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You’ve Got Blue Hands

child doing art at a table

About this video

Visual arts provide opportunities for children to use their fine motor skills to express their creativity. Children are active investigators as they explore color mixing and texture. Visual arts activities spark conversations where children can appreciate the expressions of others. In this video, we watch Ann, age 4.5; John, age 5; and Fawn, age 4, and we hear Sam, age 5, as they engage in a visual arts and sensory activity as they explore a gooey sensory material made of cornstarch, glue, water, and paint. Aaron, age 3, also looks on during the art activity. The children talk together in excited voices saying things such as “Look at my project!” and “Look at my hands!”

The teacher encourages the children by sharing her observations of the colors of their hands and answering their questions. The children are eager to show the teacher their color-mixing discoveries. These conversations and the discoveries the children make in this open-ended sensory activity are an opportunity to build early scientific thinking skills that will help them as they learn more complex science concepts later.



Ann: I wanna break the whole glue, and then …

(Child’s name), look at, look at my project.

Gooey, gooey, gooey, gooey, gooey, gooey.

Teacher, it turned light green.

I wanna show you light green.

Teacher: What? You made light green?

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Ann: Yeah.

Sam (off camera): Look at my hands.

Teacher: What are all the animals you got in there? Can you, can you, can you name them?

Sam: Look at my hands. Look at my hands.

Teacher: They’re all blue.

You got blue hands. You got green hands.

Sam: Will it come off?

Ann: I got green hands.

Teacher: Yep.

Sam: Will it come off?

Teacher: It will come off. It’s washable, don’t worry.

Sam: Do you have to wash your hands?

Teacher: Yeah.

Sam: Sticky, sticky, gooey stuff.

Teacher: Looks like you got some crabs in here.

Benchmarks and How They Were Met

BenchmarksHow They Were Met
Language Arts
1.B.ECa: Use language for a variety of purposes.
1.B.ECb: With teacher assistance, participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners (e.g., peers and adults in both small and large groups) about age-appropriate topics and texts.
1.B.ECc: Continue a conversation through two or more exchanges.
The children use language appropriate to the context and whom they are speaking to. Ann speaks to the teacher as well as the other children. She is learning how to communicate with diverse partners. In addition, the conversations seen involve several back and forth exchanges.
12.C.ECb: Experiment with changes in matter when combined with other substances.
The children in this video are exploring the physical properties of paint and glue as they mix them together. They talk about the color and texture of the substances they created.
The Arts
25.A.ECd: Visual Arts: Investigate and participate in activities using visual arts materials.
The children explore the visual art material: paint. They show an appreciation for the activity by getting excited, talking to their peers and teacher about the experience, and asking questions. They also investigate concepts such as mixing colors and exploring texture. The teacher promotes their learning by labeling the color of each child’s hands.
The Arts
25.B.ECa: Describe or respond to their creative work or the creative work of others.
The children are creating colors while playing with the paint and glue. The children talk about their experience with one another. Ann asks others to look at her project, and Sam asks others to look at his blue hands.
Social/Emotional Development
31.B.ECa: Interact verbally and nonverbally with other children.
31.B.ECc: Use socially appropriate behavior with peers and adults, such as helping, sharing, and taking turns.
The children interact with one another verbally and nonverbally while they explore the materials on their trays. This group activity allows the children to practice developing their interpersonal skills because they are able to talk about what they are doing and share ideas with one another.

About this resource

Setting(s) for which the article is intended:
  • Child Care Center
  • Preschool Program
  • Kindergarten
  • Family Child Care

Intended audience(s):
  • Teachers / Service providers
  • Faculty / Trainer
  • Parents / Family

Age Levels (the age of the children to whom the article applies):
Related Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards:
Reviewed: 2019