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Bumpy Road Painting


Young children explore painting with different tools and textured paint to create roadways and tire treads.
  • Reading Is Fundamental (written by Sue McCleaf Nespeca and Joan Reeve)
  • Arts and Crafts
    • 1-2
    • 3-5
  • Multiple
  • Indoor, Outdoor
  • Play

Time Required: 30 minutes

Materials: My Truck Is Stuck by Kevin Lewis, Illustrated by Daniel Kirk; Big Red Bus by Judy Hindley, Illustrated by William Benedict; (both for pre-schoolers); My Car by Byron Barton for toddlers; Gray poster board (1/2 piece for each child) OR corrugated cardboard OR butcher paper; Sand; Disposable foil cake pan (may need several for a large group of children) Black tempera paint; Glue Paintbrushes Yellow or white chalk; Small toy cars; Small paint or wallpaper rollers; Duct tape; Piece of discarded tire tread

Set up: Cover table with disposable tablecloth or newspaper. Set up painting surfaces for children (poster board, cardboard, or butcher paper). Have materials on hand to mix paint in front of children (sand, container, black tempera paint, glue). Fasten a piece of discarded tire tread to each small paint or wallpaper roller with duct tape. Place painting tools on table for children to use. Directions Read one or two of the books listed above, depending on the age level of the children. We like My Truck Is Stuck since the endpapers of the book (pages immediately inside the front and back cover) display art similar to what the children will produce. Mix paint in front of the children or allow them to help by adding spoonfuls of sand or tempera paint andsquirts of glue or stirring the mixture. Use at least one spoonful of sand and tempera paint (equal amounts of each) and one large squirt of glue for each child and place in the disposable cake pan. Stir the mixture with a paintbrush. Allow the children to select their painting tool or experiment with paintbrushes, toy cars, or roller treads. Children can dip their painting tool into the pan and then use the bumpy paint to create their own roads or tire treads. Older children may add yellow or white chalk lines to road after it dries. If all the bumpy paint is not used, throw the leftovers in the trash rather than rinsing it down a sink, where it may cause drainage problems. Add water to the disposable pans, and soak the painting tools in the pan. Dispose of the water in an appropriate receptacle.) You may also want to... Take a walk on a safe road looking for pieces of tire tread. Count the number of cars that pass you and the number of buses. Identify the number of cars that are a certain color or, for older preschoolers, play a license plate game where you try to identify license plates that contain every letter of the alphabet. (You may need a piece of paper and pen or pencil to keep track of what you have seen.) Introduce the counting concept to go along with the counting presented in the book My Truck Is Stuck. Sing the song The Wheels of the Bus. (Music on web site below.) Identify safety signs and explain what they mean. Adaptations Since two of the books are about buses, it is a wonderful opportunity to sing a song loved by all ages of children, The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round. You may also present the movable book version of this song. (See book list below.) Share the stop light rhyme and/or play the stop light game. Stop Light Rhyme (author unknown) Red says stop (hold up left hand in "stop" gesture ) Green says go. (right arm motioning ) Yellow says wait. (hold up index finger ) You'd better go slow. When I reach a crossing place (cross arms at wrist ) To the left and right I turn my face. I walk, not run across the street (use fingers ) and use my head to guide my feet. (point to head and feet)

Related Resources:

Web Sites
Music and words for the song The Wheels of the Bus
Stop Light Game 

Alborough, Jez. Duck in a Truck. HarperCollins, 1999.
Barton, Byron. My Car. Greenwillow, 2001.
Hindley, Judy. Big Red Bus. Candlewick, 1995. William Benedict, Illustrator.
Lewis, Kevin. My TruckIs Stuck. Hyperion, 2002. Daniel Kirk, Illustrator.
Zelinsky, Paul. The Wheels on the Bus. Penguin Putnam, 1999.

* Some of the above description for this activity is from Picture Books Plus: 100 Extension Activities in Art, Drama, Music, Math and Science, written by Sue McCleaf Nespeca and Joan B. Reeve. 2003 by the American Library Association, ALA Editions.

Bumpy Road Painting