Ruahine Kindergartens

Art teaches life skills in full colour


Children love to paint, and will come back to painting activities again and again to revisit its countless forms.

At kindergarten we can provide the resources and dedicate time to helping your young one discover their internal Picasso. As they paint and play children are expressing individual feelings, emotions, and knowledge, while their individual investigative working theories begins to blossom. At the same time they are also developing their hand, eye and body coordination – developing fine gross motor skills that they will require for other activities such as writing.

Ruahine Kindergarten teachers construct unique painting environments by rotating the colours, type, and texture of paint - oils, acrylics, water colours, or assorted dye. The activity is kept fresh by continually changing the sizes and shapes of the brushes or in fact replacing them with rags, feathers, sponges, and yes – fingers.

Finger paints, mixed with varying amounts of cornflour, is often used to change the consistency and texture to provide a different experience that further tests children’s creativity, imagination and dexterity. The exploration of colours and shapes, and shared experiences with others, aids children’s mental, social and physical development as the children work together to test new theories and different medium properties.

At home you can let their imagination run wild. A bucket of water and a handful of paintbrushes can keep small children busy for hours. The ‘paint’ leaves no lasting effect, but when used on certain materials (such as a deck or fence) the substance will change shades. A very cheap and relaxing activity, that actually cleans rather than makes a mess.

While paper is obvious, for paint-based creations think of other surfaces – rocks, wood, old furniture and plant pots. Blank canvases are extremely affordable from stationery outlets if you’re looking for a personal family gift. Grandparents absolutely love to show of their grandchildren’s work. Name and date the work, as you may find particular pieces of art may be around for some time.

At Ruahine Kindergartens, teacher will add many of your child’s paintings to their learning portfolio, while other examples will be taken home to adorn your fridge. Your child’s latest piece of art will be their pride and joy. Remember that while it may not look like the flower or family portrait that they claim it to be, the process is often more important than the product. Use open questions, such as “tell me about your picture,” to discover the reasoning behind the artworks. Children will most often paint what they know and feel rather than what they see, so it is really important to let them paint in their own way.

Painting supports all strands of Te Whāriki, the early childhood education curriculum used at kindergarten. As an exploration activity that engages all of the senses we believe it to be something that can easily be replicated at home. In fact, next time you get the paint brushes out for you child, we recommend you have a go yourself.