Loose Parts: Corks, Tape & Paint



I’m a huge fan of loose parts. We have baskets of smooth river rocks, corks, spools, glass jewels, plexiglass circles, etc etc all over our classroom. Lately, there has been a huge interest in painting. I get requests to paint every.single.day. It’s really taken an interesting turn lately with the materials the children want to paint with. In the beginning of the school year we used natural brushes and since then the children’s ideas keep circling back. This provocation was a simple one; a basket of corks, a roll of masking tape, a paintbrush and a palette of paints. 

“The corks look like a flower. I painted it different colors using the paint brush. Then I stamped them.”



“I painted my flower half purple and half yellow.”



“The colors came out really good. The petals look wavy. There might have been to much paint on the corks . Look there is a bubble.”



“The colors mixed on this flower. i can see blue, purple, red, and green. It looks like a planet. I saw one in a magazine. iIt was all swirly.”



“This is a red rose. I like how the petals didn’t fill in all the way. So now it looks like a red and white rose. I think I just invented a new flower.”



“They all came out so different. That one has too much paint and that one did not have enough paint. i stamped it three times and the paint went away . I like the m all, I dont have a favorite. I like that the paint got all mixed together.”

This provocation turned out to be a lot of fun. I was surprised that the student did not try stamping with just a single cork or with a different pattern. When applying the paint to her stamps she used the brush rather than dipping  them into the paint. When discussing her actions the student didn’t want to mix the colors  on the palette by dipping the corks into the paint. She explained, once she “dipped red into white I wouldn’t have white anymore, it would always be pink”. 

All in all, a fun time had and next time we will paint with a new material. 

What materials have your students painted with? Please share any ideas or suggestions that I can share with my paint obsessed students!

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