In the past I have given students index cards, card stock and cardboard to make marks on paper. The children used the skinny edges of the stiff paper to create amazing designs. This year I got my Hoff Barthelson Music School community involved by asking for donations of toilet paper and paper towel rolls to use for mark making. My students found the rolls easy to work with, and some children went a bit further by manipulating the rolls to make ovals. I put out paint and jumbo stamp pads for the children to use to make the marks. I asked the students to try both the paint and stamp pads, and compare the two. I thought the paint would make the best marks, but was surprised when a majority of the children liked using the jumbo stamp pads best. They said it was less messy, and made more precise marks. After the children had finished working we examined their artwork. Pushing the children to really look at their work and make observations gave them an opportunity to think critically.The children commented that they saw lots of different circular shapes, color combinations and experimentation. In previous art classes we had been exploring color, shape, and design, so this exercise was a good way to reinforce what they had already been learning.
Several children flattened the rolls and began to use them as a brush to smear the paint over the marks. The effect is really great!