Despite the thousands of ideas you’ve seen floating around the internet, do you ever feel like you’re at a loss for an art activity that your kids will enjoy, while also challenging them to think?
Children get excited about solving real problems, and the problem in this project lies in figuring out how to circumnavigate a paper plate with color and patterns. While tackling the challenge of working in the round and developing a series of patterns, you can also feel good knowing that this helps with spatial reasoning and math skills too!
Further, this project is great for building creative thinking skills and the imagination.
Oh, and did I mention that the set-up and materials are ridiculously simple. You don’t need a lot of art know-how to make this work for you.
- Paper Plates
- Markers or Paint
We cleared off the coffee table and I gave each of my children (Nutmeg is 4 and Rainbow is 21 months) a paper plate and a caddy of markers. Simple, right?
I started by talking about how we were going to draw around the plate in circles, and then began by drawing on my own plate (in the foreground). I started with a small green flower, and then surrounded it with a circle, another circle of dots, a circle, and so on.
Nutmeg quickly caught on and plotted her own take on a circular pattern. Baby R didn’t draw in circles, but happily did her own thing with plates and markers.
Most likely because I initiated my own plate with a flower at its center, many of N’s designs looped around a flower too. The power of suggestion is strong, and I think children can learn a lot from their parents and teachers, but it’s smart to be mindful of this phenomena.
Later in the day while Baby Rainbow napped, Nutmeg wanted to try this project with paint. So I set her up with yogurt containers filled with a little bit of Liquid Watercolor Paint (such a great product, from Discount School Supply).
All in all, we created about 12 plates this day. Because they were all colored on the back side, I saved them and we’ll use them on a picnic one day soon.
What do you think? Do you have a stack of paper plates that could use a little bit of color? Or maybe you could try this on your next picnic?
More Circular Challenges
Tracing Circles, Tinkerlab
Leaf Mandalas for the Wall, The Artful Parent
Spirograph Mandalas, Paint Cut Paste
Easy Art for Kids – Circle Printing, Picklebums