The Paint Tower

“Certainly different points of view and curiosity are typical of children, who are always looking for and using alternative points of view, who, for example, will go under the table or on top of the table to view the environment in a different way. We, as teachers and atelieristi, have the responsibility to offer the children these intelligent contexts, the possibility of having multiple points of view where beauty and aesthetics are not optional but a necessity of thinking, living and knowing.” (Ruozzi, 2010)

Isn’t it true? Don’t children seek out ways to see things from a perspective we would never have thought of? We get stuck on on the view from our tall, eyes front and forward perspective.

I sent this quote to an educator and she took it to heart. And then she took it literally.


 She created a provocation that invited, no, demanded, that children and adults alike seek alternative points of view.


Carson stood on the highest chair and painted on the highest surface. He carefully covered every bit of the white paper with black paint and  as the paper became wet and slightly soggy, he had a new thought. He said ” I wonder what it will look like under the paper when I’m finished”. The paper began to tear, and there was another invitation…to slowly push the brush into the tear, painting the surface below.

14 month old Selena is fascinated with the paint jars. She puts some paint on the paper on the floor and immediately wants to walk in it. Her mom takes off Selena’s shoes and socks and Selena jumps and dances in the paint.


Chase knows paint. He has spent time painting on the floor, on the easel, on the table. But now he sees an new question; when paper is suspended, hanging, how does paint work? How does the brush work? He kneels in front and tests it, experimenting with the pressure of the brush on paper, the way the paper flexes, resists, pushes back.

 ….the responsibility to offer the children these intelligent contexts, the possibility of having multiple points of view….

A paint tower, offering an intelligent context for multiple points of view for children. And in turn, the children offer us further points of view.

 Which of course is the whole point of working with children… seek multiple points of view for thinking, living and knowing.

About Kim

Kim is an admitted ECE geek. She and Danielle have bonded over their shared geekdom and have come to terms with it. She is a pedagogical facilitator working with educators in a number of early learning settings supporting and extending new thinking and practice. She loves reading, writing, talking and sharing ideas about the potentials of teaching and learning with ece's and young children. ECE geeks unite!

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