Today I’m sharing a materials challenge as an invitation to create. You can find more Invitations to Create in The Creative Table Project.
This month has been crazy busy, but a few days ago I was actually able to wrap my head around a creative project ahead of time and set this table up *the night before.* Gasp. Do you ever do this? It’s been a while since I have, and I always feel like I’ve embraced my inner-preschool teacher when it happens. Anyway, I look at this type of project as a provocation.
The idea here is that the materials relate to the child’s interests and abilities, are intriguing and suggestive, but there’s no expected outcome.
Here’s what I used:
- old CD’s
- colorful paper tape
- glue bottles
- paint pens
- washable markers
The fun thing is that almost as soon as my kids, ages one and three, woke up, they were engaged, intrigued, excited, and full of ideas.
N, my 3-year old, picked out the paint pens and started drawing on the CD’s. After a bit of complaining that they dried up, she learned how to press the tip up and down until the ink flowed freely.
My one-year old is turning into one of her sister’s biggest fans and wants to do everything her older sibling does.
No paint pens for her, however, because she’s not ready for permanent markers just yet. So I handed her the washable markers. Thank goodness, because she managed to pull the carefully secured table cloth up and draw all over the table in the 30 seconds I turned my back.
Process over Product
While the final product isn’t much to look at, the process speaks loud and clear. Some of the gains from this invitation to create.
- They were engaged
- They tried using new materials
- They used non-art materials for making, which teaches resourcefulness
- and I can’t wait to do this again.
More Invitations to Create
- Follow the Creative Table Project, a large resource of simple provocations like this one.
- If you’re interested in provocations, you might be interested in the Reggio-Emilia approach to teaching. In the Spirit of the Studio: Learning from the Atelier of Reggio Emilia (Early Childhood Education Series)is about art studios in Reggio schools, and looks fabulous resource.
- Buy the New Playroom (ebook) and receive a free copy of Invitations to Create: 30 days of Easy Art Prompts
- Beyond the art table, check out The Imagination Tree’s Invitations to Play provocations.
- Read my guest post on Modern Parents Messy Kids: 3 Easy Art Invitations that encourage creativity and independent thinking
- Invitations to Create from the colorful and creative blog: Buggy and Buddy