Class Mural

Class Mural

Location: indoor or outdoor

Materials: large paper, markers, and paint

Inspired by F. Isabel Campoy's book, Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood, this is a collaborative art project you can introduce with children of all ages.

Begin by reading the book with your children.

If you live in a neighborhood that has street art, go on a walk to look at it. Compare the art you see in your neighborhood to what they paint in the book. Ask your children what kind of mural they would want to paint?

Most people will not want to paint directly on their walls, so you can use large paper instead. (Plus this means you can keep the mural hanging up for a while and then create a new one when you get sick of it). Make a plan as a group for what kind of mural you want to create. It could be an underwater scene, outerspace, a field of flowers, anything!

Invite your children to create.

This can be an ongoing project, and over the course of several days invite your children to add to the mural. You might consider introducing new art materials to see how children add to the project. For example, maybe the first day you start with markers, then the second day you introduce paint, then the third day you introduce tissue paper, then the fourth day you introduce sharpies. (Yes! Young children can use permanent markers, you just need to monitor them a little more closely.) If you're not sure what else to add you can always ask your children by saying, "Hmmm what else could we add to this?" Children often have great ideas for how to add to a project!

Leave the mural hanging where everyone can see it. You can re-read Maybe Something Beautiful and then admire your own class mural.

Mixed-Age Guide:

Infants may:

  • enjoy experimenting with different art materials, especially if the mural is on the floor where they can reach it
  • want to observe other children working on this project
  • work on simple finger paint projects that can be added to the class mural

Toddlers may:

  • enjoy using larger paint brushes
  • want to finger paint rather than use paint brushes or other writing utensils

Preschoolers may:

  • have specific ideas for what the mural should look like, or want to add more realistic representations of objects (ie: "I'm painting a flower," or "There is a bird sitting in this tree.)
  • benefit from using paintbrushes or other writing utensils to practice their pencil grip and develop hand strength

What We're Learning

  • self-expression and creativity
  • sensory exploration
  • collaboration and team work
  • hand-eye coordination
  • pre-writing skills and hand strength