Paper vs Foil vs Cellophane. The Great Paint Off!

May 18, 2012

We are always looking for and thinking of new, fun ways to paint, so when we decided to give painting with foil a try, I thought it might be interesting to test a few other similar(ish) materials to see what the difference might be.

This allowed us to experience and discuss different patterns and textures, try out different techniques, make observations and conclusions about the experiment  as well as the general fine motor development, sensory experience and creativity that comes with any painting activity.

You will need: Paint, Paper, Foil and Cellophane.

painting experiment, painting activity, toddlers, preschoolers

Let the Paint Off begin!

This activity was completed by a 3 year old but can be modified to suit a variety of age levels. See the "Handy Tips" at the bottom.

The invitation to start experimenting

 Ummm, but how to paint with them?
Discuss the different ways that you could use the materials to paint with and experiment or decide the best or easiest way

 We decided upon "scrunched"

 The cellophane was really fun as it made different patterns because it wouldn't stay in a ball

 The foil made a more consistent pattern and she found the silver glinting through the paint to be quite fasinating

 I started imagining all the different shapes you could make by moulding the foil. Maddie was content with this same print.

 She really loved painting with the paper. It was "much softer than the others" and "made cool shapes"

We observed that the shapes made were similar but could definitely see the difference and found the sensory aspect of the materials to be very different indeed

After the initial experimenting and testing of the materials, it was time for a collaborative art piece

 This time all the materials had their own paint colour so we could clearly see the distinctions on the paper

 The cellophane was dubbed as the worst to paint with due to it flapping around everywhere and not leaving a great pattern

 The foil ended up coming 2nd in favourites. Probably because it was easy to hold and manipulate and because she liked how shiny it was

 The Paper? You guessed it. It was the favourite.

 I found that it started to rip and come apart after time as it got soggier, but this didn't phase Madeline.

kids painting activity, painting activity, painting experiment
Original Art Masterpiece. Created with scrunched paper, foil and cellophane.

Handy tips:

-Simplify this activity by providing the scrunched balls of paper, foil and cellophane and just letting your child create some art using the different materials

-Extend this activity by having your child form some hypothesis about the experiment. For example, ask your child what they think the differences will be before you start the painting. Help them write or decide upon a statement about the results, ie. "The foil will be the best to paint with because of...." etc. "It will work better than the .... because...." etc. Then test the theory and see if you agree at the end.

- Use new language and descriptive words like, "patterns" and "experimenting." This will help with their language development.

-Ask questions to help connect their understanding and use vocabulary to give them words to describe what they're creating, eg. "What is it like to paint with that one?", "How are you going to hold that to get the best patterns?", "Why do you think the paper is ripping?" etc

- Listen to your child talk as they go through their experiences. This will help you determine where they are at with their learning, knowledge and understanding and help you to develop the activity (or future activities) to their level and interests.

Debs :)

If you haven't come over to play with us on facebook yet, we'd love to see you there. Hey, we're also on Twitter now too. You can also subscribe (top right) so that you don't miss any fun activities.