rainy day lesson

rain, rain : color, color : learn, learn

It has been raining and the rain is long overdue.  I took advantage of this rainy day to teach my preschooler about rain. We approached the lesson as an art project because Dot was a bit wiggly. Using white cardstock, colored construction paper, scissors, crayons and double-sided tape, we made a picture together to remind Dot that clouds drop water and we call it RAIN, and that plants need water in order to live, and that rain is water in a LIQUID form, and that a RAINBOW is made of water droplets with sunlight shining on them.

If you like to AVOID GLUE and its MESS, please note that, instead, just an inch or two of double-sided tape was used to hold each element to the background. And the background papers are also held to each other with short strips of this wonderful tape. I have never liked the way white glue buckles the paper. Projects like this are not meant to hold together forever so I find the tape to be sufficiently effective.

I’d like to point out some DESIGN tips that can make projects like this look especially nice. First, connect the separate items, here and there, using a bit of layering. Notice how a cloud overlaps the rainbow and how a leaf overlaps the flower a bit, which employs the design element of DEPTH and the design principle of UNITY. Second, repeat the use of some colors throughout the piece. Notice how the flower picks up some of the rainbow colors, which employs the design element of COLOR. Third, enhance the background in some way. Notice how I used three colors–two for sky and one for earth, which also employs the design element of DEPTH and the design principle of VARIETY.

While my four-year-old didn’t understand that I had consciously applied these elements of design, she did RESPOND to their result. She knew that the finished piece looked nice. I trust that this will encourage her to be even more happy to color the next time we pull out the crayons for a lesson. As we work together on other art projects in the future, I will continue to share how she can apply the elements and principles of design to enhance her finished product.

While writing this post, I pulled out my old sketchbook from my college 2-D design class so that I could refresh my memory. Here are the seven elements of design: line, value, shape (area), texture, color, volume (mass), and depth (space). And, here are the six principles of design: balance, unity (harmony), rhythm, proportion, variety, and emphasis (focal point).

Will you share some of these design tips with your children during their next art project?

One thought on “rainy day lesson

  1. Thanks for the motivation! I am going to attempt an art project using potatos as stamps. I will suggest a layering approach. I am going to ask them to paint pictures to represent the countries they have chosen to report on: India, Afghanistan and the Dem. Rep of the Congo. I will be wishing for your guidance in this!

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