Painting on Reflective Surfaces

For this month’s Infant and Toddlers’ Art Group, I couldn’t settle on what to bring to the park. After rummaging through two cupboards and a box of materials¬†(yes, I desperately need to get more organized), I settled on bringing some aluminum foil.


I set out the foil with sandy paint for a gritty contrast to the smooth, cool aluminum.



I’ve started to set up some paint on the benches of the park picnic tables. They are the perfect height! Moon (12 months) can stand and easily access the paint.


Inspired by the idea of the reflective foil, I decided to look around the house for other painting surfaces that would shimmer outdoors. The babies painted with this Mylar type paper and a cornstarch water mix (the paper was leftover holiday wrap).



While some babies experimented with texture, Moon was compelled to explore her relationship to the spaces around her. I’ve noticed this at home as well. I think there are some changes to our home environment that need to be made in order for her to further study the relationship of her body and how it fits in the world around her.




Thirdly, I set out a mirror and paint.




The collaborative work above was painted by children of various ages (young school-age, preschool age, and two years old), and was as elaborate as they decided it should be. At one end, a toddler painted the entire surface, and at the other end the older children painted lines and the spaces within the lines.


While the art group is titled “Infant and Toddler,” open-ended art experiences can be captivating for children of any age. I’m curious to know how, if at all, art experiences are different for older children when they paint alongside toddlers and infants.


Have you ever noticed any differences in the way older children work when they paint alongside very young children?


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