Cherry group have been taking advantage of the abundance of blackberries adorning the hedgerows at this time of year to make their own natural paint. Picking blackberries is a great way for young children to exercise their fine motor skills. Just the right amount of pressure is required to remove the berries from the bush without squishing them. They also need to take care to avoid the prickles on the brambles and the nettles which like to grow in and amongst the brambles. Only the ripest juiciest berries make good paint and the children were quick to learn that unripe green and red berries were best left on the bushes to mature a little longer. As the children search for berries, they learn to identify the features of the plants on which they grow – the prickly stems and the hairy serrated leaves. It is also an opportunity to introduce learning around poisonous and edible berries and their place in the food chain of insects and animals.
Once the berries were picked, the next step was to mush them up with a stick to create a paste. They were then free to choose what and where to paint. Noah found a branch that had lost its bark and chose the smooth surface to paint on. Brogan used a paintbrush to splodge his paint onto a piece of fabric. Kai demonstrated to Hamza how a block could be used to bash the berries onto the fabric to transfer the colour. Amwiah chose to paint the rough bark of an oak tree as she liked the patterns it created,
Some of the children experimented with mixing mud and leaves into the paint to change its colour and texture.