Preschool children love to express themselves with art. Art should be used to encourage imagination, while at the same time be a fun learning tool for the children. If used to inspire imagination and free thinking, children won’t realise they’re learning at the same time. Preschool groups range in age from three years to five years, so the classroom must take into account the group’s abilities and allow for free play to develop necessary skills and development.
Depending on the age of the children in the group, their individual abilities, attention spans and their interests should be catered for in art supplies and art projects offered. Art activities should become steadily more complex as each child matures.
Here are some great ideas for art projects for the preschool classroom that encourage imaginative play, fun and a love of learning.
THREE TO FOUR YEAR OLD PRESCHOOL GROUP
With a preschool group of this age, encourage freedom of play to help imaginations and independence.
~Paint and Easel
Have a couple of easels with paper attached and paint tubs set up within the classroom for children to use. Only provide a small selection of colors, for example blue, yellow and green and encourage the child to learn to use brushes individually.
If the child feels like painting, encourage them to put their paint apron on. Place their names at the top of the page so you do not forget which painting belongs to which child.
Have some glue, some paper and a small rag available for each child. Cut up different shapes of paper, some with printed stars and different colors and put them in separate baskets for selection.
Have the preschooler choose which shapes they would like to paste, encouraging independence and imaginative play.
Although an adults instincts are to try and help and guide a child, it’s important that you encourage their imagination by allowing them to select and paste in whichever matter they choose.
Have a selection of crayons available to the preschooler and allow them to draw whatever they choose. It’s important that you do not “tell” preschoolers what to draw and allow their creative instincts to flourish.
Using colored paper, have your preschoolers draw shapes of their hand prints and use scissors to cut the shape. All the groups’ hand prints can be joined together to form a collage or a poster for display in the preschool.
Have a table set up with Play Dough for the children to play with. As their abilities grow you can begin introducing rollers, dough cutters and other items that will encourage fun play and manipulation of Play Dough.
FOUR TO FIVE YEAR OLD PRESCHOOL GROUP
The four to five year old preschool groups are still developing fine motor skills. Art projects should still encourage freedom of play to help imagination and fun learning.
You would still include many of the craft projects available to a three-year-old group as this age still love to paint and create.
~Threaded Pasta or Sewing Spools
Using threads made from wool or twine, encourage this age group of preschoolers to thread colored pasta or spools to make necklaces and other jewelry. Threading encourages fine motor skills.
~Collage with Various Materials
Providing a choice of materials that can be used to create, such as leaves, twigs, glitter, wool and buttons, allow the children to glue and create what they like.
It’s important with preschool children that they’re imagination is allowed to develop so they can create what they like. They are more inclined to be proud of their work if they have put all their effort into making it. It’s important that you focus on the process of the creation, not the end result when it comes to preschool art activities in the classroom.