Planes, Trains, and Paint?

Turning five is a big deal and Anthony celebrated it in a big way at DIY Studio.  Anthony like most five-year-olds loves trains, so I offered him three different types of activities: a recycled engine build where kids can create trains from recycled materials, train tracks and snow paint or tread art. Anthony chose the last option, tread art.

The first thing I had the children do when they entered the studio was to put on some shirts. I picked up several button up shirts from Value Village and they worked perfectly as smocks to protect their clothes from markers and gooey paint. After they got their artist uniform on, they started creating their own community. This activity served two purposes, it kept the kids entertained while guests were arriving and it got the kids thinking about what they wanted in their own communities. I provided a piece of butcher paper, markers, crayons and street signs (with masking tape on the back) so the children could create “Anthony’s City”. Quickly they created skyscraper buildings, roads, green spaces, and streets. The children also added two library’s, one for both ends of the city. These creative children were so darn productive. If instead these children were adults it would have taken a series of meetings or at least a long conversation about what it should look like. Not with these kiddos. They knew exactly what to add where and made it work.

After the city planning I read a story. Let’s Go, the Story of Getting from There to Here by Lizann Flatt was the book of choice. After an hour long search at the Salem Public Library, I found this book in the Non fiction section of the children’s library. I originally looked in the picture book section of the library to no avail. I found tons of books on one topic, cars, trucks, planes, etc, but nothing that really tied all of them together in a thought provoking story. I know, I know. They are picture books, but come on! Shouldn’t there be more picture books about cities, communities and transportation? Anyhoo, back to the book…. Let’s Go, has wonderful illustrations, but most of all, it explores the history of transportation, from horses to cars to space shuttles. It’s a really nice perspective of how things came to be and the kids enjoyed it.

After the book we rolled up our sleeves and started painting. I provided kids with a blank canvas, lots of cars, trucks, trains, and planes, paint brushes and paint. I let them know there are a couple of ways to paint the canvas. Either by subtracting or adding paint. One way of painting the canvas was to roll on paint and then roll the cars over the canvas to reveal the white treads left behind. Another way would be to dip the cars in paint and then drive them over the canvas. The kids had so much fun mixing the colors and driving their vehicles through the paint. I provided only four colors of paint, however each canvas looked so very different when the kids were done. I was excited to see their process of creating.

It was such a fun day with the kids and I hope Anthony had a blast. Another DIY Studio Party Success. Many thanks to Anthony and his lovely family for letting me host it!