I LOVE to watercolor paint. I've had so many happy surprises, despite the fact that my skills are limited. I also love to share painting with kids. My two year old "needs" to watercolor at frequent intervals.
Here are some of the things I think kids gain from painting:
- patience with themselves and the paint
- focus on a specific task
- acceptance that things might not work out the way you expect
- confidence in their creative abilities
- appreciation for their work and improvement with practice
- joy in something that is neither immediate nor action packed nor technological
I know, I know. . .it sounds like I'm pinning a lot on one little activity. That's just it. It doesn't have to be just one little activity. It can happen regularly and frequently. It does not require lots of fancy tools or space.
I painted with 24 4th graders on Friday, and it was the absolute delight of my week. They did a great job at taking care of the materials. It was a gift to witness the variety with which they approached this experience. I'm already plotting future Friday paint dates! Students chose one of their little paintings to hang on their lockers with their first writing sample of the year. (This is how I justify this experience within the context of stifling standards driven school life.)
What delights you at work?