View Full Version : Help!
05-14-2004, 01:57 AM
I was just approached about teaching a watercolor class to preschoolers. (2 and a half to five year olds) I have never taught before and wouldn't know where to start. I was very flattered but scared with the idea. Any advise would be SO appreciated.
05-17-2004, 04:59 AM
Hi Shannadale .... I can't help with your question but wanted to welcome you to the forum.
Hopefully one of our experienced teachers will be along shortly to help you out.
In the meantime have you read the sticky threads at the top of the main forum page. You never know they might contain some tips for you ;)
05-17-2004, 01:18 PM
I think one problem you might have it keeping them focused on the project. It will depend alot on the group. If it is large it is harder. How many children are there in this group? It should be alot of fun, children are so creative.
05-17-2004, 02:00 PM
Well my first thought is to decline to teach that age range watercolors, and teach them with the ubiquitous temera or acrylics instead.
I have taught preschool for fifteen years, and watercolor is a poor choice for introducing young children to painting.
The problems are many:
1. They have difficulty using the small amount of water needed. They tend to use too much water, overdiluting the paint colors and soaking and soon dissolving the paper.
2. The watercolors typically used by preschoolers are far below "student" watercolors in quality, giving poor results even if the child does not use too much water. I ahve found that advanced, older preschoolers can do wonderful paintings with student watercolor paints such as W&N Cotman.
3. Since preschoolers tend to paint over the same spot, the paper surface becomes soaked and washed off.
4. "Real" watercolor paper is not generally available in preschool classrooms, and is expensive to purchase in small quantities.
So I would decline the offer. It is far batter, in my experience, to save watercolor for older children. Work with the preschoolers in tempera or acrylic, and teach them how to load the brushes, mixing colors, and making brushstrokes.
05-17-2004, 10:47 PM
Chris thanks for the welcome.
Laura there should be 8 to 10 in the group with a parent helper.
Dave - Watercolor can be trickly for adults and your right cheaper products will only make things worse. I am actu~~~y going to propose tempra pucks with kraft paper instead and go more with learning colors and forms. Hopefully this will go over with the powers that be.
Thanks again everyone.
Any ideas with tempra and kraft paper would be appreciated.
05-19-2004, 11:33 AM
The tempera cakes (use the Blick; not the Alphacolor brand!) will allow you to help them move along.
First, work on loading the brushes with paint. Next, making brush stokes. Then color mixing.
05-20-2004, 12:44 AM
Welcome! I teach PK-2nd grade and I think I can help a little. Scrap the watercolors and definitely use the tempera cakes suggested by Dave. Get chubby brushes - they're about 6-7" long, fat, 1/2" round brush. Easy for little hands to hold. Give them one or two colors, and one heavy container to share at their table for water - less spills. Have sponges for them to dab their brush on. Use heavy paper that can take abuse. And plan on them only staying with it for about 15-20 minutes, at best.
Try Kinderart.com for ideas.
- also, we paint to music - I pick different music and play a minute or two, and have them "arm dance" and large paper - we practice in the air first and talk about different marks we could make to different sounds we hear in the music. THEY LOVE THIS!! :D You could even cover the whole table (i've done this version too) and make one big community arm-dancing painting.
I have a couple books in my classroom that would be helpful - I'll post the titles here tomorrow, when I can give you complete info on title/author.
Mona Brooks, "Drawing with Young Children" may offer some helpful tips for doing art with this age group.
Check back tomorrow - I've got LOTS of books!
This experience with this age group will make you understand the phrase "herding cats." :p
good luck! Kristen
05-20-2004, 01:08 PM
Mary Ann Kohl has written many books about preschoolers and art. Just go to your fave local bookstore or online and brouse through them. Not only will you get many good specific ideas, you will also get the developmentally appropriate philosophy to accomplish the right competencies with them.
05-21-2004, 12:52 PM
Guess what?! The books I promised to look up in my classroom happen to be the very same as "just dave" mentioned - by Mary Ann Kohl. The title I have is "Scribble Art" - I think in a later edition it's something like "Process over Product" or some such idea.
Anyhow - excellent, age-appropriate resource.
05-21-2004, 02:51 PM
Thank you so much Kristen and Dave for the advise. Tempra pucks went over well with the powers that be and I have free range to do what I would like with the classes. I have already looked up Mary Ann Kohl, what a help these books are going to be. Thanks again so much.
05-23-2004, 09:28 AM
Sorry I am late to the party... If I could just add, that when your preschoolers are ready... Foamcore, the stuff people use for presentations, makes an excellent surface for a final piece in either tempra or watercolor. It has a smooth enough surface so that the colors stay especially bright, and has the added bonus of making the work look like it was done on canvas...
Just a suggestion if somewhere down the line, you get kids old enough to want to hang their work up...
06-26-2004, 12:15 AM
I have a degree in early childhood education. Teaching art to children can get messy. If you are just starting have a story with your picture. This will keep the childrens interest easier. I would like to say something about the paint. Make sure it is washable. Crayola makes wonderful products for this age. Tempra paint stains clothing. Have the children wear protective clothing. www.kinderart.com has wonderful resources for first time teachers. Kohl has other books MUDWORKS has great recipes for making editable clays that kids just love. I used an art lesson for this age group using the book mousepaint where they used their fingers. Use music when teaching art to children. This will keep the children motivated to create. Use puppets. I have done this also. Have materials set out as you are teaching to save time and to avoid caos in the center of the table
vBulletin® v3.5.8, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.