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Hopefully everyone’s first week of school has gone smoothly! This week we are sharing a back to school idea great for getting to know new classmates, practicing art skills, and having a little fun as you ease your way back into the new school year.

Friendship Paintings

Developmental Goal/Activity Objective:

To practice creative art skills and those social/emotional skills required for collaboration.

Materials Needed:

  1. Piece of poster paper
  2. Different colours paint
  3. Bowls
  4. Different sizes of balls (e. Marbles, tennis balls, etc.)
  5. Cardboard box
  6. Tape

Procedures/Strategies: (how to present activity and what children will do)

  1. Tape the poster board inside the cardboard box.
  2. Put some paint in small bowls.
  3. Dip the balls in paint and roll them around, then put them in the box.
  4. Have one child stand and hold opposite sides of the box.
  5. They can then move the box around to make the balls with paint on them roll around and paint the canvas.
  6. At the end you can add a handprint in white paint and cut the canvas in half so each child gets a piece of art to take home OR leave the canvas whole and display in centre.



For this activity and more like it, visit


Bitaa Collaboration with Parkland Players

Download the Bitaa PDF here.

What is Bitaa?

Bitaa is an app designed to assist child care providers, early childhood educators, and parents with program and activity planning. The app is created based on the idea that children grow best when they can direct their own learning, and therefore most of the activities in this resource are simple and open-ended. Bitaa makes it so that educators, parents, and most importantly, children, can take the ideas or activities and put their own spin on it. Bitaa is also a compilation for educational ideas as it pulls ideas, and activities from a variety of sources, making it a hub for the exchange of educational information.

Why the Bitaa initiative?

In 2016 Parkland Players endeavoured to fill a gap in Early Childhood Education program planning. Teachers at our centre have always worked extremely hard to plan daily activities, following children’s interest and educational goals. However, in order to support our educators in their lesson planning, the administration at the centre decided to create a resource that educators could refer to throughout the school year for those moments when they were uncertain of what themes to explore next, or how to expand on concepts, or even where to start in a new unit. And so, Parkland Players began compiling activities from a variety of sources and organizing them into themes. This new compilation of information, activities, and resources would later become Bitaa!

How does this origin story make Bitaa special?

Although Bitaa is a separate entity, the collaboration between Bitaa and the educators at Parkland Players is ongoing. The educators and administration at Parkland Players continue to contribute, ideas and feedback to Bitaa, as well as implement the activities in their daily educational method. This gives Bitaa a number of advantages in terms of the validity of the resource. First of all, it helps Bitaa to keep a fresh perspective. Bitaa is continually changing and being updated to better fit the needs of children and their development based on the work of teachers at Parkland Players. In this way, Bitaa is frequently being tested and improved through its proximity to a thriving childcare centre. Secondly, implicitly embedded in the resource are decades of experience from Early Childhood Educators who give their thoughts, approaches, and personalities to the resource. Lastly, collaboration with Parkland Players, a Reggio Emilia inspired centre, means that this resource is also focused on the fundamentals of the Reggio Emilia Approach. Activities are inquiry-based, flexible, and open-ended so that children across a variety of age groups can get the most out of each learning opportunity regardless of their individual developmental location. Essentially, Bitaa continues to support the educators at Parkland Players to be the best they can, and reciprocally, the educators at Parkland Players challenge Bitaa to continue to grow and improve its ability to contribute in meaningful ways to Early Childhood Education.

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