Yasmeen Kamrani Sallam
Invitation to Create Lunar New Year Lanterns
During the Lunar New Year lanterns provide illumination, are said to be lucky charms, and a wish for the bright future. The story Playing With Lanterns by Wang Yage is about a young girl experiencing the joy and excitement of the custom lighting of paper lanterns for the New Year.
After reading the story we invited the children to paint and decorate lanterns for our upcoming annual Lunar New Year Parade. We provided white lanterns, Colorations tempera paint, Bio Color metallic paint, paint brushes, tissue paper, gold foil, lucky money envelopes, and stickers to let the children freely create unique lanterns.
To provide a different art experience we hung the lanterns for the children to paint through a type of art called Action Art. The process with this type of invitation involves a lot of layers of their development enhancing. The child will use their cognitive skills to figure out how to manipulate the lantern to stay in place in order to paint. They began to observe and ask questions to strategize how to effectively paint the lanterns. With the canvas being out of the norm, the child's fine and gross motor skills were challenged.
All aspects of this process, from painting on different media, standing upright to using small & large muscles, trying to manage the movement of the lantern, gives the child an opportunity to be completely immersed in the process of creating in a unique way!
Exploring art, color, gravity, movement, media, will only enhance a child‘s way of thinking creatively. Every time we provide children with the opportunity to create art all on their own, we are reminded of how engaging and important process art is.