Tried and Tested: Exploring Lines

The inspiration for this activity came from the Stockport Art Gallery where visitors were encouraged to draw a line from one side of the paper to the other, in any way they wanted, then add it to the lines drawn by other people. There were some magnificent lines from full scenes to simple wiggles which, when joined together on the wall, made a fascinating visual journey.

Wow – a great one for the toddlers – I thought!

However, for some of the younger children this may prove a challenge so I made a prequel activity for them using string and black card. The idea was for the children to drop the string on to the card and follow the line, made by the string, with their finger across the page. They could also experiment with shapes by moving the string around on the card to make different patterns and routes.

Then once they were happy with this, pen and paper would be given to them to see if they could draw a line from one side to the other.

When a few lines have been made, join them together and ask the children to follow the longer line.

How the Toddlers Did

I made the mistake of having pens and paper out at the same time as the prequel activity. So, you can guess what happened, they went straight for the pens. Silly me.

Anyway, they soon got the idea of taking their pen from one side of the paper to the other and we managed to make a big wiggly line picture. Most children did more than one picture once they got the hang of it. Some just wanted to make their own marks and one had his mum make him an airplane – which flew quite well.

The main thing is they had a go at making marks on the paper and enjoyed themselves.

Visiting Local Galleries

It’s worth checking out your local gallery to see if they do any activities for children. Manchester Art Gallery have a whole programme of activities for all ages including babies.

It’s also worth taking a group to a gallery (check this will be OK with them first) as the space is wonderful. If you visit beforehand, you can choose a picture to focus on and chat to the children about. What story do they see in the picture? If there are people in the picture what are they doing? What colours and shapes can they see? It’ll be great fun to hear what the children have to say and the stories they make up. Please let me know how you get on.

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