The children in Caterpillars have been responding to the stimulus of flowers. They have had the opportunity to explore a variety of plants using all of their senses – fragrant herbs, colourful flowers and seeds for planting. They have been encouraged by practitioners to touch and smell the plants, and to talk about and look at the colours and structure of them.

The children have been offered a variety of media with which to express their responses – watercolour paints, felt tip markers, and finger paints; and they have been able to choose a variety of paper sizes from small A5 to large pieces on the table top and floor.

The children have demonstrated high levels of fascination with this provocation; practitioners have had to extend the area to accommodate the level of interest. The children have also demonstrated independence in accessing the materials and using simple skills such as changing dirty water and rinsing brushes in the sink.



Ava and Lois come to the Creative Area. Lois comes first, independently, and Ava follows her after observing from a short distance for a while.


Lois chooses one colour to add to her paper. Lois (top) experiments with adding parts from the plants to her painting – this is her own idea.

Ava experiments with mixing the colours together on her paper.

“Look it dry itself,” she comments. She adds more water from her pot; “Now it’s wet! It’s a big smile – it got a big mouth – it’s Mummy!”

I model to Ava how to make the paint move over the paper with a wet brush. She tries this herself.


Both girls are able to access the materials independently and use them appropriately without adult support. They know how to add water to the paints and then apply them to the paper. They are actively involved in their chosen activity; they do not ask or wait for permission or direction from an adult; they already know how to use the watercolour paints and how to change the water when it is dirty.

Throughout this learning encounter, Ava and Lois engaged in open-ended activity and represented their experiences of the plants with the painting materials. They maintained their focus on the activity for a period of time, and Lois thought of her own ideas by incorporating pieces of the plant into her painting.

Ava and Lois are beginning to use representation to communicate their experiences, experimenting with colour through using the paints. They are beginning to use language to share their experiences and thoughts.

Leave a reply

Leave Your Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recent Posts