One of the projects we did was to make our own spin art raccoons. First up was a discussion about the different colors a raccoon's fur might be and pulled out some paint to match. We then selected some scrap pieces of construction paper from our scrap box and gathered up our salad spinner and coffee filters. I had also cut out an assortment of triangles and circles to complete our project.
The children placed three coffee filters into the basket of the spinner, we use three because of the viscosity of the paint. It's weight and thickness tend to smoosh the filter into a corner and then all you have is a mess of coffee filter. Using a short stack anchors the filter down and allows the paint to spin about. We used a washable tempera for or paint.
Once the filter was in the basket, the children selected the colors they wished to use and gave great big squirts of paint into the basket (with a little help from me a the bottles were new and not easily squeezable).
Next up was placing the lid onto the spinner which is not as easy for a three year old as it is for an adult, and then turning the handle that spins the basket. This part was really fun and interesting to see how each child would approach it. Our spinner has a crank handle and so the children needed to figure out how to hold the basket with one hand and turn the crank with the other. Some children grew frustrated and asked for help.
After a few checks and maybe more squirts of paint, the children removed their raccoons-to-be and added features. The thickness of the paint took place of any glue we would need and so eyes and stripes and noses were added by simply selecting their preferred shapes (we used a variety of raccoon images from various flashcards as inspiration) and pressing them down onto the paint with their fingers.
They were quite proud of their raccoons and really into the spinner and so we made another spin art bit just for fun.