Category Archives: Preschool (3-5)

Clothespin Caterpillars

clothespincaterpillarsCreate cute clothespin caterpillars that can be used to hang art work or be given as gifts.

Goals:

  • To practice fine motor skills
  • To explore different color combinations
  • To express creativity

Before You Start:
Gather materials needed: clothespins, tacky glue, pom-poms and wiggly eyes.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Set out all materials and provide children with 1 or 2 clothespins each.

Step 2.
Apply a line of tacky glue along the entire length of one side of a clothespin.

Step 3.
Place a row of pom-poms close together on the glue. Use however many can fit on the clothespin (3-5 is usually a good number).

Step 4.
Apply two dots of tacky glue to the pom-pom on the opening side of the clothespin. Apply wiggly eyes to the glue.

Step 5.
Allow the glue to dry, then place wherever you like!

Furthermore:
Use the Clothespin Caterpillars activity to supplement learning about real caterpillars, or for when reading about The Hungry Caterpillar. Or, use brown pom-poms to make clothespin worms. Then read the book Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin.

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Valentine’s Day Monster

valentinemonster

Create a friendly “monster” to share on Valentine’s Day!

Goals:

  • To create a special gift to give on Valentine’s Day
  • To practice creativity

Before You Start:
Gather materials needed: cardboard craft rolls, assorted pipe cleaners, assorted craft twist ties, ceramic or foam heart shapes, wiggly eyes, pom poms, red and pink paint, paint brushes and tacky glue.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Paint a craft roll in a Valentine’s Day color. Alternatively, you could cover the roll in construction paper or foil paper.

Step 2.
Glue two lengths of either craft twist ties or pipe cleaners in the center of the craft roll. These will be the monster’s legs.

Step 3.
Glue a heart shape to the end of each leg. You can use ceramic or foam heart shapes, or simply cut your own hearts out of construction paper. Paint, if desired.

Step 4.
Glue two wiggly eyes and a pom pom nose to the outside front of the monster.

Step 5.
Twist the ends of two pipe cleaners together to create an extra-long pipe cleaner. Wrap the extra-long pipe cleaner through the back side of the monster and create a heart-shaped antenna.

Step 6.
Display your monster, or give to someone special!

Furthermore:
Stuff the monster with a small baggie of Valentine’s Day treats to give someone an extra-special delivery!

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Kandinsky Circles

kadinsky

Submitted by: Heather Lockwood

Create an array of color paper rolled to mimic Kandinsky’s circles.

Goals:

  • To practice fine motor skills
  • To explore different color combinations
  • To work as a group to make a piece of cooperative art

Before You Start:
Gather materials needed: cardboard box lids (e.g., shoe box or paper box lids); an array of different types of paper in different colors, sizes and patterns; black paint; paint brushes; scissors and glue.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Either before beginning the activity with the children, or as a class, paint the inside of the box lids black.

Step 2.
Cut the paper into strips of different widths and lengths.

Step 3.
Using a paint brush, coat the inside of the box lid(s) with a paint brush.

Step 4.
Have the children roll up the sheets of paper like a scroll. Place the rolled up paper standing up inside the box lid(s).

Step 5.
Fill the entire inside of the box lid(s) with rolled up paper.

Step 6.
Allow the glue to dry, then display on a wall.

Furthermore:
Wassily Kandinsky was a Russian artist who was famous for his abstract works that made use of circle shapes. Research Kandinsky in the library or online to spark discussion on abstract art. The Kandinsky Circle activity does not involve painting, but the same ideas behind it could be applied to a painting activity. Provide the children with paper and paint and encourage them to create an abstract painting using circles and/or other shapes.

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Glittery Salt

glittersalt

Create bright, three-dimensional collages or fill glass jars with layers of sparkling color! Turn flat surfaces into imaginative, tactile, sparkly works of art, with salt as your main ingredient! Add rich, vibrant color, and great texture to any collage.

