Linnaea's
Art Projects
For Preschoolers




There are many fun projects that we can do with young children.  And of course there are many books and websites out there with great ideas.  In fact, there are almost too many!  But how do we know what will be a hit... and what will be a miss?  In 20 years of working with young children in the preschool setting, here are some guidelines I've found useful in choosing a great project:

    Process oriented.   A project for young children should emphasize the process of making it -- and the skills and experiences gained through that process -- rather than the finished product.  

    Open Ended.    Even when we do choose a project that produces a charming finished project, such as the project ideas on our Holiday Pages, we need to be sure there is room for creative expression.  This allows for artistic experimentation, individuality and self expression, and the development of creative self-confidence.  The opposite of open ended, is a project that can only be done way to be "correct".  This sort of "follow my instructions to make one just like mine" approach teaches following directions, but little else. 

    Child Centered.  There should be an internal motivation, within the child, for doing the project. Ideally the project should be open ended enough to allow children with different temperaments, ability levels, and learning agendas to connect with it and engage.  The project taps into the child's developmentally based needs and interests.  The child finds it intrinsically appealing, meaningful, and satisfying.

    Fresh & Interesting.   A variety of mediums and materials are explored.  Certainly we want to give kids the chance to work repeatedly with various tools and materials -- this is how they gain mastery.   But how dull would it be to always have the same materials, or even the same materials each month with only the color scheme changing.  Offering a variety of tools and materials and projects will help hold children's interest.  If you must offer something that is fairly similar each time (such as easel painting) then also put out something that is new and fresh.

    Logistically Manageable.   Can we do this project and keep everyone safe?  Maintain our sanity?  Keep the room and its furnishings in an acceptable condition and still have time leftover to clean up by snack time without anyone (or almost anyone) wailing inconsolably -- including us?  Yay!

    Economical.   Whether this is for home or the classroom we are always striving to provide quality activities without going over our budget.

    Environmentally & Socially Responsible.   More and more we are thinking about the projects we do an their impact on the environment.  What can we re-use, re-purpose, and recycle?  And what are we modeling to the children with the choices we make?

 

Collage Ideas  

Project directions, ideas for materials,
and sensible advice for working with young children.

 

Recipes For Sensory Materials

Favorite Playdough Recipes Plus...
Homemade Gak , Flubber, Jiggle Blobs, & much more!

 

Easy At-Home
Sensory Table

With water, sand, rice, or birdseed

 

Make Picture Books

Learn how to make your own picture books -- a great parent/child project.  Very easy.  An excellent way to help your child's language development.

 

Handprint Projects
For Xmas, Thanksgiving, Mother's Day, Halloween, etc.

 

 

 

 

 

Links with More Ideas

 

Make Your Own ABC Book

Each page features a large letter to color plus an object that begins with that letter.  Nice quality images.  Click here for more preschool coloring pages.

 

Summer Crafts and Activities for Preschoolers  

 From Childfun

 

The Idea Box

How To Make A Rainstick

 

 
 
 
 

Adventures with Paint

Think preschool painting is all about fingerpainting or easels?  Think again!  There are a variety of ways to let young children explore with washable paint.

 

Make Bubble Art

Includes instructions for make fun prints with bubbles and tempra paint, two different ways!  Great for preschool or older.

 

No Mess "Spin" Art

 

The Magic of 
        
Clear Contact Paper

Easy collages, home "laminating", wall & surface protection.

 

Holiday Art Projects

Browse the holidays in the margin at right or click this link to surf through our collections of holiday themed lessons, activities, and crafts. 

 
 
 








 

 

 

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