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6 Art Activities For Preschoolers

Sher Warkentin
July 19, 2017

These simple craft activities are just right for preschool-level art skills.

 

 

Does an hour searching through construction paper bunnies and tissue paper mosaics online leave you more confused than inspired? It might be time to step away from your laptop and simplify your approach.

"Even though an elaborate craft might look nice on Pinterest, the reality is that when dealing with little ones, the process is always more important than the end product," says Andrea Mulder-Slater, a co-founder and producer at KinderArt. When it comes to art activities for preschoolers, it's more about experimenting with different materials than creating a masterpiece.

Try these 6 simple art activities that are perfect for preschool-level skills:
 

  1. Color Mixing
    Any activity that involves learning how to blend primary colors to make new colors is a great way to teach preschoolers color mixing skills, explains Asia Citro, a former teacher, the creator of Fun at Home with Kids and the author of "150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids." Simply fill a plastic paint palette with red, yellow and blue paint and let your child experiment with mixing the colors together to see what the results will be, or check out Mama Smiles for a mess-free color mixing activity.
     
  2. Gluing
    Mixing toddlers and glue requires a lot of supervision, but by the time your child is in pre-k she's learned not to eat it. Placing the right amount of glue onto paper helps your little one practice fine motor skills -- plus she'll have fun getting her hands a little dirty. These muffin liner flowers from Kinder Art are a fun way to have your child practice gluing and using markers to create a spring-inspired picture.
     
  3. Cutting
    Preschoolers are ready to begin mastering basic scissor skills. One of the best ways to do this is simply by presenting different types of material to practice cutting, says Citro. Offer everything from construction paper and tissue paper to bits of wrapping paper and old magazines, as well as other materials, like ribbon and yarn. Have your little one practice cutting by giving his very own monster a "hair cut" with directions from Royal Baloo.
     
  4. Play Dough
    Manipulating clay or play dough to make shapes or sculptures is wonderful for preschoolers, says Mulder-Slater. You can make your own dough with this easy recipe and practice color mixing as you blend food coloring to make different colors. Give your child different tools to work with, such as cookie cutters and rolling pins. You can also experiment with creating different textures: for example, grab a toy car and see what happens when you roll the wheels over the dough. Bake your child's finished sculptures to set them.
     
  5. Using Stickers
    Peeling and placing stickers is one of the easiest art activities for kids in pre-school that helps develop fine motor skills. Citro suggests inviting your preschooler to try storytelling art with stickers. Offer stickers that can make up a scene, like ones featuring people, animals, vehicles and buildings and then ask kids to make up a story as they build a picture by placing the stickers on a sheet of paper. You can also have your child randomly place shape stickers on a piece of paper before he draws an image around them to create a piece of truly unique art. Check out Creative Play Central for the how-to.

    For more sticker activities, check out How To Make Reusable Stickers.
     
  6. Bead Art
    Threading beads is another great activity for developing fine motor skills. Present kids with a lanyard or pipe cleaners, which are easier for preschoolers to manipulate than string. Provide colorful beads or dye your own pasta beads like Fun at Home for Kids does. Have your kids thread the beads onto the lanyard and tie the ends together to form a necklace or bracelet.
     

The key to finding art projects appropriate for preschoolers is to look for activities that are simple and preferably open-ended. "Specific craft projects are fun," says Citro, "but I really enjoy process art that allows kids to make their own decisions." Present them with the materials needed and let them steer the project.

For more simple art activities check out these 14 Easy Crafts For Kids.

Shahrzad Warkentin is a mom of two and a freelance writer in Los Angeles, with several years of experience covering topics like parenting, health and lifestyle.

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