In late November, The Yellow Room got mail… from the Orange Room!
As seen in their letter, The Orange Room asked the Red and Yellow Rooms to help beautify our shared potty on the third floor. With a knack for “all-in” painting, The Yellow Room jumped at the opportunity to create some art pieces for the bathroom and support our neighbors!
Using brown butcher paper and simple color combinations, The Yellow Room experimented mixing various shades of purple by combining red, blue, and white paint. The reason we chose to make a purple painting was because, when asked what colors they wanted to use, The Yellow Room unanimously said “purple!”
As seen in the photos above, The Yellow Room friends became engrossed in the process of mixing paint, both with their paint brush and hands… and eventually their whole arms! At the age of 2- and 3-years-old, The Yellow Room kiddos are very much involved in the process of art making on a physical level, and are not so much focused on the “product” of their creation (this is the difference between process-based art and product-based art). With each paint brush stroke, we saw the intense focus of the children watching their paint’s textures change from thick to thin and the ways the white paint influenced the combination of red and blue.
At this developmental stage, most children embody their painting and are compelled to paint because the experience is so physically and sensorially gratifying – they can feel and see their movements having an immediate effect of paint on paper. Afterwards, children may notice or assign representation to their work, such as saying “this is my family” or “I painted an animal/dinosaur/cookie.” To support process-based art, teachers share their noticing of physical features that are the consequence of the child’s efforts and exploration, “You’re creating circular patterns,” “Wow, look at that dark shade of color!” or “You’re really working hard right now” and ask questions, “I wonder what you’re going to do next?”
With the paintings finished, cut out, and drying on the hallway walls, it was time for The Yellow Room to respond to The Orange Room! Similar to the ideas shared above on representation, at this developmental stage The Yellow Room kids are beginning to assign meanings to symbols, such as letters (with each child’s “special letter” – a.k.a the first letter of their name – being very important, as well as “M” for mom and “D” for dad). These are emergent literacy skills essential for later literacy development, for all letters, words, and sentences are representations of something visual, auditory, concrete, emotional, or sensorial. When writing and reading our Yellow Room response letter, The Yellow Room began noticing and becoming aware that the words read aloud were the same words being written down; every word written represented a word that was spoken. You may notice a similar pattern of noticing the relationship between written language and spoken at home, such as when a grocery list is written… or maybe a holiday wish list 😉
After our response letter was written, The Yellow Room signed the letter using stamps and hand prints, as writing letters is still out of reach. To help support fine motor skills, we have introduced Water Artist Boards, a water-based painting experience that functions very much like calligraphy. As the children paint, the water board shows how their hand strokes movements create lines and marks on the board with a beautifully delayed darkening effect. At this age, young children’s mark-making skills are still quite large and free-from. Over the year and the years to come, their marks will begin to collide, cross, and intersect. Noticing how and where their marks connect is another important pre-writing skill because children need to develop an awareness of line spatiality and relationships to form letters.
Then it was the fun part – delivering the letter to The Orange Room! It was very exciting to deliver the letter to The Orange Room on the roof, a class we spend a lot of time with in the bathroom, gym, and rooftop. Thank you Orange Room for including us!
Families, be on the lookout for our artwork migrating from the hallway into the bathroom!
Until next time,
The Yellow Room