In the last couple of weeks, we've been focusing on drawing with oil pastels and creating with clay; however, every couple of days, I will also set up a new and interesting art tray. Some of these are just for fun, others are to help develop fine motor skills. Let's take a look at the last eight art activities we've tried!
Salad spinner art - I cut some cardboard in a circle the same diameter as the bottom of our salad spinner. I presented this with some small squeeze paints (ours are from Kmart AU), the paints are small enough that if the child uses all the paint, there isn't too much waste, but the child can still squeeze and put in the paint independently.
The child puts one piece of cardboard on the bottom of the salad spinner and then squirts in their paints. The child can then put the lid on the salad spinner.
Then open up the salad spinner.
Blow watercolours - I presented watercolour paints with pipettes, paper straws and watercolour paper. All of these activities require supervision, here we need to make sure the child uses the straw for blowing only.
The child drops some watercolour paint onto the paper. Using pipettes and droppers is good for developing hand strength and coordination. Using a pipette and practising the pincer grasp is important work for preschool and kindergarten children.
The child then uses the straw to blow the watercolour paints in whichever direction or for as far as they like.
Once dried, we could draw characters or make illustrations using watercolour paint as a base.
Seedling pot painting - self-explanatory, some seedling pots and paint. Paper planters like this can be found cheaply in garden or hardware stores. We can use the pots to raise seedlings, but if you are going to plant them directly into the ground, you might want to use watercolour colour paints. We could plant some seeds and give these as gifts.
It's fun to paint different surfaces.
Tissue paper art - this is a lovely colourful activity that could be enjoyed by young children. I have presented tissue paper circles with a child-size water spray bottle and watercolour paper. Watercolour or heavy paper is required as the paper will get wet.
We could also use a dropper to wet the paper. If we don't have tissue paper, torn streamers would also work. Instead of water, we could use glue. If we use water, the tissue paper may come off when it dries (but it leaves behind some colours). The glue will make the artwork permanent.
The child uses the spray bottle to wet the paper and then places the coloured tissue paper onto the paper. As the tissue paper gets wet, it sticks to the paper.
We can make the coloured tissue paper overlap for some colour mixing.
This is beautiful, and the colours are vibrant.
Paper weaving - I recommend this from 4yrs+. I've tried weaving with my preschooler before, and it hasn't worked; he can only weave like this now he is almost five years old.
I have presented a sheet of cardboard with lines cut into it and coloured card strips. I have woven one piece in the card to show the child what to do, but he still needs help and guidance.
Teach by teaching, not by correcting. I don't correct his mistakes and allow him to keep his concentration and focus, I only help when asked.
The child simply weaves the coloured cardboard in and out of cardboard sheet strips. I have added glue to the tray so the child, if they choose, can glue down the ends of the weaving to keep it in place.
We will keep on using weaving activities to strengthen his skills in this area.
Dino stencils - with markers. I love using stencils for developing fine motor skills. We use dino stencils as my child is interested in dinosaurs, but there are lots of stencils available. We also love transport and bug stencils. We can use plastic stencils like this with paint and a sponge too.
So so good for developing fine motor skills and concentration. ❤️
And a little creativity too.
Watercolour postcards - we have postcards made from watercolour paper. The child simply paints the postcards then we can write on them and send the postcards. This is a nice way to encourage children to send mail and also demonstrates different ways we can communicate with people.
Watercolour paints are always beautiful.
Otto paints a handful to send out to friends and family.
Mirror self portrait - self portraits are always fun to do with children. Here I've provided a mirror so the child can carefully study themselves.
Resources: Our dino stencils are from the UK, similar here (US) and here (AU). Coloured droppers are from here (AU), similar here (US) and here (UK). Three jar paint holder is similar to this one. Our watercolour postcards are from here (AU), similar here (US).
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