Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Let's Explore Art Materials like Scientists

Whenever we do art projects, I always hand Chuck certain drawing materials because I know their properties and how they'll look and interact with each other.  In this activity I thought it would be fun to change it up a bit and let Chuck do some exploring.  So we tried our hand at exploring art materials like scientists!    

Scientifically exploring Art Materials with Kids

how to explore different art materials with kids in a scientific way
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Materials Needed:

Now let's be scientists... and artists!

(Scientific Artists?  Artistic Scientists?  Hrmmm...)

provide your child with different materials to draw on

1.  Cut out similar sized rectangles from each of your materials.

2.  Tape them onto your pieces of cardboard.

allow your child to draw on all the materials, talk about what's easy and difficult to draw on, what smears, etc

3.  Let your child try drawing on the different materials with markers and then crayons.  Observe what happens:

  • Does the marker or crayon stay on, or does it wipe off?
  • How does it feel to draw on this sheet of  ___?
  • Do the colors look bright and colorful or faded?
  • Which materials worked the best with the marker/crayon?  Which didn't work well?

Some final thoughts...

I'll be honest, I thought this activity would be a total flop.  Explore art materials like a scientist.... with an almost 3-yr old boy who would (on most days) rather play with his cars then craft with mama?  Ehhh, yeah right.

But, Chuck pleasantly surprised me.

We ended up discussing the physical properties of the different materials quite a bit.  We noticed how some colors smeared, how foil wouldn't accept colors (but became dented instead), and how some materials just let the colors spread... and spread... and spread....

(Yurp.  I think we lost about a quarter of our brown marker to the paper towel that day.  RIP friend.  It was in the name of scientific art.)

make discoveries about materials:  marker spreads when drawn on paper towel

And here's a photo of our artsy lab book.  I love how recording our findings resulted in such beautiful artwork.

let your child explore different art materials in a scientific manner

Isn't it beautiful?  I liked this one so much that I ended up hanging it up on our wall.

marker on paper towel kid's art

So I hope you try out this activity too.... and then let me know how it turns out!

Pssst- Looking for other easy ways to highlight the relationship between science and art?

Check this list of 40+ Projects that combine STEM with Art out!  Or, check out some of my STEAM themed books.

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Like kids crafts and activities?  Then you'll definitely want to check out this awesome craft ebook!  It contains 115 pages of unique crafts written by 18 kid craft loving moms!  And, it costs only $12.99!
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Happy making, friends!