Activity time: 20 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Watercolor paper or another absorbent drawing/painting paper, such as construction paper
- Watercolor paints and paintbrushes
- Natural rain or a water sprinkler
- Appropriate outerwear for participants
- Optional: Music and music player
Preparation for Activity
- Obtain a water sprinkler or a watering can with tiny water holes to use in case of no rain.
- Optional: Choose background music.
Description of Activity
Participants make watercolor paintings and then see how raindrops or droplets from a sprinkler change them. Participants gain an experience of co-creating with nature and are invited to accept and even appreciate forces they cannot control.
This activity will work best on a drizzly day, although a hose with a sprinkler attachment or a watering can serve the purpose. Invite participants to use the paints to draw on a piece of paper. Advise them that water will be involved later and the paintings will change; they need not make a painting of any particular thing and pleasing colors in beautiful shapes or designs will work just as well.
You may wish to play instrumental music while participants paint. Invite participants to clean their work areas and rinse brushes when they finish. Suggest they walk around quietly to observe one another's paintings.
When everyone is ready, invite the group to don outerwear as appropriate and bring their paintings outside for a brief exposure to the rain (or a quick run through the sprinkler or under a pouring watering can).
Bring the group back inside. Allow participants time to look at how the various paintings changed. You may ask "Can you tell how the artist was holding the picture when the water touched it?" Set the pictures aside to dry.
Including All Participants
Some participants may absolutely refuse to let rain change their painting; most will go along if they know the plan in advance. It's okay to let some just watch what the rain or sprinkler does to the artwork of other painters.