Description: This painting activity trades the traditional paintbrush for things found in nature.
Materials Needed: Paper, paint, things found in nature (pinecones, pebbles, pine branches, etc.)
Time: less than one hour, or it can be stretched into a lesson over several days
Begin this activity with a nature walk. Your walk can be as simple as spending a few minutes in your backyard or you might take a longer walk around your neighborhood. If you want to expand this project into a lesson over several days, you might want to plan a destination for your nature walk and pack a picnic.
Now it is time to set up your painting area. Protect your work area with newspaper, plastic tablecloths or old sheets. Smocks and old paint clothes are recommended especially for younger children. Plastic lids like those found on raisin, yogurt and sour cream containers make great paint palettes.
Younger children will be done at this point. For older children, once they have experimented with "paintbrushes," they may wish to create a representational picture using a variety of tools. Expand the activity even farther by experimenting with making your own natural paints (www.bl.uk/learning/artimages/sacredbook/object/paint/makingpaint.html).
Julia thought her picture looked like animal tracks.
Place a sheet of paper in the bottom of the box. Put three or four dime sized drops of paint on the paper. Place a pebble in each drop of paint.
The finished product:
* Note: The rolling pebble technique is a good choice for children with developmental delays. It requires little technical skill and due to the abstract nature of the project, the result is successful every time.