Painting with Indian corn in preschool

The two year olds were enjoying this simple fall painting experience…

Paper plates filled with yellow, orange, and green paint were set out…

The children rolled the corn cobs in the paint…

Then they rolled the painted corn on a piece of paper…

The children in this class do a lot of painting. I think this is partly why they are so comfortable getting paint all over their hands…

They took their time to paint, switch colors, roll on more paint, and they even slapped on a few hand prints…

Try this fun Indian Corn bubble wrap painting from Pink and Green Mama!

Thank you to Ms. Jessi for sharing this idea on her Fall Fun post!

By |2010-11-18T23:30:58+00:00November 18th, 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. Amy A November 19, 2010 at 8:36 am - Reply


    Thank you for sharing and continuing to inspire! I gave you a blog award today!

    • Deborah J. Stewart November 19, 2010 at 8:39 am - Reply

      Thank you so much Amy – I will hop over today and check it out!!

  2. Wendy @ Living Creatively November 19, 2010 at 5:12 pm - Reply

    Ohhhh…. good idea!
    We’ve never used corn before. Great fall activity!

    • Deborah J. Stewart November 19, 2010 at 10:57 pm - Reply

      Thank you Wendy! It is definitely simple, fun, and messy:)

  3. Tonya November 20, 2010 at 10:53 am - Reply

    I love your blog and follow it often.
    I just started my own homeschooling blog!
    Check it out 🙂

    • Deborah J. Stewart November 20, 2010 at 9:31 pm - Reply

      I will be sure to check it out today!

  4. KM November 20, 2010 at 1:18 pm - Reply

    I can just hear the laughter and joy from your students! I think corn makes the perfect little roller brush!

    • Deborah J. Stewart November 20, 2010 at 9:30 pm - Reply

      I agree – it has texture and is easy to manipulate and leaves a great print!

  5. Amber November 21, 2010 at 2:40 pm - Reply

    Love all the pictures… I’m have to do this soon with my daughter. Thanks for sharing!!

    • Deborah J. Stewart November 21, 2010 at 7:52 pm - Reply

      Thank you for stopping by Amber:) Have fun with your daughter!

  6. Kiruthika November 21, 2010 at 8:47 pm - Reply

    Hi Deborah

    I think you are doing a great job with your blog and the many activities you do with the children. Just a short comment – I realize that you do a lot of food based activities – is it because they are cheaply available? Here, food is not as cheap (I was quite shocked by your cranberry painting activity) and using it as art material seems a little wasteful

    • Deborah J. Stewart November 21, 2010 at 9:32 pm - Reply

      Hi Kiruthika,
      Actually, we do all kinds of activities that do not include food but it seems the ones I have been able to observe lately are very food related. I know that it may seem wasteful but at the same time, I will respectfully disagree. I think that giving children the opportunity, if you have the means, to experience food through different senses and through different uses teaches children to understand their world in a meaningful way.

      If the only time children ever touch a cranberry is to eat it then perhaps they will never touch a cranberry at all. Not all children like the taste of a cranberry and not all children are willing to taste some foods but they are willing to explore through other senses. If children are only limited to eating a food like cranberries, they will not discover the wonderful color and feel and smell of a cranberry. They will not discover the way the juices can be used to paint or dye fabrics and paper. They will not discover how the cranberries change from a berry when it is first picked to something soft and squishy once it is cooked or smashed up. But if they can explore cranberries through their play, art, or other opportunities they will discover and remember the many qualities of cranberries.

      I think that where possible, we want to view food as more than only something to eat and not limit their imaginations. Children are the scientists of tomorrow – perhaps cranberries will be far more than we ever thought they would be someday!

      Now having said that – I agree, it is important to teach children to respect food as something we should not waste and yes, even at our school we have to consider cost and the reality of using food wisely. We also want to teach children to respect food and not be wasteful but the children we work with are very young and I still believe that young children first need to explore their world before they will have a true understanding of how they can help to take care of it – at least that is my opinion. With the Thanksgiving holidays almost over, we will switch gears and probably do less with food items but I doubt we will eliminate it all together.

      Thank you for your comment Kiruthika – I hope my comment in return does not offend you or anyone else as I am still learning too about others and the different needs and environments we all teach in.


      • Kiruthika November 24, 2010 at 8:54 pm

        Hi Deborah

        I didnt mean to be critical. As a mother of two, I was constantly using food as one of my supplies – I never used berries as they are short in supply and very expensive, but I always used stuff like flour, colored rice, yogurt painting etc. Then a friend pointed out about teaching the value of food to children and I have been wondering how to balance the creativity aspect of it with less wastage.

        Would appreciate any ideas.

      • Deborah J. Stewart November 24, 2010 at 10:29 pm

        Hi Kiruthika,
        Please don’t feel like I am coming down on you at all – I have been asked about this topic many times and I really need to write a separate blog post:) Answering you helped me start thinking about writing more on this topic:) I think that you just have to use your own judgement rather than the judgement of others in your choices.

        When it comes to the use of food, I believe that we do want to be sensitive to the idea of just being wasteful versus the idea of presenting meaningful experiences to young children.

        I don’t think all experiences with food should be eliminated as it is a wonderful way to explore the feel, touch, smell, taste, and explore the many properties of organic materials through play, art, science, and other content areas.

        There are many food items that are wonderful to use like rice that can be less expensive and lasts a long time for play and exploration. I just hate to think that we are only going to limit All learning to man-made items like tempera paint, construction paper, and glue:)

      • Kiruthika November 25, 2010 at 8:31 pm

        Ofcourse. II have been coming up with a number of alternatives as well – organic stuff that we throw away most of the time – egg shells, pista shells etc. and have been writing about them on my blog. I could give you the access to my blog if you are interested. But I need your email address though.

        Look forward to your article.

      • Deborah J. Stewart November 26, 2010 at 9:32 am

        Just drop me a not through my contact page and it goes directly to my email and then I can email you back too!

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