The Grey Bucket!

Last week was busy with my second summer camp.  Once again it was a great camp and just as much fun!

I’ve been surprised by how children are so interested in things we adults take for granted. One such phenomenon this week was “The Grey Bucket”. The Grey Bucket is a plastic tub, actually an old coffee container, into which all of the unused acrylic paint is tossed for disposal. Naturally, this is the preferred alternative to having the paint block the drains, which still happens from time to time of course – but not on my watch!

It all started with my asking  the question : “Why is it called the Grey Bucket?” and things turned into a great teaching moment on colour theory. Let’s face it, there is something surprising, almost magical about watching all of those vibrant colours turn  to grey. Also, working with paint, big globs of multi-coloured paint, is all part of the tactile pleasure of painting. One little guy certainly felt this, he was clearly more interested in mixing up all the paint he had been given, then mixing it some more, rather than actually putting any of it on his work. He was immediately fascinated by the Grey Bucket. Others followed. So toward the end of class, whenever I shouted “Here’s the Grey Bucket” there was a swarm of happy helpers all putting paint into it …  and giving it a good stir just to be sure it was still grey!

Not only was it a fine colour theory teaching aid, but it got them all cleaning up too…what’s better than that!