You know, I remember being in preschool and kindergarten and it seemed like we painted almost every day. I don't remember seeing any looks of stress on my teachers' faces when they brought the paint out. I don't remember going home with any splotches of paint on my clothes or in my hair. I just remember painting -- I remember the smell of tempura paint -- the real stuff, not the watered down washable kind they manufacture now. I remember the big, huge paint brushes that were put into our little hands and it was as if someone had just handed us a magical scepter. Painting was just something we did, and everyone smiled and everyone took home beautiful art.
Fast forward to today.
I brought out the paint so we could do a project being that it is Friday and everyone is tired and hot. I purchased pizza boxes to be used (Pinterest project!) as containers for all of the First Grade activities that parents want to save through the year -- they will now have a nice storage box for all of it. The pictures on Pinterest were of course these beautiful pieces of art -- each child with a perfectly placed hand print on the box and their name written in beautiful script. I saw the picture of the end product -- each little student holding a box that was awesome. After today I went back and looked at that picture again and realized there are a lot of adults in that picture, too. Evidently those beautiful boxes were not entirely the work of kindergarten students. Well, there was only one adult in our room today and I thought I would give the students a bit more freedom -- "Paint some kind of nice picture on it or a pattern of some sort and we'll add hand prints," I told them sweetly.
Getting the paint out was fine and explaining how to carry it and not spill it went well. For the most part, they did pretty good. No huge messes -- although we found out we do have one little butter fingers in our class who dropped the paint six times! As I circulated around the room I saw students painting outside scenes, pretty trees, houses, people, rainbows....and then I came across the zombies. "What are you painting on your box?" I asked. "Zombies," answered the little Firstie. "Ah, I see...," I said. "And does your mom like zombies?" I asked. "No, she hates them," answered the little fella as he continued to paint.
So, although the meaning behind the boxes may have been lost on some of my students, they did enjoy the painting and a break from the work. The boxes are all spread out across the room, drying. Except for that zombie one. That one is roaming around aimlessly.