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Today we created an Outdoor Artist Studio. I’m finding it quite hard to believe but our Gazebo has been up now for over a week and that is unheard of!! So, under the Gazebo was a frenzy of creativity and design! I put out some paper plates, paints, black sugar paper as I find this makes the colours stand out more and some small, medium and large size Lego and Mega Blocks.

Lego Painting

I didn’t tell J what he needed to paint with but he soon realised there were no paint brushes and began by printing with the blocks!  The different size blocks meant J was working his hand muscles in different ways to manipulate the blocks.  Using the pincer grip for small pieces…

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… and more of a full hand grip with the larger pieces.

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Using the different size blocks also enabled J  to use different language associated with size! He used adjectives such as enormous, tiny, medium and gigantic and language of comparison!  The opportunity to rehearse such language in the correct context is an invaluable speech and language focus and happened so naturally, which is the best way to learn.

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Today also allowed for some problem solving.  As J noticed that one of the Mega Blocks was too long for the splat of paint on the plate, he picked it up and allowed it to slide about; spreading it out so that it covered a bigger area! Impressive problem solving skills there I think!

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Lots of pincer grip opportunities…

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Independently, J knows how to hang his finished art to dry! It is HIS studio after all!

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J then got stuck in and covered his hands in paint!  I’d had a feeling this would happen so I had a large tub of soapy water ready in his ‘Artist Studio’ as I wanted J to be completely independent!

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Allowing J to take responsibility for tidying up and washing his artist tools himself is just as important as teaching him his numbers, letters and to feed himself! J needs to be an independent little man who can create his own play opportunities!  As well as a great lesson in life, J thinks it is ‘so cool’ when he gets to do everything himself!  Also, in this heat, any water play is cooling and J loves water!  It looks like he has gloves on; he doesn’t, he is just FILTHY!

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Once his paintings were dry, I asked J to choose his favourites so that we could make something out of them!  J loves doing this as he knows I value his art and he is so proud of himself.

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We made a birthday card for his best friend… J did the writing inside himself! In reality it’s just lots of squiggles but this is the first stage of writing, known as emergent writing and he is more than capable of telling me exactly what it says! It is so cute and I love it when he ‘writes’ to me!

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The last thing we made was a photo for Mummy and Daddy.  J found some photograph’s and said he wanted to stick them on his painting! There is one of J and me and J with Daddy.  He told me he wanted me to write, ‘I love you Mummy.  I love you Daddy. From Josh.’  To show J just how much I valued it, it is now in a frame on our fireplace in the sitting room! He is beaming!

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What did J learn?

  • Independent creativity
  • The ability to interpret materials and resources available in any way he wanted
  • Using language associated with size, colour and comparison
  • Independently managing cleaning up after himself and managing his own hygiene when washing his hands
  • Developing fine and gross motor skills
  • Emergent writing
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