teaching to learn, means learning to teach

Posts tagged ‘pendulum painting’

Pendulums and the art of community Recycling


One of the things I like about being me, is that I like the feeling I get from making a great activity from recycled goods and other peoples trash. I thing this works well in childcare because the kids will get hands on and learn from things that might stick with them as they get older. Not everything has to be recycled in a bin, you can change it to something new and fantastic – and if you are super creative, you can even move into upcycling!

This next photo involves the most expensive part of our activity. Plastic cups and paint. Once we figured out the best consistency for the paint to be, we used the bottles the paint can in,  picking colours that had ‘run out’ and were destined for the bin. I always add a drop of dish washing liquid to my paints, because it helps the colour wash off of surfaces and clothes. So this mix is paint, water and a good dollop of dish washing liquid – in anticipation of the mess we could possibly make!

A4 card (donated by parents who work in IT) was slipped into old protective sleeves from ring bound folders, then curler into a cone with a very small opening at the end. We’d cut a strip off the card and attached it to the sides with tape to create a handle.

Pegs tied to string hung from large frames that I’d bought at my daughters school fro $1 each. Their previous use was for storing hanging bags with stories and games in them as part of their library displays. The base was covered in large packing cardboard that one of the Dad’s donates to us. He installs solar panels and this it the ‘trash’ from a days work, but is an invaluable tool for me! The large sheets of paper come from a local architects office, where they throw our reams of this stuff every week! I know many centres are still buying ‘clean’ copier paper or butcher paper for their kids to use. But when real estates and architects offer both these resources with printing on one side only, I’ll always grab it!

The gentle motion of the pendulum creates groovy patterns, but too thick a paint doesn’t run and too thin a paint creates puddles. This is definitely and activity that requires paper on hand for replacing along the way before everything turns to mush!

You can see how we tried working in teams, but it didn’t work so well in our environment – the swings got more wind and more and more paint ended up on the cement and kids than on the paper! So my fantastic Kally redesigned the area to back up against the fence which was walled off with tarps, created small walls for the sides of the book racks and made it a cleaner, more successful, individual activity to enjoy 🙂

I’ve seen people use swing sets for enormous pendulum painting on a tarp, smaller versions hung form ceiling fans above covered tables and mid sized ones using mini soccer goals  with the net removed. I wonder what will work best for your environment? I can’t wait to see how this evolves over the coming weeks!