We’ve spent many days gazing wistfully at overcast skies this past month thanks to the Chennai rains! I can’t remember the last time I paid so much attention to the cloud cover as I did this monsoon season.
We spent at least fifteen minutes looking out through the grill finding different shapes in the clouds even if they were only in shades of gray. I think you have to be a child to see the bird flying with its wings spread and the dog leaping over the clouds in this picture. Can you find them?
From there we decided to do a monsoon theme activity: painting rain clouds. The clouds in the sky had some texture—they were fluffy and looked like they were in different layers. I wanted to give the kids something to reproduce the texture but then our supplies were limited because of the rains. We ended up raiding our kitchen to to find something suitable.
The kids put their papers on some old cardboard so that cleanup would be easy. I gave the kids a couple of teaspoons of maida flour in some water and they added black poster color paint. Maida gave the paint a thicker consistency and the kids painted with a brush at first. The atta left streaks on the paper and it wasn’t very cloud like.
We looked around for something to create a better texture and my neighbor came up with the idea of using tissue paper. The kids dabbed some white poster color on to the paper and used the tissue to make their cloudy skies.
Doesn’t the picture have a lot of movement? There are some curvy swirly strokes and some places where they just dabbed at the paint. The kids were using a lot of descriptive language as they painted. We were enjoying this too until we heard my oldest daughter say, “My cloud is bringing a lot of rain to Chennai…” Hopefully Varuna wasn’t listening!
One word of caution. Put some weights on the paper when you leave it to dry. Otherwise the maida flour can make the paper roll and bend out of shape as it dries.