"I want this group to be able to do things you don't normally do in your regular art classes."
My excited little group began to gather in the art room before the last class of the day was even over. A few stopped in to tell me they would be late, since other commitments needed their attention first, but to PLEASE make sure and save them some paint.
About ten years ago, I gratefully accepted a big box of art supplies from a friend who was retiring from teaching elementary school. In it were all kinds of craft items and paper tablets along with several dusty jars of finger paint. After sitting in my closet for a decade I hoped they had not dried out.
A table in the back of the room was cleared to make room for large paper, and I spooned out dishes of the colorful gel, slightly shrunken, but still usable.
Eager hands could hardly wait. It was time to get messy.
There is something both primal and decadent about finger paint. A lifetime of hand washing caused some reluctance to stick my own paws in the paint, but I forced myself to make the plunge. Although I smeared and scribbled a little with my fingers, I still could not cross that uncomfortable mental barrier of "ickyness", and after a few minutes, retreated to the sink.
The kids, however, happily experimented with color mixing and technique. Given complete creative freedom, images began to emerge. Landscapes, rainbows, monsters, and Halloween characters soon covered the tables.
As four o'clock neared, the inevitable question was raised;
"When are we going to do this again?"