Symmetry is a basic math concept that even young children can master. Your child can learn about symmetry by making a simple squished paint print. Get ready to get messy! This imaginative art activity will help your child to better understand this important mathematical idea, explore color and shape, experiment with paint and print making as an artistic process, and even learn about fractions (when she folds the paper in half).
What You Need:
- Construction or drawing paper
- Tempera or finger paint
What You Do:
- Ask your child to choose a light color of paper (the lighter the paper, the better the painted design will show up). Help her fold the paper in half. Point out how the paper went from one rectangle to two — this is a great opportunity to discuss fractions.
- Pour a golf ball-sized glob of paint into your child’s hand.
- Have your child gently throw or press the paint onto one half of the paper only. Make sure that some of the paint touches the folded line in the center.
- Press the two halves together like a book. Rub the outside firmly to transfer the paint.
- Open to reveal a symmetrical print!
- Add in a color mixing lesson and give your child the three primaries (yellow, red, and blue) to work with. Have her squish the paint colors in her hands prior to applying them to the paper.
Erica Loop has an MS in Applied Developmental Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education. She has many years of teaching experience working in early childhood education, and as an arts educator at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh.