Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Puffy Painting - The Next Generation

For our second venture into the land of 'Puffy Painting' I purchased some sturdy A4 cardboard so that it would retain its shape in the microwave & we changed the way we applied the paint. Instead of brushes we placed the paint in squeezable sauce bottles.

We had preceded this experience the week before by filling the sauce bottle up with straight paint. While the children enjoyed this new way to create, as they usually do when I introduce something out of the ordinary, It was quite difficult for these young hands to control the strength of their squeezing. Some managed to finesse the bottles just right to ensure a gentle distribution of paint. However, the majority simply squeezed as hard as they could, resulting in large dollops of paint spewing out onto the paper & overflowing onto the table & ground. While the mess was not an issue as we love messy play, the unneccessary wasting of a resource was a concern. Hence the idea came to me to try puffy painting this way.

The children still needed to manage the strength of their squeezes, but there was far less waste when things got a little out of control. It didn't take long either for them to disscover that they could create interesting patterns & 'pictures' by moving the bottles around as they squeezed.

Why not check out the previous post on Puffy Painting here & see how the change in how we applied the paint drastically altered the look of the final artwork.

One unforseen benefit I thought about when reflecting upon this experience is that by squeezing the bottles these toddlers are building up the fine motor muscles they will need to use as they embark on their journey towards writing. So, in a way these sauce bottle puffy paintings are examples of a pre-writing exercise.
As a side note I just want to add that I used gluten free flour. Even though there are no children in my care with intolerance to gluten it's always best to cater for the needs of all. My wife is a Silly Yak, I mean coeliac & has hightened my awareness of the many ingrediants such people are unable to consume or even come into contact with in extreme cases. One of my colleagues at work has also recently discovered she has an intolerence to wheat. So it will be safe for her to undertake this experience with her children.


  1. Oh Greg ABSOLUTELY puffy paintings are examples of a pre-writing exercises and the beautiful thing is the children don't even realize it ... to them they are simply squeezing paint from a bottle! Every single mark they make on the paper is indeed a step towards writing letters and numbers! How those marks are made is SO unimportant! I love encouraging literacy in wild and wooly ways!!
    Donna :) :)

  2. What a great idea -have to get some of those sauce bottles.