Creative beginnings for tiny tots

The Art of Springtime


April hath put a spirit of youth in everything. (Sonnet XCVIII)”
― William Shakespeare

Nature is often the backdrop and the inspiration for what we do at ART IN HAND. The emergence of spring always fills me with feelings of exuberant awe and wonder coupled with a calm reassurance that the joy her warmth and beauty brings each year can always be relied upon.


Young children respond similarly to the cues of spring, and these projects celebrating the signs of birth, rejuvenation, and the delicate beauty of nature’s creations are among my favorites.


Our students, ages 1.5 – 4, had fun collecting soft things to build cozy nests (and squeezing and pouring their own glue in the process). Then they experimented with feathers as tools for painting on various surfaces, creating delicate brush strokes quite different from those created with a standard paintbrush.

For more artful inspiration from nature and ideas for more springtime art explorations with your kids, I invite you to read my article originally published in Washington Parent Magazine in April 2008.



Comments on: "The Art of Springtime" (2)

  1. Can you share information about the paint color choice for your feather painting? They remind me of sun prints. How did you limit the color palette? I am fascinated with your display!

    • MJ, I used different combinations in different groups, but the ones you see in this display were only white and blue temperas. I happened to have those blue and white strips of paper already cut, and the potential for the varying shades of blue on those backgrounds reminded me of the sky, which seemed like a nice compliment to the nests. Since my students are so young, I offer the paint colors for them to use, and keeping the palette limited is sometimes a good idea. I like all of their art to be completely open-ended and process-oriented, but I can make materials choices for them as far as what I offer, to optimize the opportunities for an asthetically pleasing outcome (while also teaching them something about what happens when we mix certain shades).

      I am curious to know more about the sun prints you mention.

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