Play Based Learning Play Based Learning

Recent Posts




::: pump action squirt painting

Donna popped into our favourite recycling centre during the holidays and came back to kinder with lots of goodies.

Amongst it all were some plastic bottles with pump action squirters.

She filled them up with coloured water and put them at the outside easel.

We thought the children would press them down with their index fingers like we would, but as doing it that way was a bit difficult for them … actually it was tiring work …

they came up with clever ideas to get around the problem … like the two finger approach …

the middle finger for strength …

the thumb for power…

and the whole hand action for speed!

Lining up that tiny hole so it pointed towards the paper was an added challenge. (We must admit a couple of children did squirt themselves in the face … but being only coloured water no harm was done … phew!)

The resulting paintings were fabulous …

each one unique …

and the children just kept queuing up to have a go.

Not only was it a great exercise in patience, turn taking and using both fine and gross motor skills …

it again became a wonderful colour mixing exercise!!

Tags: , ,

9 Responses to “pump action squirt painting”

  1. emt training says:

    Wow this is a great resource.. I’m enjoying it.. good article

  2. Teacher Tom says:

    Yep! That tends to be our experience exactly. We’ve tried the trigger type that are more like pistols and those are easier, but they really aren’t sturdy enough for preschool use and are almost always out of commission by the end of the day. (An interesting side note: as a boy, my family lived across the street from the man who invented the trigger style spray bottle. He earned a penny for each one sold moved to a much bigger house about a year later.)

    I’m excited by all your tires with boards and balance beams connecting them. I’ve never seen them (or noticed them) before! A parent asked me last week if we could use more tires and I said I didn’t know. I’m going to shoot her an email tonight! That looks fun!

  3. Teacher Tom says:

    Oh, and another fun thing to do with spray bottle painting is to mask part of the target paper with a shape of some sort (triangle, fish, star) then remove it when the child is done spraying to show them the “magic” painting they’ve made. Just make sure to remove it right away or the paint soaks through the paper you’ve used for masking.

    We also like to just unfurl one large piece of paper and make it a group project. Then they not only spray their own faces, but each others as well! Good times! =)

  4. admin says:

    Interesting! We create a kind of obstacle course every day for the children to play on outside using balance beams, boards, ‘A’ frames, ladders, tyre, logs and the like … we just thought every body did this type of thing … hmmm … we’ll have to do a post on this for you Tom! 🙂 🙂

    Also love the paint ideas … another tick in the good ideas box … thanks Tom 🙂 🙂

  5. Louise says:

    HI Tom and girls, like you Tom, the children like to use the trigger type spray bottles more often than the small press ones – but get them from your families – the windex type bottles well washed out last for literally months of energetic use. (It’s a painting activity that some boys especially love, when they might not want to pick up a brush very often otherwise – something to do with using a tool perhaps – apart from all the other obvious attractions of spray painting!)

  6. Looks like everyone had fun; I like Tom’s idea about spraying around a shape! We’ve just been ‘cave painting’ this week and the children sprayed around their hands. We found the little travel atomizers worked best for that project, as you get such a fine mist. I wanted to post the project this weekend, but similar to how you felt when your camera had a ‘hissy fit’, I’ve left the bloomin’ camera at work!!! Duh!!! 🙂

  7. pam says:

    I am a grandmother who is still 10 at heart! I am so playing with this idea! The possibilities are endless. What a great way to make greeting cards. Even apply a bit of ink while it is still wet!

    Thanks so much for sharing.

  8. amelia says:

    What kind of easels are you using? Did you make them yourself or buy them? Are they easy to set up outside/inside?


  9. Did you use edicol or what for colouring?

    ::: Powdered Edicol Lesley. liquid Food colouring can be used of course but we love the intensity of the Edicol. 🙂 🙂