Have you ever walked down Main Street USA and an idea popped into your head? This happened to me during a trip to Walt Disney World in May 2009. While walking out of the Main Street Bakery, we saw a Cast Member “painting” something in the street. We did a double take and captured the image above. Although not in a classroom right now, the teacher in me is constantly churning lesson plans in my head.
Yes, seeing this gave me some ideas. This Goofy creation got me thinking about using the technique inspire my own children and/or future students. I held onto the idea for a year. Then, when we went back to Disney in February 2010, it came back to me. Last summer, I took the boys out on a mission. We were going to buy some inexpensive paint brushes. It was time to get my boys some tools to have some fun and learning Disney style. Once we had everything, it was time for some summer fun and learning.
Before we went outside, I showed the boys the photo to explain what we were doing. I told them they were going to be artists and our driveway was going to be Main Street USA. I think you will agree that both of my boys were thrilled.
I have to admit that first time was less about learning and more about fun. The boys quickly realized that it was more fun to fling water at each other.
Fast forward almost a year. I asked the boys to go outside to be water artists again. I showed the boys what we were going to do again. This time I started the fun and made something quick and easy.
Of course, there was a problem. Thanks to the heat, my Mickey Mouse kept disappearing. Enter a chance to check in with my seven year old son. I asked NHL why I was having problems with the water. Without missing a beat, he replied that the water on the ground was evaporating. This allowed us to chat for a bit about what evaporation means and he was able to recall terms like liquid to vapor. It was a proud science teacher moment.
Of course, this was way over the head of my newly four year old son. With JSL, I was able to talk to him about shapes that he saw. He was able to count the number of circles in Mickey Mouse, tell me which circle was bigger than the other, and more. Then, he was able to paint items for me. When I asked him to show me a triangle, he drew the lines with care and showed me what it would look like.
Yes, this was a fun item to do in warm weather. I could see utilizing this in a classroom lesson or home school. As you can see, it can be switched around to be developmentally appropriate for varying age levels.
What would you draw if you had a paint brush and some water while creating Main Street USA at your house? Inquiring minds want to know!