Art is a creation, it is a representation of a person’s expressions and emotions. Including arts and crafts as part of the curriculum is extremely important for preschool teachers. Children are able to bring forth their creativity through art and craft. They are able to invent new ways of being artistic. There is no fear of doing anything wrong while being creative, it will only be called modern art.
Listed below are important benefits of arts and crafts for preschoolers:
- Enhances brain development.
- Painting improves tripod and pincer grip.
- Good for small motor skills.
- Craft with recycled material teaches children to be environmentally-friendly.
- Improves concentration and precision.
- Children express emotions through art and craft.
- It makes them conscious of the colors around them.
Below I have discussed some fun art and craft techniques that can be done in the preschool classroom, along with the benefits of doing the same.
Bangle Stationary Stand
After completing this activity the children will have a stationery stand of their own creation to use. This will give them a sense of accomplishment.
- Decorative items
Have parents send colorful, thick bangles (not glass). Make the children stack the bangles one on top of the other. Stick each bangle before placing the next one. After stacking all the bangles children can stick artificial flowers or small decorative items to decorate it from the outside. Once the glue has dried, the children will have a beautiful, colorful personal stationary stand.
While stacking the bangles children need to have good hand-eye coordination. It enhances their precision and concentration. It also boosts their small motor skills.
Bubble Wrap Printing
Bubble wrap is used to wrap items that are fragile and delicate. It has small air bubbles that act as a cushion. Children like to burst the air bubbles of the bubble wrap because of the popping sound it makes.
- Bubble wrap
- Rolling pin
Bubble wrap painting can be done in different ways. It all depends on the size and shape of the picture you need to cover, and the purpose of using this technique.
- Wrap the children’s palms with bubble wrap. Dip it in paint and make prints on the picture.
- Tie bubble wrap on their feet (ensure that the children do not slip). Ask the children to step in a flat tray of paint and make prints with their feet.
- By holding the bubble wrap with the fingers smaller prints can be made.
- Wrap the bubble wrap on a rolling pin. Apply paint on it. Let children take prints by rolling the pin.
This technique enhances the claw grip of the children. It also exercises all pressure points on the palm while using the rolling pin. While painting with bubble wrap on the children’s feet care should be taken as the paint makes it slippery and the children can have a fall.
Paper Plate Rainbow
This is a nice activity that can be done during the monsoon season. It is a fun way to teach children the seven colors of the rainbow. It also helps to count while sticking the 7 strips of crepe paper. Since there is an order to the rainbow colors this activity also teaches sequencing.
- Paper plate.
- Half an inch broad and 12 inch long strips of crepe paper (all 7 colors of the rainbow)
Give half a paper plate to each child and make them stick cotton wool on the paper plate. Explain to them that they have made a cloud. Give each child crepe paper strips of the 7 colors of the rainbow. Make them stick the strips of crepe paper on the straight edge of the paper plate in the order of the colors of the rainbow (VIBGYOR). Punch a small hole at the top edge of the paper plate to pass a ribbon through it for the children to hang their colorful rainbows.
Hanging these rainbows in the class will make the children feel like the class is their own and they will want to keep coming back. They will also feel a sense of accomplishment seeing their artwork hanging in the class.
Vegetables are a good source of many vitamins and are an important part of our daily diet. While teaching children about vegetables in class we can try including some vegetables as a tool for painting. Potatoes, ladyfingers, onions, bitter gourd, etc. can be used for printing. However here we will see how to use cauliflower.
- Pieces of cauliflower
- A picture to use the technique on
Take a cauliflower floret and cut it vertically. Let children put paint on the flat area and take prints on the paper. The cut cauliflower makes beautiful prints that look like a bunch of flowers.
Movement is very important for the physical development of children. It also keeps them active. Having movement inculcated in an art technique adds the element of enthusiasm and eagerness in children to participate in the activity. This art technique helps children in coordination and also aids in muscle control.
- Shallow tray
- Large marbles
- Art paper
Take a shallow tray and put an art paper in it. Stick the sides of the paper so that it does not move while doing the activity. Ask children to squeeze 3-4 different colors of paint dollops on the paper. Let the children place marbles in the tray. Children lift the tray and tilt it from side to side gently. The marbles roll in the paint and form patterns on the paper.
This technique creates beautiful and colorful patterns. After the paint dries, different shapes can be cut to make a picture from the colorful smudge painting patterns. This kind of painting enhances children’s critical thinking and imagination. Trying to guess what pattern has been formed can make their imagination reach unimaginable heights.
- Art paper
- Scale or any object to spread paint
Take art paper and let children fold it into 2 halves. Children drop dollops of different color paint on one half of the paper. Make them fold the paper. Give then a scale or any flat object to move in different directions on the paper. When the children open the folded paper they will see that all the colors have mixed to form a colorful abstract pattern.
This activity works well to exercise the small motor skills of the children. Children can make colorful pictures by using the different colors in the picture.
- Crepe paper
- Any picture
Make the children tear different colors of crepe paper into small pieces. Give each child a separate bag to keep the bits of paper. Ask the children to roll the bits of crepe paper into round ball shapes. Give each child an outline of a picture, for example, ice cream, an umbrella, etc. Let children fill the picture by sticking the crumpled pieces of crepe paper.
Paper tearing requires skill and muscle power. It enhances the children’s tripod grip which later enhances their ability to write. The rolling motion while crumpling paper needs concentration and precision.
I have shared only a few techniques of art and craft through this post. Depending on the resources available, the ability and the skill level of the children of your class, the activities can be changed. If we just look around us we will find a plethora of ideas that can be converted into interesting, creative, simple and fun activities that can be done by our little bubbling artists in preschool.