Would you believe me if I told you I actually got this idea from the map Emoji on my iPhone? True story! I admit I am Emoji obsessed so when I post updates on my home daycare’s Facebook page or send photos to parents using the Tadpoles app I always include a few fitting Emojis. For Pirate Week, the map seemed like a good choice. Then I got to thinking, how fun would it be to make our own pirate maps? Keeping in mind I work with toddlers who are not savvy with map skills yet, I wanted this to be a fun project that included sensory experiences as well as process-not-product art.
The project will be completed over 2 days. Day 1 was completing our map painting. This is one of my favorite painting activities for toddlers for both its sensory play (who doesn’t love squishing paint?!) as well as its easy clean up (double yay!). Place blobs of paint on either paper or a paper plate then cover it with plastic wrap or place in a plastic bag. I found the plastic wrap works well with thinner printer paper and the bag works well with the plate or thicker paper. This process makes for some pretty cool designs. For our maps, we used blue colored construction paper, then green, yellow and brown Crayola kid-safe paint. The blue paper represents the water, the yellow and brown are islands or sand, and the green is the foliage on the islands.
The children smooshed and pushed and poked the paint that was under the plastic wrap into unique designs.
Once they were finished, I removed the plastic wrap to dry. This step is very important so the plastic wrap does not dry onto the paper. Believe it or not, my first time doing this kind of painting, my tired mom brain got the best of me and I allowed painted paper plates to dry in the bags…talk about disapointing!
We will let the maps dry today and will complete step 2 tomorrow! Stay tuned! It is going to get really fun.
Hint – STICKERS!