Tip 144: September 2020 – Exploring Messy Mixtures
Website Educational Tips for Social/Emotional Development
Creating messy mixtures is a spontaneous, open-ended exploration and
discovery of hands-on learning that provides play opportunities for
Ann Pelo stated in her book The Language of Art that we use “the
word ‘art’ to describe a lively process of engagement with a range of
materials – an engagement that is sensual and reflective, creative and
deliberate, and that deepens and extends children’s learning.”
Adults can offer a wide variety of creative inexpensive activities that
children can do, but keep in mind that it is in the doing that children
learn. The processes involved in these experiences are more important then
the finished products! During these experiences children discover their own
independence, as well as exploring, discovering, and manipulating their
world. The adult’s role is to provide interesting materials, prepare the
environment and allow this to happen.
This can easily be done on white shelf paper. For infants who can’t resist
putting their hands in their mouth, yogurt can be used as the fingerpaints.
Older infants can use tools such as chopsticks, combs, old toothbrushes,
forks or spoons.
Mix ¼ C. of liquid starch, ¼ C. water, 1C. salt, and 4-5 drops of food
Have the children brush this mixture on paper. The painting will
crystallize and sparkle as it dries.
Squeeze Paste Painting
Mix equal parts of flour and salt. Add enough paint or water mixed with
food coloring to form a paste. Pour this mixture into a squeeze bottle. Squeeze this paint onto heavy construction paper. Salt will give the design a glistening quality when it dries.
Jean Piaget said “Every time we teach a child something, we keep him from
inventing it himself…that which we allow him to discover by himself…will remain with him.”
All these activities involve the process skills of problem solving,
representation, reasoning, communication, and connection with others which
helps to enhance their social and emotional development.
Strengthening all these skills promote self-esteem and a sense of
competency. If children feel comfortable with themselves and have a sense
of belonging, it is much easier to reach out to other children and adults
and adapt to new environments.
Every Artist Was First An Amateur
(Ralph Waldo Emerson)