I had read about these paintings here, but had to wait til I found a salad spinner in an op shop before I could give it a try. Now I can't put the spinner away because R is totally addicted to painting with it! And I can completely understand why, because I've tried it myself and it really is fun. Have you noticed how children love randomness and surprise? This activity combines the pleasure of dropping or squirting paint onto a surface and the physicality of spinning the spinner with the excitement of an unpredictable (and very pretty) result.
The process is incredibly simple, once you've laid your hands on a salad spinner. All you need are some paper plates that fit inside (I found the Black & Gold brand ones from IGA perfect for this, or you could cut down some larger ones), some paints (we used Radical Paints, which are easy to squirt or drip onto the plate) and - as recommended on Casa Maria's Creative Learning Zone - some hairgel. Yes, hairgel. Apparently it gives a nice sheen to the painting, and who am I to mess with her tried and true method? Anyway, R loves the smell. Once you have the equipment and supplies assembled, all you do is drop paint on the plate, put the lid on the spinner and turn it around.
For something that uses a lot of paint this is a surprisingly un-messy activity, provided you remember to put some newspaper under the spinner to soak up the paint that leaks out the bottom.
R likes to apply paint (and gel), spin, then examine the results and add more paint. She often repeats this process a few times before she declares the painting finished. We are going through the paint at a rate of knots, but then we have been doing this every day since I bought the spinner...
Here are some of the beautiful paintings by R (plus one by K):
I would love to do this with the kids at playgroup but we would need several spinners to avoid frustration. So for now it's just our at-home art activity - until I find another few spinners at the op shop!