A fun time at Early Childhood on Stafford - 10th Feb 2013

An invitation to do art with under fives at Early Childhood on Stafford:

When Rod Eales, an artist and early childhood teacher, suggested I came for a visit to do some art for the "over twos" at Early Childhood on Stafford I had never been to the centre before and I was uncertain what I could do that would amuse them or be a learning experience.

A combination of organization and chaos:

The hour and a half I spent there was combination of organization and chaos. Rod had previously taken the under fives to the Art Station where I had been the Artist in Residence at the time. They had crowded around while I was painting and showed the charming curiosity of the very young. Among the paintings I had on display was an acrylic of an over sized hamburger that amused both Rod and the children.
Because of their interest in this painting Rod had suggested a hamburger theme for my visit, and they already had pictures of hamburgers that had been printed off.

A painting of a giant hamburger: 

I decided a quick watercolour of a giant hamburger would hold their attention and we had heaps of fun deciding all the ingredients that would go into this fanciful food item. As they named the items I painted them, tomato, beetroot, cheese, lettuce. Then they started to use their imagination, a sausage, steak, bacon, even a tortoise went in much to their amusement.

Missing my grandchildren:

I have two grandchildren about their age in Chicago, and I am missing them growing up, so you can imagine my delight interacting with half a dozen or more with their energy and enthusiasm.
It was their turn to paint then, and some of the hamburgers they produced were wonderful. We then painted some daffodils in a glass vase, and a very quick sky and seascape, then a landscape with a little house with a red roof.

Who learned from who?

I was thrilled with the way the children were able to concentrate and maintain attention. I taught them how I paint, but they taught me how they paint and how they look at the world with fresh eyes.
I had hoped my visit would be a fun experience for the children, but I had not anticipated just how much fun I would have in the event myself.
My experience at Early Childhood on Stafford taught me that Groucho Marx got it right when he said: "A child of five would understand this. Fetch me a child of five."

Follow this link to see the photos of my visit to Early Childhood on Stafford.
A fun time at Early Childhood on Stafford

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