Preschoolers can use many safe, non-toxic art mediums. Paint is more than just an art supply; it can also be a valuable education tool. Exploring colors by using primary paints to produce other colors is a fun way for young children to experiment. Adding sand, spices, seeds and other materials to paint creates textured paint. By using non-traditional paintbrushes such as q-tips, cotton balls, craft sticks or erasers, preschoolers can explore how different items produce different effects. Clay is a wonderful art medium for preschoolers. Basic geometric shapes can be formed providing the foundation for complex math skills later. Pasta is a safe art medium that preschoolers can use. Cereal and seeds are two more items that preschoolers can use safely to create art.
Collages are wonderful preschool art projects. This type of project can be created over a period of time or in one sitting. Seasonal collages can be created by using a large paper cutout of a seasonal item such as a pumpkin or pine tree and decorated with smaller art projects that are added daily. At the end of a month, the child will have created a collage filled with many smaller projects that are related to the primary item. Three-dimensional collages provide a new twist to an old theme. A family tree can be created using small paper cups, Styrofoam blocks, pipe cleaners, ribbon or string and pictures of the child’s family including pets. Glue a piece of Styrofoam in the paper cup. Use the pipe cleaners to create the trees, cut ribbon or string in lengths suitable to the trees size and cut geometric paper medallions to use as backing for the pictures. Preschoolers can glue their family pictures on paper medallions, insert a string or ribbon through a pre-punched hole and hang on one of the branches of their family tree.
Hand and Foot Prints:
Parents treasure their children’s first footprint. Finger-paint can be used to for creating updated hand and footprints. Cut butcher paper or brown package paper into individual sized pieces. Each child puts their hands on paint, which is in a flat Styrofoam container, then presses their hands on the paper. Footprints are made the same way. Consider making footprints outdoors where cleaning up paint covered feet will be easier. Bathtubs are another place for footprint projects. Self-hardening clay can be used to create lasting impressions of a child’s hand or foot. Preschool art projects made of self-hardening or bake-to-harden clay can be painted once they have been hardened. This allows the child to add a personal touch to an art project that will be treasured for many years to come.
Common everyday items provide interesting art projects for preschoolers. Empty tissue boxes, oatmeal cans, food boxes and plain gift boxes can all be used as the base for decorating projects. Providing preschoolers with an assortment of decorations including glitter, pre-cut paper shapes, pompoms, sequins, pasta, seeds, leaves, string and ribbon preschoolers can create gift boxes. This type of project can be used at any time during the year and decorations can be chosen to incorporate the various seasons or holidays.
Incorporating preschool art projects into a daily activity can open many educational doors for a child. Masterpieces of art created by preschoolers will be treasured by family members for years to come.