Favorite Art Projects for the Preschool Classroom

Art projects for preschoolers should be something that they create themselves. Do you consider paint-by-number kits creative art for adults? Of course not. And so coloring a page in a coloring book in not creative art for children.

Preschool children are constantly learning, changing their views of the world, and incorporating what they have learned into that view of the world. By allowing them to explore and express their feelings and ideas through art, we are enabling them to better come to terms with their feelings and thoughts, and to better come to terms with their world and what is in it.

Actually, art projects for preschoolers are easy. You just supply the materials and minimum supervision, and they will amaze you with their skill. Here are some of the materials you should have available for art projects:

1) Crayons (of course)
2) Markers (washable, or course)
3) Elmer’s glue, glue sticks and tape (for fastening stuff together)
4) Large paper (children need large areas to create on because their fine motor skills
are just developing and it’s hard for them to control in a confined area)
5) Construction paper in various colors
6) Blunt plastic scissors ( yes, scissors. The blunts will only cut paper, not hair)
7) Tempura paint and brushes ( one brush for each color is good)
8) Found objects, such as ribbon, yarn, buttons, stickers, foam shapes, felt shapes,
feathers, tissue paper, shiny paper, straws, marbles)

With these supplies, you can let the child work on many projects that are their own creations. Here are some to try:

1) Paint a picture with the tempura paint and brushes. Place the paper on the table top,
or even on the floor, so they have room to spread out.
2) Paint with fingers ( for children who do not like to get their fingers messy, gently
slip their hand into a baggie and fasten loosely at the wrist. They will get the
sensory experience of finger painting without getting “yucky”
3) Cut shapes and glue on to construction paper
4) Glue foam or felt shapes onto a toilet paper roll to make a totem pole.
5) Make paper chains. (You cut the strips and then let the child fasten them together)
6) Tissue paper “stained glass” (cut or tear small pieces of tissue paper and fasten them
between two sheets of clear contact paper. Hang in a window for decoration)
7) Paint a picture using their feet. (I know, this is not for a squeamish parent, but
children love it. Let them paint the bottoms of their feet and then walk all over
large sheets of paper. Just catch them and wash off before they head for the carpet)
8) Make a crown from construction paper and let them decorate it with markers and
glued on shapes)
9) Make paper mache. (Dilute liquid Elmer’s glue and dip strips of newspaper into it.
Wrap the strips around a balloon and let dry. Let the child paint it, and then hang
it up for a large size decoration)
10) Marble painting ( Using a shoe box, or other lid, place a piece of construction paper
on the bottom, and them paint on thick lines of tempura paint. Add the marbles and let
the child gently roll the box back and forth to create different lines and shapes)

When preparing art projects for your child, remember that the process is more important than the product. Whatever they create will be beautiful and meaningful to them. So grit your teeth and suffer through the “messies”. You just may be in the presence of the next Picasso.