Previously at the Whitworth our messy workshops were limited to outside only as we used the gallery spaces for all our engagement work. We will still continue to use the gallery spaces in the new building, but we will also have our own purpose built Learning Studio which will enable us to do more messy play in the future.
So, last week in Toddlertastic we thought we’d make the most of our time in our temporary venue Z-arts and experiment with a spot of messy playtime to try out some new ideas and gauge parents and children’s reactions to something totally different ready for our new building.
Parents/carers were given a heads up that we would be painting and to wear older clothing. On arrival both children and grown ups were encouraged to take off shoes and socks to enhance the sensory experience.
Frances Walker, our fantastic Art and Play specialist, made the paint herself by mixing cornflour, water and natural food colouring; totally edible, completely non toxic and perfectly messy! (See recipe here)
This was many children’s first experiences of paint so to get the children and grown ups warmed up Frances introduced everyone to the paint by dripping a tiny bit onto their fingers for them to feel.
A huge area of paper was set out covering the whole room and children and parents were invited to get stuck in. Frances gradually introduced new tools to use and explore with the paint; paint brushes, sponges, balls to roll, string and rope, Children were squelching it through their toes, smothering it with their hands and even printing with their bottoms by the end.
It was a great opportunity for children to really lead the way and for both adults and children to let go and have a blast exploring and playing together.
This was a great session. It’s so nice to do something totally different. I could never do this at home!
My little boy was a bit unsure to start off with but by the end he was right in there and covered from head to toe!