August 19, 2013

Wild West Cactus: Sponge Painted Fun/Art at the Daycare

Wild West Cactus: Sponge Painted Fun

Howdy Partner.  Last week was Wild West Week at the Child Development Center where I teach art. The Explorers (12-18 months) and the Toddlers (18-24 months) made cacti to decorate their classrooms. It started with sponge painting––always a favorite.

Procedure for Day 1: Sponge painting the paper

Introducing the Lesson

  • We talked about the color green.  
  • I demonstrated how to sponge paint, especially how to move the sponge all over the paper.  Young children tend to paint in one spot. 

Teaching the Lesson

  • Sponge painting is so much fun for little artists. They simply have to hop-hop-hop their sponge all over the paper. We used old, cut-up sponges with pinch-type clothespin handles.

  • After the paint dried, I cut each paper into a cactus shape.

Procedure for Day 2: Making the Cactus

Introducing the Lesson

  • I wanted the children to see what a cactus looked like.  I found a free picture on the internet which worked great.  I even threw in a few cactus facts. 


  • Then I handed each child the cactus I had cut from their sponge painted papers. It looked a lot like the picture. Several children were able to repeat the word cactus. Wow!

Teaching the Lesson

  • First the children painted a piece of  yellow construction paper with orange paint to represent a sunset.

  • Next they placed their cactus on the wet paint.

  • Of course, a cactus grows out of the ground. So the children glued on some brown paper they had previously torn into little pieces.

  • Some cacti grow flowers.  So the children glued on two flowers.

  • Ms. Que taped the pictures on the wall.  Yippee-ki-yah!  Those cacti look mighty good.

Evaluating the Lesson

I was so impressed at how the children have improved in their ability to move paint with a brush. Good work, little artists. 

Concepts Explored

  • color recognition: orange, yellow, green 
  • muscle coordination
  • following directions
  • concept development: cactus

If you have a comment or a suggestion, I'd love to hear from you.

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