Here kids use a familiar tool in a novel way, utilizing a rolling pin typically found in the kitchen in a new place: in the studio to create. We have a few types of special rolling pins we use for painting: one set has varied textures on a plastic roller, while the other has a fabric – almost mop-like – covering, sopping up the paint and redistributing it onto the paper. The kids are intrigued by the textures and love to swap and share rolling pins during this project.
Unfortunately the place where we got our rolling pins no longer sells them, but lots of craft stores such as Michael’s sell fondant/textured rolling pins that can also be used, and Etsy has many sites that let you personalize your own pins.
There are also many great and cheap DIY versions. Stock up on a few old rolling pins from a thrift store and then you can:
- Tape bubble wrap onto them
- Create textures with a hot glue gun on a paper towel roll, then slip it over a rolling pin when cool and roll
- Put rubber bands around a rolling pin, in lines or criss-crossing
- Stick puffy stickers on a rolling pin
Age Level: 2- 5
- Following multi-step directions
- Reinforcing ideas about round shapes and rolling
- Encouraging sharing and taking turns
- Using large and small motor skills to roll the rolling pins
- Watercolor paper (8.5 x 11, or at least wider than the largest rolling pins)
- Rolling pins with textures
- Water sprayers
- Tempera paint
Put 3 coordinating colors of paint on trays, one tray per 2 children (we used purple, green and blue)
Write children’s names on the back of watercolor paper, or create labels to stick onto the back of their projects. Children many do more than one painting.
Tell the students they will be painting with a new tool today – rolling pins. See if any kids have used a rolling pin before, maybe baking with their parents or grandparents. Explain that rolling only happens with round things, like rolling pins or balls – or bodies! Demonstrate how to roll the rolling pin, just on the table without any paint.
Next spray the paper with water as it makes the paint go on better. Now show the students how to roll the rolling pin though the paint on the tray, picking paint up on the pin. Finally roll the pin onto the paper so they can see how it looks.
At this point we have the students get up and head to the supply table, where they can select a rolling pin. Once they sit back down, have them practice rolling the rolling pins on the table, enlisting caregivers to help out if they are struggling. Mastering rolling before getting the rest of the supplies will ensure they are successful with their painting project.
While the students are practicing rolling, hand out the paper with their names already on the back. Spray the papers, and then place one tray with paint in between every two students. Let the painting begin!