When I was younger, especially in preschool I always enjoyed sponge painting. Every time I would paint whether it was with hands, paintbrush, or sponges I feel like I had been give the opportunity to express myself and feel so free. No instructions, no one telling me what to do, simply paint. However, out of all the different ways in which one can paint I find sponge painting to be more fun.
As an activity for young children I would give them the option of big, small, round, or rectangular sponges and give them the freedom to do whatever they feel like doing. They can even cut them to a different shape if they'd like! Children will then choose any color of paint they wish to use for the painting. They will have the opportunity to explore the paint and mix colors to get a variety of colors throughout their painting. They will then dip the sponges into paint and move the sponge onto the blank sheet of paper. With sponge painting children can cover the whole paper with different colors with the sponge or even make a tree with the tapping of the sponge. Sharing experiences, emotions or their own personality can be expressed through painting, in this case sponge painting. This allows for children to really express themselves and feel that they have full power of what they are doing. No instructions no right or wrong answers.
Once finished with the activity, children can share with the class what their painting is about. They can share what shapes they used and why. They can also share to the class why they decided to make that image or why did they combine the colors they did.
In relation to this activity, the art word of the week is shape. According to Schirrmacher and Fox (2009), "shape had its own qualities and personalities: simple, complex, circular, anglur, big or small" (p. 140). Shapes are used throughout this activity when choosing the sponges and using the different sizes and shapes to create whatever it is the children want to make.
Schirrmacher, R., & Fox, J.E. (2009). Art and creative development for young children (6th Ed.). Belmont, CA: Delmar.