We’re reflecting on the incredible contributions of our 2012-13 AmeriCorps Museum Educators as their service year comes to a close. Leah Taradash shared this story about facilitating play-based summer enrichment activities to support school readiness for rising kindergartners.
The day that Michael learned that red and blue makes purple was a magical day at Asa Messer Elementary School.
As we planned the curriculum for our summer as part of Kid's Bridge, a kindergarten prep program for low-income children, we knew that we wanted to provide the children with new experiences that would inspire their creativity and inquisitive nature while getting them ready for school. Color mixing with paints was the perfect activity – it introduced materials such as paint and paintbrushes, allowed for creativity, incorporated scientific principles, and is just plain fun. After listening to the book Mouse Paint, the kids were excited to learn that they would use paints to mix colors, just like the mice did. I couldn't help but smile as they mixed different combinations of red, blue and yellow to make green, orange and purple and shouted their discoveries with glee.
Watching Michael and the other children's joyful reactions to discovering the science behind color mixing made me proud to give them the opportunity to make discoveries about things that adults often take for granted.