Last Thursday, I cut some painting paper into quarters and took out little pots of paint and thin paintbrushes. I've been feeling a little uninspired at the maker's table lately, and watching the children do little paintings was just what I needed.
I feel like I had forgotten all of the things that I would bring to that table and for a few weeks, it was play dough, crayons, group collage, group painting...I was unable to think of what would really engage children at that table. I hope this means the rut is over: I've planned truly inviting activities for all of this week. It can be a challenge to be open-ended and provide novelty with materials and aesthetics that really draw the children in.
This particular way of painting makes children look at the paper differently, I think: that paper is so small compared to what they would typically work with; same goes for the brush and the paint pots. Making little changes can result in a big change in engagement, and as I've mentioned too many times to count, engagement is always my goal.
Do you ever feel stuck in a rut with your planning?