At the Art Table: Train Invitations
A few days ago I shared our trip to visit the Madison Caboose. During our trip, we pulled out journals and markers to draw the caboose. These were brief drawings, generally indicating the size and color of the caboose. That afternoon, I pulled the drawings out again and placed them on the art table with some oil pastels. This time our three year olds both sat down and drew detailed pictures of the caboose. They worked in complete silence, totally focused, until my daughter was done and she asked my son about his picture. They started talking about their pictures and the caboose. The kind of conversation that would have been impossible for them a year ago.
The caboose trip could have been a one time thing. We could have gone, seen it, been impressed and then let it go. That would not have been wasted time, but by extending and reintroducing the topic of the caboose they were able to draw more connections, discuss different points of view, and extend their experiences into play and art.
Drawings with simple materials are an excellent way to represent ideas and experiences. If you are looking for a few more ways to integrate art into your train project, here we go...
Train Track Drawing Prompt
This is one that I have mentioned before (the first time was here). It is super simple and quick to set up.
All you need is a piece of paper and a dark marker. Draw a simple train track across the bottom and leave as an invitation on the art table with some materials.
We have done this with markers, colored pencils, and crayons. Most recently, I presented this prompt with crayons and tape. This led to some pretty awesome trains.
Painting a Freight Train
My son's favorite book for a solid two years was Freight Train by Donald Crews. We have read it and re-read it and re-re-read it. We both have it memorized. After you read the book, paint your own freight train.
paint in all the colors of the rainbow
white construction paper (cut in half)
black circles from construction paper for wheels
Invite your little train fan(s) to the table to create a freight train. Have them paint each piece of paper with one of the colors. Younger children can also help with this part. When they are done painting, have your little ones help attach the wheels. The paint should act like glue to attach them to the paper. Then leave all the papers out to dry.
Later in the day or the next, re-read the book and create your freight train. We taped our train cars to the wall in order using painter's tape.
Build + Draw Block Invitation
Our twins have been interested in building lately. Often these block creations involve trains. They build bridges for the trains to go under or sheds for the trains to sleep. I thought it would be fun to add art to their play.
Crayons or Markers
Tape the large piece of paper to the floor in your block area. I drew a train track across part of the paper and placed crayons, the block baskets, and the trains nearby. This was an invitation available during play time that immediately drew our kids in. They spent the afternoon drawing and building for their trains.
Various Art Materials - see post
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