Well, I was SUPPOSE to be cleaning house but couldn't help myself, I had to go outside and explore too! :-P Oh well, the house can be cleaned tonight (actually can be done quicker when the kids are in bed anyway). Actually, going outside was two fold...1) got me out of cleaning and 2) I could tell they were going to quickly lose interest because they haven't quite relearned about this "exploration". So I went out and started verbalizing my thoughts and finding materials they haven't used yet. Talked about how things didn't quite turn out for me and what I was going to do about it (this was mainly for the first grader who tends to do something and doesn't think it's perfect so he cries-pouts and refuses to finish the project...so teaching how to "make the best of it" without a lecture. :-)) I also showed by example that really, paint on our hands really isn't a big deal, and it can be part of the fun.
"Oh, well, I was going to make a hand print holding flowers but that print did NOT turn out. Hmmm, guess I'll mix those colors together to make a new background." :-)
"Check out these new plants I found to print!" (I made a point to go beyond 2 feet from our painting area and went on a "scavenger hunt".)
Here A. printed a bunch of rocks then sat for awhile and then asked for the paint brushes. Absolutely! One of my goals is for them to think and explore and ask for materials. More often than not they'll get them. Unfortunately, we do not have a space to put materials at their level to get on their own so they have to ask. Some day I'd like a space for art materials that can be within children's reach. However, in the mean time I would like them to relearn how to be comfortable in asking for materials that will help in their creative outlet.
After printing many items, he then took a leaf and smeared them around and then printed white leaves. Neat!
The end opinion: "That was fun!"