Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Snow Science II: Studying the consistency of paint

Leftover melted snow paint, fresh tempera paint, blowdryer, droppers / spoons, sensory bin and paint tray

I set up the paint station with two cups of melted snow paint (from yesterday’s experiment) and two cups of fresh tempera paint near the sensory bin. I set the blowdryer nearby so the children could have access to it as needed throughout the project.

We reviewed our snow project from yesterday and discussed how we had used the blowdryer to transform the melted snow into colored water. As the children watched, I poured new tempera paint in smaller containers for them to explore. While they explored the paint, we discussed the consistency of both kinds of paint. 

They mixed, poured and stirred paint in containers noticing that that the new paint was “gloppy” and dripped slowly from the spoons while the snow paint was very watery and ran right off the spoon.

Some of the children clearly enjoyed the thicker paint much more than the watery paint. They scooped out lots of paint into a great gloppy mass, flinging it and splattering it on their tagboard before taking a turn with the blowdryer. 

Others preferred the unpredictable nature of the watery snow paint. They seemed to enjoy the challenge of scooping up enough paint with tiny spoons then carefully carrying it over to their project trying not to spill. Often the paint ran onto the floor before the artist reached her destination - despite their best efforts. Eventually we decided to add eye droppers to the paint cups which worked out MUCH better. 

After some exploration, the children added a twist of their own to our little experiment by mixing the different consistencies of blue to make paint that was neither too thick nor to thin. They used both the eye droppers and the scoopers to cover their paper in the medium textured paint then turned the blowdryer on it. 

As each child covered their paper with the desired amount of paint, they all took turns using with the blowdryer to move the paint around the paper. We observed the changes in the textures and colors of the paint as they changed positions with the dryer. The thicker paint moved slowly in flat waves while the thinner snow paint blew across the paper in fast little rivers. Towards the end of our experiment one child dumped ALL the pant on his paper and blew it all around the sensory bin. He seemed to take great pleasure in watching the movement of the colored water waves as they rolled across the bottom of the bin, covering his paper completely. 

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