We didn’t like painting with popsicles in preschool

I almost did not write about this activity because, quite frankly, it wasn’t all that great! But – I decided that it was important to share experiences that don’t work out quite as expected.

Each child was given a piece of paper and a Popsicle. I thought they would love seeing how they could draw on the paper with the Popsicles!

I didn’t expect the Popsicles to break off right away. Trying to draw with the broken pieces was much too cold on our hands…

We still gave it a shot with the pieces that were left on the stick but the Popsicle was too dry at first and didn’t leave any really good color on the paper.

We tried setting out cups of water to see if dipping the Popsicles in water would make a difference.

This really didn’t help either but we did like the results of creating colorful water!

So we thought about mixing the water together to make more colors…

By this time, all the children really wanted to do is eat the Popsicles – so that is what we did!

Not every idea that you do in your classroom will work out as expected but this is how you will discover what works and what doesn’t.  I almost think if we had used the Popsicles to do nothing but talk about the word cold and use them to color the water, that the children would have enjoyed the experience more. Next time, I will make another plan. I wont mark the idea off my list entirely, but I will modify it.

By |2010-08-20T20:00:41+00:00August 20th, 2010|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Kim August 20, 2010 at 8:39 pm - Reply

    We make colored ice cubes with food color and water. The more food color, the brighter the color. My kids LOVE this even though it is cold on their hands. We do it outside on a HOT day! Sorry the Popsicles didn’t work! I actually like doing activities that don’t work the way I planned. The children help me with ideas on how to do it next time! 🙂

    • Deborah J. Stewart August 20, 2010 at 8:40 pm - Reply

      That sounds like a much better approach. I am going to try that next time:)

  2. Jenny August 20, 2010 at 8:41 pm - Reply

    I quite like reading about things that don’t work out as we envisioned them to Deborah, because that is the reality of being a teacher. How often do I set up an experience that I think the kids will love, only to have them ignore it – or take it in another direction – or for it all to end up in a truly spectacular chaotic mess!

    • Deborah J. Stewart August 20, 2010 at 8:54 pm - Reply

      LOL Jenny! I laughed when I would see them sneak a lick on the Popsicle instead of painting on their paper:)

  3. Alicia August 20, 2010 at 9:20 pm - Reply

    I always appreciate the posts where crafts don’t go as planned. It helps know what not to do, it shows that none of us are perfect (who wants to read a blog where everything looks like bluebirds should be circling every day???) and it reminds us that it happens to everybody. 🙂

    • Deborah J. Stewart August 20, 2010 at 10:40 pm - Reply

      Haha – for sure there are days in my classroom where the bluebirds are no where to be found:)

  4. Scott August 21, 2010 at 12:02 pm - Reply

    I think we teachers are like the preschoolers – We learn best by doing and we learn as much (or even more) when things don’t work out. I’ve had a couple of spectacular failures and many, many misdirections and ignored materials. Those usually lend themselves to the most learning. Thanks for the reminder, Deborah.

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