October 30, 2013

The Painted Pumpkin

The Painted Pumpkin

Last Halloween, when Calvin was one year old, he painted three little gourds. Now that he's two, we decided to paint a big pumpkin for Halloween!  Read on to find out how we did it. 


  • Here's the pumpkin ready to be painted.

  • I asked Calvin what color he wanted to start with.  He selected orange, which is his most recent favorite color of all time. It didn't show up very well, but he was happy just the same.

  • He moved on to green next.

  • Using the small brush was rather laborious, and I was afraid Calvin's attention span would run out before he could finish the pumpkin.  So when he requested yellow as his next color, I served it with the big brush.

  • Black was his next choice.  

  • Calvin decided to do a little finger painting with the black paint.  He used his finger nails to go 'round and around and around', which is his favorite (and his only) finger painting technique.

  • Then it was back to the brush.  

  • With that he was done.  I cleaned his hands and off he went to conquer new adventures with his Legos.

  • After the pumpkin dries, we're going to put a face on it.  So stay turned.  There's more to come.

Extending the Activity:

This was not the first time Calvin painted with more than one color; but, up until now, he had access to only one color at a time.  I used to put each color into its' own bowl, with its' own brush.  Then, as I presented each new color, I took the previous color away.  I did this to contain the mess that comes with a one year old just learning to paint.

Now that Calvin is two, I want him to have more choices and more freedom.  With that in mind, today's activity used a muffin tin to hold the various paint colors.  I still introduced the colors one at a time, each with its' own brush; but this time, I did not remove the previous color.  Calvin had control over which color he wanted to use and for how long.  

I am going to help Calvin learn to keep the colors separate as he paints.  The first step will be to keep the red brush in the red paint, the green brush in the green paint, etc.  Once he has mastered that, he'll move on to using only one brush, rinsed before each new color.

Oh, there will be plenty of time to mix colors too, but all that will come in its' own good time.

Do you have a comment or a suggestion?  I'd love to hear from you.

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