Pattern Making with Paint

There are several ways of applying paint to paper in which the technique itself or the tools used give a haphazard but attractive picture in which a child can take pleasure but not feel totally responsible if the result does not please him. They are fun to do since one can never be sure about the result, even if previous experience might lead to children deliberately placing paint in a particular way. They learn a lot by asking and being told the reasons why this or that particular result happened. The following suggestions come into this category but there are many more methods children may well devise for themselves.

Quite simply the child is given a piece of paper creased down the middle, he applies paint to one half with a brush or spoon or with a small tube with a rubber bulb (like an eye-dropper), or even with a plastic drinking straw used as a slip-trailer. The paper is then folded over so that the design is repeated in a mirror image symmetry which is often most attractive.

The paper needs to be fairly firm for this and thin card, perhaps from shirt boxes, is ideal.

This is simply blowing down through a rube to scatter the paint on paper. It is not always successful as the tube used for blowing needs to be of a wider bore than the drinking straws which are usually used. One can also do this with a large squeezy bottle. It is important that the paint is the right consistency and that the surface of the paper used allows the paint to flow freely over it.

The string is then wriggled about between the two halves of the folded paper as it is gradually pulled out. The resulting pattern depends on the number of colours and different types of string used plus the amount of movement of the string pieces.

This is a simple variation of the above where small pieces of sponge soaked in paint are placed within a folded sheet of paper and the two layers squashed together. The fun here is largely derived from the use of tweezers to pick up the paint-soaked sponge pieces or the use of a rolling pin to apply even pressure when pressing the two halves together.