Sunday, February 5, 2012

A Glorious Mess

I was looking for a fun art project for Lucy that didn't involver her embellishing something I had made, or trying to create something along lines I had drawn.  I am starting to realize that preschoolers don't really do "crafts" so much as they experiment with art.  The best experience for Lucy is me just providing the media and letting her explore the process of making something.

This project looked like a lot of fun to me.  And it was something where there was really no expected "product" so I felt like I could just let her have fun with it.  Turns out it is easier said than done, this allowing the mess to flow without any expectations!  The idea is that you make soap bubble paint solution and blow bubbles.  Then you take pieces of paper and tap them on the bubbles to make fun bubbly prints.  My big plan was to use the paper she decorate to make valentines for grandparents.

You need:
Bubble solution (see below)
a drinking straw
a dish
thick paper (any paper will do, but if you do this project like Lucy did, you'll need something that will stand up to a full-on dunking)
a smock for the kid (maybe one for yourself)
a washable surface to contain the mess
lots of towels

Here is the recipe for the bubble solution:
3 cups of water
1 cup of dish soap
1/4 cup of corn syrup
1/2 cup tempera paint

A word to the wise: use a dish that is AT LEAST 4" deep.  This is a lot of liquid.

True to form, Lucy didn't care one bit about what the project was supposed to be!  We mixed it up together in the kitchen.  "Oooo, gooey!" was her comment as a glopped the paint into the mix.  I spent the whole time we mixed telling her this wasn't for eating for drinking.  We were going to do bubble painting!  As the original poster of this project suggested, I poked a hole in the straw to prevent her from drinking the mixture instead of blowing bubble with didn't work out so well.  I put the dish down, gave her the straw and showed her how to blow the bubbles.  Then I went the 12 steps to the kitchen to get the paper.  Coughing ensues.  I hear a pained (and perhaps a trifle betrayed) little voice say "It doesn't taste good!"  No, sweetie, it soap mixed with paint doesn't taste good, even with corn syrup added.

So after a drink of water, much coughing and a little vomit, we were back to the project. Lucy wanted nothing to do with blowing bubbles this time (which I though would be the most fun), so I was the bubble blower. She dunked the paper, scooped bubbles, painted with the straw, spit, fingerpainted, splashed in the paint and generally did everything but the actual project. After a while I stopped trying to direct the mess and let it flow. What glorious fun!

You can see the remnants of her taste-test on her fac...

And then, an hour later, I notice it is raining on Lucy's art project.  Sigh.

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