The Toddler One Rainbow Room project encouraged the toddlers to develop creativity and fine motor skills. The children love to paint and explore, so we wanted to incorporate ways for the children to explore while improving their fine motor skills at the same time.
We used squeeze bottles as a tool to strengthen the toddlers’ fine motor skills while exploring a new way of using paint. It was challenging for some of our students to squeeze the paint out of the container because they had to wrap their small hands around the bottle and master squeezing it with enough pressure to make the paint come out.
It was crucial for the toddlers to use paint with a squeeze bottle rather than a paintbrush because it taught the children a new process with paint. By using the squeeze bottle the children processed new information and in doing so made self-discoveries. The challenges the children confronted gave them perspective on the size of their hands and by learning to squeeze with enough pressure they discovered that although their hands may be small, their hands are powerful tools. This demonstrated that the toddlers are learners capable of constructing knowledge for themselves. According to Professor George Hein of Lesley College, “Learning is an active process in which the learner uses sensory input and constructs meaning out of it. The more traditional formulation of this idea involves the terminology of the active learner (Dewey’s term) stressing that the learner needs to do something; that learning is not the passive acceptance of knowledge which exists “out there” but that learning involves the learner engaging with the world.”
This activity allowed the children to see their potential in a different light while using their senses and muscles to learn how to paint with a squeeze bottle.
We will continue exploring ways to incorporate fine motor skills and other avenues to explore painting so that we can enhance our toddlers’ educational journey further!
“When children are able to inquire, be creative and collaborate, the classroom becomes alive with human interaction.”
J. Dewey. Democracy and Education. MacMillan, 1916.