The Tuff Spot makes a fantastic canvas for art work. It is big enough for large scale work and the raised edges contain any mess. When we heard that Messy Little Monster was hosting an Exploring Famous Artists series, we knew we had to base our activity on the Tuff Spot. The series aims to expose young children to art processes, techniques and art history. We decided to base our activity on The Starry Night by creating a Van Gogh Process Art Tuff Spot.
The Starry Night was created by Vincent van Gogh in 1889. The painting depicts the view from his asylum room at Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. The night sky is filled with swirling clouds, twinkling stars and a bright crescent moon. I wanted Adam to be able to explore movement and swirls within the Tuff Spot.
Together Adam and I emptied three cans of economy shaving foam in the Tuff Spot before squirting four shades of blue poster paint.
I gave Adam a selection of kitchen utensils in order to combine the paint and shaving foam together. I had expected for him to hold the spoon end whilst using the handle to stir the materials but he was determined to hold the utensils as normal.
Adam had a wonderful time swirling the kitchen utensils around the Tuff Spot. We discussed what was happening as the shades of blue paint mixed together. He repeatedly looked at The Starry Night image and tried to repeat the swirls in the painting.
After some time Adam declared that his Tuff Spot didn’t have any yellow in it. I squirted what little yellow paint we had left and he continued with his swirling movements.
Then something happened that I never expected to see – Adam touched the shaving foam. This may not seem an extraordinary event for most children but Adam has Sensory Processing Disorder. He detests wet substances touching him, especially shaving foam. At first Adam voluntary put his fingers into the foam and paint before getting carried away with creating swirls and placed his entire hand in the substance. As always I had a towel to hand but Adam was so engrossed with moving his hands around the Tuff Spot he didn’t use it until the end of the activity.
It didn’t take him long before he noticed he had created green paint. It was a great opportunity to explore colour mixing hands on. Our Van Gogh Process Art Tuff Spot certainly was a huge hit with Adam and helped him to make a giant leap with his sensory fears.
Adam was 4 years old
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Emma is an Early Years Teacher turned Stay At Home Mum. After discovering a love for Tuff Spots within the classroom, Emma is keen to show other parents how to play with a Tuff Spot at home. She is passionate about easy to make play activities using resources found around the home. Emma can be found blogging about the play activities of her son over on Adventures of Adam.