Let’s paint a picture! Initially children will feel, taste, smell and explore the texture of paint between their fingers. Gradually they learn the names of the colours and learn how to mix them.
Over time and lots of repetition the child will be able to mix paint to the consistency that he/she needs to paint, learning the names of the primary colours. Then using this knowledge the child will be able to mix paint to reach the specific shade or tone needed for their painting.
Painting with the body remains an important part of the experience of paint throughout nursery, with hands, fingers, feet. Creativity begins with the confidence to explore and enjoy the materials.
As children’s control and their planning develop, this is matched by the provision of small and delicate brushes alongside big chunky ones, and opportunities to observe closely and remain involved in painting for periods of time.
The process of creating (with paint or any other material) is what matters, not the product: so children are not guided into producing identical daffodil paintings with the same shades of yellow and green, but they are encouraged to enjoy and respond to objects, and express themselves using the materials freely.
Mixing paints with increasing control extends children’s scientific understanding, for example of what happens when different colours are combined, and it can support their growing sense of their identity as they mix the colours they need to paint their hair, eye and skin colours.
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