Photo credit: AngryJulieMonday on Flickr
Arts and crafts are a great way to keep your children entertained, build their creativity, and boost their motor and problem-solving skills. They’re fun for kids when they’re working on them alone or with mom and dad, but they’re especially enjoyable when they get to do them with friends. The kids can have fun, give each other a hand, and even work on a craft together.
Here are three arts and crafts projects for your preschooler’s next play date.
1. Painting with yarn:
Photo credit: buggyandbuddy.com
Sure, painting with a paintbrush is fun, but why not mix it up and use a different tool? The kids will have fun with this unconventional method of painting!
This activity, from Buggy and Buddy, requires tempera paint, pieces of yarn, containers to hold the paint, popsicle sticks, and art paper.
- Place some tempera paint into containers. Something with a wider rim will be easier for little hands.
- Cut up some pieces of yarn.
- Have the kids dip a piece of yarn into the paint. Then, use a popsicle stick (or something similar) to push the yarn down so it gets fully covered.
- After the yarn is coated in paint, have them pull the yarn out of the paint. Place it onto the paper, and then lift it. They can also drag the yarn around for a different effect. Repeat this step with different colors to create a work of art!
2. Paper plate rainbow:
Photo credit: innerchildfun.com
Brighten everyone’s day with a fun and easy paper plate rainbow! And good news, parents: this activity, from Inner Child Fun, uses some materials that you might already have laying around your house.
- White paper plates
- Cotton balls
- Party streamers or colored tissue paper
- Safety scissors
- Cotton balls
- Washable school glue
- Have the kids fold the paper plate in half and use safety scissors to cut along the crease line.
- Show them how to use tape to attach long strips of colorful party streamers or tissue paper. Talk about the rainbow order of colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple). Flip the plate over.
- Apply washable school glue to the inside of the paper plate and invite the kids to add cotton balls on top of the glue. Allow to dry completely.
- Optional: Use a hole punch to add a hole near the top of the rainbow’s arch. Thread string or yarn through the hole to hang your rainbow craft!
- Toothpick sculptures
There are a variety of toothpick constructions you can make—everything from sticking toothpicks in playdough to creating little structures with grapes, green peas, pieces of apple, or cheese cubes (the best kind of art is edible!). The following project comes from Shrimp and Grits Kids Blog and Artful Parent.
Photo credit: artfulparent.com
- Small box of toothpicks
- Marshmallows (plain or multi-colored)
- Optional: Pony beads
- Stale marshmallows are easier to work with, so you might want to plan ahead and leave them out for a few days first (and maybe hidden from hungry kids—and adults).
- Push a toothpick into the end of a marshmallow. If you are adding beads, place those on the toothpick after putting a marshmallow at one of the ends. Then, keep adding toothpicks and marshmallows until you build a structure!
There are a ton of different structures you can make—check out pictures online for inspiration! Not only is this a fun activity, but you can use it to teach kids about basic geometry concepts. It’s also a good activity for multiple kids because you can give them directions such as “Build a two story structure” and see how they approach it differently.
Enjoy your artsy playdate, everyone!