 2, 3, 4, and 5 year-old children at the little school at Hillsborough. Over the course of a few weeks, children came in in small groups to contribute to the collage. The last thing that we did to this collage was unifying it with some paint. We worked with only one color for a couple of reasons. We discussed how adding one color of paint to the collage helped unify it and what that meant.
Children are more likely to explore different ways to apply paint when the color palette is limited. Here, Micah has just figured out that she can drizzle the paint by shaking he brush.
"Look I'm making dots, I am smashing my paint brush." -Eva
"What will it look like if I paint on this? (looking at the cork)" -Cole
At Duke, the Otters have begun a collaborative sculpture. We started with sticks, tape, and wire. Future plans include ribbon, paint, and more wire!
A. made up a story about the sculpture: "Guys, lets pretend that the tree is broken and that we are giving it bandages and fixing it."K decided to attach sticks together and then wrapped gold and silver wire around the sticks. E was very excited to help his friends with tape. He put himself in charge of cutting pieces of tape and delegated where it should go.
Children gain so much from creating together. It is a developmentally appropriate way to introduce and encourage sharing. Also, problems that need solving always naturally occur, whether it is a social problem or a construction issue. At one point, A and E worked out an issue that arose when they wanted to use the same roll of tape. Together, K and I figured out how to make two sticks stay together that kept falling apart. From these experiences and many others, these children are developing social and critical thinking skills, learning how to use visual, descriptive language (describing what we see and what we are creating), tuning fine and gross motor coordination, and exercising creative thinking, to name just a few of the benefits!