Goals:

  • To observe cause and effect
  • To have fun with a sensory art activity
  • To develop fine motor skills

Before You Start:
Gather sand art bottles or recycle, small clean empty glass jars or bottles with lids from home. Set out funnels, rock salt or table salt, Liquid Watercolor™ paints, a 1/4 measuring cup, a tablespoon, BioColor® Shimmer Powder and paper towels.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Add 1 Tbsp. of Colorations® Liquid Watercolor to ¼ cup of regular table salt or rock salt, and mix.

Step 2.
Spread mixture out on a paper towel and microwave on high for 2 minutes.

Step 3.
Using fingers break up the dried pieces until the consistency is granular again.

Step 4.
Try adding baby oil or Metallic Powder for a shimmering effect. Adds rich, vibrant color, and great texture to any collage. (Does not work with gold, silver or white.)

Furthermore:
Salt teaches children about science. It’s very absorbent and reduces the freezing point of water. That’s why rock salt is sprinkled onto roads after a snowstorm: it lowers the freezing point of water and makes driving safer. It’s also used to make homemade ice cream. Think about it!

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Circle Prints

circleprints

Submitted by: Maria Langis

Children use cups to make circle prints on paper.

Goals:

  • To explore various painting techniques
  • To identify the shape “circle”
  • To practice hand-eye coordination
  • To use fine motor skills

Before You Start:
Gather materials needed: plastic or paper cups, various colors of paint, white finger paint paper, construction paper, scissors and glue sticks.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Fill the bottom of trays or plates with a single color of paint (make several colors available). Provide plastic or paper cups to the children. If possible, provide cups of different sizes.

Step 2.
Have the children take their cup and dip the open end into a color of paint. Then, have them press their cup onto their finger paint paper. Repeat using different colors and placing each circle in a slightly different location to create unique patterns.

Step 3.
When the painting is dry, cut around the perimeter of the painting (help the children as necessary).

Step 4.
Using glue sticks, mount the finished painting onto a contrasting color of construction paper.

Furthermore:
Discuss circle shapes with the children. What attributes do all circles have in common? What are some everyday items that are shaped like circles?

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Footprint Ghosts

footprintghosts

Submitted by: Laurie Shaw

Children use their feet to make ghost decorations for Halloween.

Goals:

  • To promote creative thinking
  • To encourage organizational and planning skills

Before You Start:
Gather materials needed: white paint, construction paper, a small paint roller, glitter glue, wiggly eyes and other decorative items.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Lay out plastic or newspaper to protect the floor.

Step 2.
Using a paint roller, gently roll white paint onto the bottom of the children’s feet.

Step 3.
Have the children carefully stand on a piece of construction paper, placed on a hard surface.

Step 4.
Decorate the ghosts using wiggly eyes, glitter glue or any other decorative items.

Furthermore:
Have the children compare and discuss the different shapes and sizes of each other’s footprints.

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Geometric Builders

geometricbuilders

Submitted by: Vicki Lemanczyk

Children explore geometric shapes using simple, reusable materials.

Goals:

  • To identify, create and copy geometric shapes
  • To identify and recreate letters of the alphabet

Before You Start:
Gather materials needed: colored craft sticks, paper, markers, hook and loop circles.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Stick a hook circle to one end of each craft stick and a loop circle to the other end of each craft stick.

Step 2.
On sheets of paper, draw and label a geometric shape. Each sheet should have only one shape. Suggested shapes include square, rectangle, triangle, octagon, hexagon and pentagon. Optional: Laminate each sheet for repeated use.

Step 3.
Give a shape pattern and some hook and loop craft sticks to the children. Have them recreate the shape using their craft sticks.

Step 4.
Adapt this activity to recreate numbers, letters or other patterns.

Furthermore:
Allow the children to build open-ended creations using the hook and loop craft sticks, without providing a shape or pattern for them to follow.

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