Beautiful acorn paintings in preschool

This is a process my students just loved and I fell in love with all the paintings that resulted from the children’s work today…

The children began by writing their name (or their mark) on the paper then dripping on some drops (or in some cases a few small puddles) of paint onto their paper…

Then the children placed their paper in an oatmeal container, added a few acorns to the container then closed the lid on top…

Now it was time to shake the container as much as the children desired…

And shake they did…

And after all the shaking, it was time to take the lid off the oatmeal container and pull out the paper that was curled around inside…

And every child could do it all by themselves and every child was amazed at how the colors blended so beautifully on their papers…

And so was I!

Many of the children chose to make more than one painting – taking their time to complete each part of the process and looking forward to opening that can to see how their colors all blended together on their paper…

No matter how many times each child decided to paint, each painting turned out different and every painting was simply beautiful…


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By |2012-09-24T06:00:52+00:00September 24th, 2012|

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. DianeMargaret September 24, 2012 at 11:16 am - Reply

    I don’t have an oatmeal container (we buy it in 20 pound bags!). I DO, however, have 4 inch PVC pipe scraps! I think we’ll take a trip to the hardware to get some caps for it then go for a walk to gather some acorns!
    I can wash it out and keep it for later projects, being made of plastic.
    I just had another thought…you could use a piece of old Tupperware too. There’s several of their things that would work…like maybe a pitcher or one of those round spaghetti containers.
    This should be fun!!!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 24, 2012 at 10:30 pm - Reply

      Absolutely DianeMargaret – any kind of container with a lid that won’t pop off during shaking will do quite well!

  2. Vicky @ Mess For Less September 24, 2012 at 3:28 pm - Reply

    Love the result and getting looks like so much fun. I bet they used a lot of energy shaking those containers too. Pinning!

  3. Diane Postman September 25, 2012 at 9:47 am - Reply

    I have also done this in a low box. I find boxes like the ones that sodas are delivered in or the tops to copy paper boxes and tape a sheet of paper in the bottom. It really works eye-hand coordination because the child can see the acorn and has to tilt the box at the right angle to get the acorn to roll where s/he wants it.

  4. LÚCIA MORAIS October 19, 2012 at 5:48 pm - Reply

    Boa noite.
    Gostei muito desta ideia da PINTURA COM BOLOTAS. experimentei com os meninos da minha sala. ADORARAM. Foi uma manhã muito divertida. os trabalhos que resultaram ficaram muito bonitos. Também os pais gostaram e perguntavam como tinham sido feitas.
    Visito muitas vezes a sua página. Tem sempre ideias muito interessantes. OBRIGADA PELAS PARTILHAS.


    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. October 20, 2012 at 3:09 am - Reply

      I am glad you liked it and tried it Lucia!

  5. Rebecca November 5, 2012 at 10:17 pm - Reply

    I did this exact activity with an integrated preschool class! They loved it and it worked great. Instead of using squirt bottles we put acorns in cups of paint and used spoons to scoop them into the oatmeal containers to practice fine motor skills. I also used this activity as a color mixing and primary colors lesson!

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