Watercolor Paper Fans!

Updated: Oct 7, 2020


Here we are nearing the end of September in San Diego and we are still chugging along with distance learning. I have a small pod of first graders in my backyard two mornings a week and today was warm. While I was sitting there, listening in to their last zoom of the day one boy complained about how hot it was. My mind immediately went back to when I was a child. In my elementary school and even high school we didn't have air conditioning, so when it was hot we folded fans. This gave me an idea. I grabbed a sheet of copy paper, accordion folded it, stapled the bottom, passed it over to the boy in our pod and watched the smile grow on his face when he realized what it was.


My pod of first graders have approximately three zooms each morning, and after the zooms we usually play learning games or do an art project. Today we made watercolor paper fans and it was soooo easy.


Materials: I set up the art table with a large sheet of thick paper for each child, watercolors, a cup of water, brushes, a paper towel and extra small pieces of watercolor paper for kids who wanted to paint more. I had a bucket of fresh water nearby for kids who wanted to dump their dirty water in the grass and get fresh water from the bucket. If they don't do this, their colors will get muddy.

I showed the kids how to use watercolors. Basic watercolor instructions: Wash your brush before dipping it into another color. Don't dig into the colors, just lightly dab your wet brush onto the paint. Get fresh water when your water gets too dirty. Dab the brush on the paper towel if it gets too drippy. Mix colors in the pallet cover. If you want a lighter color add more water.