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Everything around us has texture but often we're unaware of it in our environment unless our attention has been drawn to it. In the Montessori school, the children do have experiences with texture (i.e., the texture board and fabrics), but we can expand on this. We are surrounded by things that have texture: walls, tiles, curtains, carpets, furniture. However, we can only experience texture through touch. An artist must have had to be familiar with the texture of the satin before painting a girl in a satin dress. Likewise, before children can incorporate texture into their paintings, we must draw their attention to texture in the environment.

Children can take rubbings of tree bark like Eucalyptus trees. They can also collect things from around the house like graters, bakings pans, table mats, stone, glass dishes, pieces of wood.

To trace textures, children can use thick, stubby wax crayons or black lead pencil on thin paper. At first, they are fascinated by the texture and the resulting pattern. Things to rub on can be found in old homes, missions, iron lids (manhole covers), and in the garden.

When a child has taken a rubbing, she might carefully look at it and see how she could create a picture within it. This could be done in two ways:

1. Frottage: you bring out whatever it suggests to you.

  1. 2.Collage: you can rub different textures,

cut them up and make a picture out of them.

Children enjoy making rubbings of leaves, especially as they fall, golden, red, orange and brown in the autumn. Rubbing the back side of leaves, where the veins are raised, results in a very clear outline of the veins. By doing so, they become very aware of shape, veining and edges of leaves. They can cut them out and mount them on branches. A very effective silver birch trunk can be cut from old newspapers. When doing an exercise like this, consult a tree book for shapes of trunks and branches and arrangement of leaves on tree.

The teacher could also have a box of materials of different textures (wallpapers) or fabrics and the children could design their own collages.