- Roll of craft paper, 36" wide
- Newspaper or other absorbent material
- Tempera paint in various colors
- Small paint cups
- Audio player
- Dramatic music, both fast and slow
Objective: Children will use paint to respond to music.
In Advance: Hang the craft paper on outdoor easels at children's level. Set out cups of paint and paintbrushes.
- Start the music and give children some time to listen to it. Discuss what the music makes them think about and how it makes them feel. Invite children to paint while they listen to music.
- Help children put on the smocks and encourage them to swing their arms to the music. You might even use a paintbrush to demonstrate how a conductor leads a band. Then suggest that children choose their own brushes and move them in the air to the music.
- Ask two or three children to each choose a color they like and to find a place on the paper to paint. Then invite them to paint side by side.
- Provide encouragement by making comments such as, "It looks like this music makes you happy, because your paintbrush is going up and down very quickly," or "That's a beautiful shade of green you're using."
- As each child finishes, invite another child to join the activity until everyone has had a chance to participate.
- Prepare for this to be a little messier than other projects. Keep paper towels or sponges handy.
For younger children: Choose familiar songs and rhythms that children can paint to as they begin the activity.
For older children: Provide brushes of different sizes, from small to large, for children to experiment with.
OBSERVATIONS: Are children comfortable painting to the music? What type of music elicits the most response?
REMEMBER: If children aren't responding, switch to a different kind of music. Let children leave the activity if they grow restless.
SPIN OFF: Invite parents or community members who are musicians or artists to visit your classroom and share their talents with children.
Ben's Trumpet by Rachel Isadora
Charlie Parker Played Be Bop by Chris Raschka
Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh