Painting Activity

My weekday is spent in the company of 5 and 6 year olds. I plan activities for them so that they can be exposed to as many interests as possible in my kindergarten class. The first step of the Art Inquiry I am currently doing with them is to create a painting using tempura paints.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
The start of a creation. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

The majority of children in my class are excited when I bring the paints out. Many of them ask to paint two, three, or even four pictures. I am told one is for me, one is for mom, one is for dad, one is for a sibling.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
Lets begin. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

One mandate given to the children is that they are not to mix the colours. I have found that they are generally good about following this instruction. Those who forget, quickly discover that mixing the colours leads to a painting that is only brown.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
An artist’s palette. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

Very quickly the paints are used to create beautiful paintings. Colours are chosen , as well as the subject matter of the painting, by each child in order to make a painting that is unique to them.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
Creating a piece of art. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

Beautiful pictures are created. What I enjoy most, however, is the sense of pride each child has as they create something that they have in their minds. As you can imagine, I have many beautiful paintings decorating my classroom 🙂

Have you had any paintings given to you by a 5 year old?

(This post was inspired by the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Threes)

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

51 thoughts on “Painting Activity

  1. The very idea of 5-year-olds and paint makes me smile. I once read that we should all create art like toddlers. They are so proud of their work and not self-critical. It is pure joy that they are happy to share. I always try to remember that.


    1. What I have noticed is they draw their favourite things. I have this boy in my class who loves trains – he plays with them, builds them with the blocks, and talks about them. He, of course, painted the trains he loves so much 🙂


  2. I used to hang pictures by my grandsons, but they have grown to old to make Grammie pictures, but the little girl next door is in Kindergarten and brings me pictures and other art works all of the time. I keep every one of them.


  3. I love children’s paintings too Colline, in fact we have some from our children, but now the 4yr old paints every time she is here, and hangs them on the walls as her ‘exhibition’ … such a glorious activity!


  4. A wonderful post, Colline. I loved the series of photos showing the progression from pristine paints to a what could be considered a work of art, themselves. But you knew that was going to happen, didn’t you? 😉


  5. I had one given by 5-year-old granddaughter this very day. She also did a most impressive mask, which scared the you-know-what out of me when she came up behind me when I was deep in a writing frenzy. (It is a scary part, too.)


  6. A beautiful artistic way to allow the children expression of imagination of the mind Colline.
    Lovely to hear they look forward to you bringing the paints out.


  7. nice post. and I have one idea to toss your way for times when you do want to let kids mix colors. You can set up stations where they have to use the primary colors to make secondary. If you keep the colors split up – it will not lead to the murky brown.

    so on one table have yellow and blue and the kids make green. the other table haas hello and red to make orange -and then a final table can have red and blue to make purple. or you can do one color.

    I used to sometimes just make green and then we would read little blue and little yellow – (by leo Lionni) and then the students would make “torn paper” collages.

    But it looks like your 5 and 6 year olds are in very good hands in your class!!! 🙂



    1. I like your idea. Thank you for sharing. It will be a wonderful way to introduce them to he concept of primary and secondary colours. I will add this activity to my inquiry.


  8. As you know, I adore children’s art. Your classroom must be beautifully decorated with all your student’s art! How lucky you are to be surrounded by such beauty.

    Seeing those little pots of tempura paint reminded me of my childhood when we used to paint freely with wide strokes, big imaginations and wild abandon. What a carefree time that resulted in the loveliest art.


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