Thursday, September 8, 2011

Painting with One Color

One preliminary Art activity I have prepared for the children is painting with one color.  The Montessori setting is ideal in that each lesson or activity draws from experience with the previous one.  For this reason, I have set out only one color - red.  While appearing quite simple, this exercise allows the child not only the opportunity for creative self-expression, but also for following a sequential order of steps to carry out a task.

The materials for the lesson on the shelf:  basket with white paper;  yellow apron to wear while painting; art board which is underneath the basket; one the white, square tray - tape dispenser; bottle of red paint; on the smaller, clear tray:  castor for paint; tall vase in which the brush stands; pencil for writing name
First, the child puts on the apron - this has been an exciting part of the lesson because for many of the children, this is the first time they have used an apron at school!  Next, the child removes the art board from underneath the basket and places it in front of them on the floor.  This is actually not as cumbersome as it may seem because the materials are set up on the lowest shelf.

Here, the child has removed the art board from under the basket and taped a piece of paper onto it.  I like having the children use small pieces of tape because not only does it help to keep the paper in place, but it also presents a point of interest for the child - they love the tape dispenser!
Now, the child is ready bring the art board with paper to their chosen workspace at a table. Then, they return to the shelf to obtain paint by squeezing a small amount into the castor.

Paint in the castor.
Next, the child brings the clear acrylic tray with paint, pencil, and paintbrush to their workspace.  Space permitting, I try to have the child place this tray to the left of the art board so that while they are working, they are doing so in a left to right pattern - training the eye for reading and writing.

The materials in use.

The last part of the lesson is cleaning and drying the castor and paintbrush at the sink to leave the materials ready for another child to use.  The children are always enthusiastic to wash and dry these items and I appreciate how it cultivates a sense of ownership in the environment - the kids take care of the things they use!

Some thoughtful creations in our hallway.


  1. I LOVE your clear photos and directions for beginning painting work, Sasha! It makes such a difference when an activity is well thought out. Thanks so much for linking up with Montessori Monday! I featured your post at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page and added it to my Pinterest board at

  2. Oops - wrong link! Still had that copied and pasted from my Facebook page. Here's my Pinterest board link:

  3. I haven't yet put out the paints for the kids yet. Thanks for the wonderful ideas for setting up this activity! They are very helpful to me as I am just starting off using a Montessori curriculum!

  4. Thank you Deb for your thoughtful comment and link! Miekie - I'm so happy that this can be of use to you as you begin your Montessori experience! Thanks so much!