Painting the Water Table
Interested in a bit of spontaneous process art? It was E’s idea while we were playing in the backyard. Out of the blue, she asked for some paint to paint the water table!
I liked the idea a lot – the water table is easy to clean up and has many interesting surfaces to explore with paint.
To make it even easier to clean up, I added just a tiny bit of dish soap to the tempera paint. I first used this trick when E painted a window a couple of years ago. It comes in really handy because it doesn’t dilute the paint but makes it a snap to wash it off of hard surfaces.
(E was 4 years and 7 months old.)
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Materials for Painting the Water Table:
- Water table.
- Tempera paint.
- Dish soap (optional).
- Container or plate for the paint.
I put a little bit of each of the colors E had chosen on a paper plate, added a squirt of dish soap on top, provided some paintbrushes and set it all up for her on top of a cooler near the water table.
E was very particular about painting certain areas of the water table a specific color.
N wanted to see what was going on
and ended up with blue fingers 🙂
He then decided to explore the bottom of the water table instead 😉
Conveniently, the cooler could double as a place to sit – painting the water table is hard work 🙂
When most of the water table except the larger compartment had been painted, E decided that she needed a different color for the rest – and decided to mix all the colors on the plate!
Once the colors had all been completely mixed, she proceeded to paint the larger compartment the resulting brownish color.
She still had enough red and blue paint on her other paintbrushes to experiment with making dots
but finally decided to paint over them again.
N came back to check on things, and E noticed that most of the paint had dried quite quickly, but there were still some wet spots. We talked about the reasons for that for a bit.
When E was done painting, we added some water to the compartments of the water table – and things became even more fun 🙂
As expected, the paint washed off easily, both from the water table and from E’s clothes.
What type of spontaneous process art have you tried? Have you ever painted a water table? Leave a comment below!
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