“Just Make a Mark and See Where It Takes You.”

Each year, Rompers Preschool contributes to the art display at Thompson Community Centre. This year, the children in each classroom worked together on a collaborative art project inspired by the book, The Dot, by Peter H. Reynolds. While the book’s main premise initially appears to be about art, it is really about getting “unstuck,” being creative, sharing and exploring ideas in many ways. The Educators read the book to the children in hopes to inspire them to each make their own mark, to use their imagination and explore their creativity.

As Educators, we were intrigued with the idea of all the classes creating collaborative art pieces that were based on one topic, and wondered how this could be done in a short given time frame, and yet be meaningful to the children. The philosophy on art at Rompers Preschool is process over product. In process art, there are no instructions and no right or wrong way to create. The experience is driven by the child’s choice, and the duration of this experience is typically solely based on the interest of the children. For this reason, the Educators in each classroom first introduced a variety of open-ended art experiences with an assortment of materials loosely based on the book and encouraged them to use them in whichever way they deemed fit. The hope was to help the children further their understanding of the story and inspire them to contribute their own unique “mark” when creating their canvas together. Below are some samples of open-ended materials provided in all the classrooms.

Bingo dabbers and open-ended materials:

Painting with golf balls:

Salad spinner painting:

Various open-ended art materials and drawing with markers on Mactac:

Painting with watercolour:

Drawing with markers:

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Rompers Room

The 4-hour program in the Rompers Room made tribute to this activity by creating one large dot on their canvases, followed by creating many smaller dots. This art was created through multiple layers, starting with two layers of acrylic paint – the first one one of black paint, covering the whole canvas.

A and F painting with black acrylic paint.

After the black paint was dry, the children painted the second layer around a large mixing bowl with prominent colours – one canvas had blue and white or and the other had red and white. This helped create one large dot in the centre of each canvas.

Great teamwork painting with red and white around ‘The Dot!”

This process of creating these canvases in the Rompers Room took place over two days, during which after the base colours dried, the children used different coloured acrylic paint and erasers on the back of pencils to create smaller dots. The children were quick to take notice of how the erasers created different shaped dots based on how much paint was on them, and how hard they pressed on the pencil.

T and S making smaller dots with erasers!
Rompers Room Canvases and documentation of the art process,
on Display in Thompson Community Centre until Dec. 31//19

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Preschool Room

The classes in the Preschool Room completed their canvas over the course of three days. First, they divided their canvas into parts and provided the children with paint. Each child got to make their own unique mark on the canvas:

The children were then given bingo markers,
and a variety of materials (stickers, cut outs, etc.) to decorate their part of the canvas.

Preschool Room Canvases and documentation of the whole art process,
on Display in Thompson Community Centre until Dec. 31//19

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Club Room

Upon reading this book to the children in the Mon/Wed/Fri (4-year olds) class, educators and children were inspired to make their own mark to see where it would take them. Over the course of three weeks, they created multiple works of art using a variety of media and materials, including the canvases below, on which the children worked for three days.

The children started their canvas with different shades of blue paint:

They added another ‘mark’ using cookie cutter shapes & stencils:

Followed by glueing jewels and buttons onto the canvases.

Towards the end of their three-week exploration of various art materials, the educators provided a canvas for the children in the Tue/Thu Club Room class (3 year-olds) to work on together for their collaborative art project, which took two days. On the first day, the children were provided with various shades of orange and red paint. They chose to use sponges and paint brushes to make their mark. On the second day, the children were give rhinestone stickers to place on the canvas:

Club Room Canvases and documentation on the entire art process,
on display in Thompson Community Centre until Dec. 31//19

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“The Dot” Masterpieces by Rompers Preschool in
Thompson Community Centre!

After all the canvas were done, and hung in the Community Centre,
the children got the opportunity to go and see their work – and everybody else’s!

Here’s some of the things they had to say:
“Wow! So cool!”
“I like the pink one!”
“Who made those ones?”
“That’s me!”

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Benefits of Collaborative Art:

Collaborative Art is a wonderful way of building community in the classroom. Children begin to respect each other’s work, and unique skills. When working together, children are learning to communicate with each other and each make a contribution. They are able to problem solve together, and learn from one another. We may even start to see certain leadership skills develop!

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Stay Tuned for More Learning Adventures!

~ Educators in the Rompers Room

“The Dot”
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