After our snow paintings last week, I thought it might be nice to extend the activity using a different type of paint and to offer the older children the chance to do some observational painting by placing a little snowman teddy on the table. I offered the children some paint sticks. These are less messy than the previous paint we used and have a very different feel to them and painting style. They are very much like painting with a lipstick!
I sat next to the younger children and painted a snowman in one corner of their paper. As I did this I used the words to describe what I was painting “Head, body, stick arms, carrot nose”
The little ones enjoyed watching me paint and it encouraged them to paint too. Often they tried to say the word and used the same colour to paint a similar shape.

Little “E” made spirals in white on the paper after I painted the snowman’s head and body. I said the words “Head” and “Body” and told her they were circles.

On the picture below you can see she painted her own snowman on the second picture and I added stick arms on the picture in the place she indicated.
I asked her if it had a nose and she used the orange paint to make one on the page.

“X” is now 4 and approached his observational paintings in a different way. Here is a fantastic picture of him looking at the snowman and trying to decide what he might need to add to his picture.

He offered much more to the conversation and pointed parts out to me that he thought should be added. He talked about the colours that he could use, the winter clothes that were added on the snowman.

We had many different types of snowmen painted. It was lovely to watch the children look at the same object and paint their own interpretation of it.

  • Paint a picture using a real visual prompt
  • Make observations about objects and talk about details.

    • Look at some other items linked to children’s individual interests that they could use for observational drawing and painting.
    • Offer different materials to make observational sketches, paintings, crayoning, models etc


    Little “E”  showed high levels of interest and enjoyment in this activity. She was actively learning body parts, expanding on the learning we have been doing over the past weeks, by listening to the words i used as i painted the snowman and asking her to paint “A head” etc. She indicated she wanted more paper when she had finished her picture, and passed me the finished one.

    Little “X” was very focused in this activity and noticed small details on the snowman. He made links and worked hard at painting his picture and making it as complete as possible.

    Today’s play, meets the following EYFS Prime and specific areas:
    • Communication and language
    • Understanding the world.
    • Expressive Art and Design.

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