Through painting, children get the opportunity to express their ideas and feelings as well as to explore the effects of moving the brush in different ways and the appearance of different colours and combinations of colours. You can see good coordination here. Holding a brush involves fine motor skills and sometimes you need to hold the paper steady too. There is an interesting range of marks from those made by blobbing the brush on the paper to those made by moving the paint so it covers the surface. Children can make their own decisions when painting and also organise themselves to start a piece of work and then follow through the steps needed. This kind of activity is helping them develop something we call executive function. This is the way in which our brains let us do things like plan, focus attention, and remember instructions.
We don't have to draw and write at a table! Drawing and writing on the floor can be motivating and brings a range of benefits. It helps develop core body strength and strengthen the muscles you are working on when you do Pilates! It also lets children work on a bigger scale and encourages them to look at what each other is doing. Whenever we get out large sheets of paper and make space for floor working, we always have lots of children coming over and asking if they can have a turn too. Sometimes we draw maps or story backgrounds and then use small world toys to act out stories on the drawings we have made.
We always like to use the story Owl Babies at this time of the year because it is a helpful and reassuring story for those children who are starting nursery and learning to let their mummy, daddy, auntie, uncle, grandparent or other carer go for the first time. The baby owls in the story want their mother to come back. Little Bill keeps repeating, "I want my mummy!" Of course she does come back and all three babies are delighted to see her. We read the story together including using props and then we made our own owls using paper plates and collage materials. Some children also did mark making based on the story. Revisiting stories in this way helps children to really take on board new ideas, remember the key events in the story, and feel connected to the characters. We like to display children's work to help them take pride in their achievements and appreciate each other's learning. By adding the characters from the story with their names this helps the children to make connections and start to recognise print.