I'm not sure how it started but we have been using a lot of stencils this week. Stencils can be fantastic for developing fine motor skills they also encourage the hands to work together. One hand controls the paintbrush or pencil while the other needs to hold the stencil or paper in place.
As you can see on our stencil trays, I have secured the stencil to the tray with tape. The child still needs the supporting hand to keep the paper in place and to hold the stencil down. These trays are for a three-year-old, for an older child you might not need to secure the stencil like this.
This week our stencil trays have included:
- foam dabbers and paint
- watercolour paint
- acrylic paint with a paintbrush.
We could also use:
- foam rollers and paint
- sponges and paint
- oil pastels
- paint sticks
- paint dot markers
- markers (or textas).
Using a foam dabber is Otto's (3yrs) favourite way to use stencils.
Surprisingly, this wasn't too messy. The tray helps to keep everything together and any paint on the tray is easy to wipe off. Otto loved the result too, he could really see the image he had created.
I wasn't sure if watercolours would work here, they didn't run but that's perhaps because Otto didn't use much water. Anyway, I love watercolour because of their rich colours.
This would make a beautiful card or we could use the other side for a note for a friend. Children make the most wonderful creations. Remember with watercolours to use heavier paper or specific watercolour paper.
This is an excellent activity for developing pencil control.
I was surprised by how well Otto was able to carefully follow the edges of the stencil and make clear lines. Our geometric stencils are also useful for learning about shapes.
Once traced the child could cut the shape out, colour it in, or include the shape in a scene or pattern design.
Stencils come in so many different designs, I find it easy to find stencils that match my children's interests. Dinosaurs are popular right now!
I love this colourful Stegosaurus.
A Tyrannosaurus rex. 🦖
Once dried we can also offer the artwork back to the child. They might like to cut the shape out or add it with more paint or markers.
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