Colour Clusters and Simple Camping

The seemingly endless energy of young children to both create and destroy throughout their day can make the clean up crew (parents) a little less than inspired. Sometimes process art can feel like an exercise in mess making. But these moments of experimenting are often a child’s beautiful way of seeking out answers,  everytime they create… and destroy.

“When children explore art ideas, they are testing possibilities and working through challenges much like a scientist who experiments and finds solutions. Art allows children to make their own assessments while also teaching them that a problem may have more than one answer. Instead of following specific rules or directions the child’s brain becomes engaged in the discovery of ‘how’ and ‘why.’” Mary Ann Kohl.

July’s art project, Colour Clusters, has two simple parts. So you can gather up the supplies and watch your child engage in their own “how” and “why.”

Part One
The base of this project is cardboard, cut to whatever shape you choose.We have cut out cardboard squares but cardboard rainbows are always a hit! Each square needs to be painted in a different colour. If your child is interested, they can create custom paint colours by blending different colours. They can even label their custom paint. You may get some pretty ‘colourful’ paint names from your child. Some of my favourite paint names have been “T-Rex Skin,” “Sad Blue” and “Bedroom Pink.”

Part Two
Decorating the squares with like colours.Loose, leftover craft supplies or recycled materials are perfect for this stage. I bought a bag of plastic butterflies (Amazon) to bring a unifying element and I thought the children would love them! Other items to use may include plastic lids, magazine scraps, paint swatches, yarn, pompoms or stickers. If your child can’t wait for the paint to dry on the cardboard squares, just add the decorative items with liquid, white glue. Display the completed squares together for the most impact.

Things to talk about while making art together.
What colour is this?

How does this colour make you feel?

Where should I put this piece?

I like creating with you!

Bonus: Simple Camping Art Activity
For a very young child, bring a variety of different sized paint brushes and a pail for water. Your child can enjoy the freedom of painting anything (truck tires, tree trunks, the road in front of your site etc) as they use water instead of paint.

For a slightly older child, hunt for natural treasures such as large pinecones to bring back to camp. Wrap a piece of wire around one end of the pinecone and let the remaining wire length stick straight up. Your child can then paint or add chalk to the pine cone as well as add beads and ribbon to the straight wire. Once it is decorated, add a loop in the wire top so you can hang your beautiful, colourful pinecone.