Cupcake flowers on the easel

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As I have recently shared, we have been exploring a few easel starters and this time, we started out with a cupcake holder on our paper…

Cupcake Flowers

As I have with all easel starters so far, I prepared the easel paper in advance.  For this activity, I glued cupcake holders on sheets of easel paint paper the night before and then set them out under the easel for the children to use.  I also set out blank sheets of paper for those who didn’t want to paint on the cupcake easel papers…

On this occasion, I introduced this process to my younger students for the first time. Initially, they were not sure what to do with it so I partner painted with one of the children to demonstrate how I can use the cupcake holder to create a flower.  Once we got going, the children totally got it and it took off from there.  Perhaps after a few runs at this, the children will be able to think of their own ideas but for now – they are enjoying painting along with me and doing a terrific job at expanding on the initial idea I share with them…

I have discovered that it is best to use a process like this only if you have a way to lead into it – especially when you first introduce the idea. For example, reading a book about flowers then inviting the children to paint would have helped frame the activity a little better. I just assumed the children would get it but because I hadn’t framed the activity beforehand, they needed my help to get started…

While some children painted a flower, others chose to use their cupcake holder as a starting point to create a design. This was awesome too because they were still creating something rather than just mixing all the colors into one large blob of paint…

Be sure to keep in mind that my children have been freely easel painting most of the school year. I do not recommend adding easel starters if students are new to using an easel. Let the children first explore the painting process and the color mixing so they are satisfied with that part of the process before adding an easel starter…

As I mentioned earlier, I also left out plain paper for those who preferred to paint without the easel starter. Not every child wants to paint around or over an object, although the majority wanted to.  And I must say, this painting turned out quite beautiful too. I think the addition of easel starters is at least influencing the kind of painting taking place in our classroom overall…

My youngest students are still working their way around understanding what to do with an easel starter but it has given us all some quality time for painting together and having conversations about the easel painting process…

And in the end, I must admit, I got the biggest thrill out of hanging so many beautiful paintings across our wall…

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Deborah J Stewart

Deborah J Stewart

Every time I think I know everything I need to know about teaching young children, God says, "Hold on a minute!" and gives me a new challenge.

Let me tell ya...

With each new challenge that you overcome, you will find yourself better equipped and more passionate about teaching young children.

God didn't call wimps to lead, teach, or care for His children. Nope, he has high expectations, so get ready. You will have to give your very best but after teaching for over 30 years, I can tell you that it is a wonderful and rewarding journey.

Whenever your calling feels hard, just remember, 'He who began a good work in you (and in the children you serve) will be faithful to complete it.'

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