Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Color Dripping: Spring Flowers

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Recently I purchased some Pipettes because my 4 year old likes to play in water.  I figured, amongst many other things, she could use them for water transfer and creating "potions" outside.  I also know they are great for various art projects and color blending.  While browsing Facebook I came across a beautiful spring art experiment from Fun-a-Day that inspired me to decorate for spring.  So I set to work, which included creating some liquid watercolors.  

While I prefer how vibrant purchased Liquid Watercolors  can be, I didn't have any on hand.  But I did have a bag full of dried markers I'd been collecting.  You can repurpose these old markers by placing their tips in water and allowing them to soak for several hours, or overnight.  Then you can store the created watercolors in small plastic containers.

After creating the watercolors, I cut some coffee filters into flower shapes.  The nice thing about coffee filters is they are thin, so you can cut a number of them at once.  When all was ready, I set out the flowers, watercolors, and pipettes (one for each color) for my preschooler to play with.  I used a plastic box lid to contain the mess as best as possible.  A tray or cookie sheet could also work.  Some kids like to really soak their art work, so keeping it from running all over the place is important for your own sanity.

Pipettes are a great tool for developing fine motor skills.  Toddlers may find squeezing and transferring the liquid difficult.  If this is the case, give them a paint brush.  It'll still create a lovely work of art.

There are several ways you can take this activity.  If you want to teach simple color blending, try using only two colors at a time:

  • yellow+red= orange
  • blue+yellow=green
  • red+blue= purple
If you want to move beyond the basics, try multiple colors.  Some truly beautiful flowers can be created this way.  I explained to my daughter that it's best to mix the colors on the paper, rather then in the containers because otherwise you'll end up with all brown.  Of course, if your child is like mine, they will still test this theory.  I found if you use an ice tray for your colors, rather then giving them the storage containers, you'll waste less, and it can be easily dumped and replenished.  

As much as possible, stand back and allow your child to explore the activity.  It's OK to ask them questions about the colors they are blending but otherwise let them create.  Some may chose to not blend the colors.  That's OK too.  Sometimes the process is more important then the product.  

With Easter around the corner, we also painted some coffee filter Easter eggs.  Once all the flowers and eggs were dry, we hung them in the windows to catch the light and enjoy. 

Here's a list of what you'll need:
  • pipettes or droppers (paint brush for toddlers)
  • coffee filters
  • liquid water colors
  • Scissors (for cutting flower/egg shapes)
Have you used pipettes for color blending before?  Let me know how you did and what you think of this activity.  

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