It seems that there are more and more kids that would benefit from some form of sensory integration therapy. I have a lot of kids this year that are bothered by the sound of the fan in the bathroom, taste of anything unknown, touching anything messy or sticky, physical touch of their classmates… or they are on the opposite side of the spectrum, which seems to much rarer in my class.
So I try to expose the kids to as much things as I can. Touch seems to be the most natural thing to push in an art-based school so we focus on that. We work with clay, we make slime, we work with glue a lot, we work with sensory tubs.
This project started as a ‘snow paint’ and turned into an exercise in color mixing and sensory exploration.
- one part glue
- one part shaving cream
- liquid watercolors
Kids did not want to touch the paint with their hands so I offered Popsicle sticks. Some kids grew more confident and decided to mix with their hands, others stuck to the tools and kept wiping their hands. But by the time we started using the Popsicle sticks to transfer the paint onto the paper, they all got dirty. And most of them did not even notice. They were focused on transferring some paint onto the black paper and adding more liquid watercolors to their slime paint – mixing it and guessing what color it’s going to turn.
After an hour we had a lot of different shades, tints and hues of our slime paint. We also had a lot of 3D paintings – with towers of goo. I was a little worried if the paint is going to dry – but it did. It dried in 1-2 days and it is really fluffy and fun to touch. It’s actually surprisingly nice – especially considering it was supposed to be just a process art with sensory focus. I am sure we will do this again. It would make fun ice cream painting.