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Enroll your child for the Atlas Mission – the ultimate learning companion for kids.
When I was pregnant, the one thing my husband and I agreed about (literally that one thing) was that our little girl was going to love art just like mummy and daddy.
I wanted her to learn how to draw in pencil, oils and water colours. And my husband insisted she learns how to sculpt in 3D on the computer. Yes – we couldn’t even agree on the medium – let alone anything else.
But then she was born and a few years passed but she demonstrated no particular artistic inclinations whatsoever. None at all. Nada. Zilch. Not even scribbling on the wall! How could that be?
Well anyway, being me, I did not give up on her and went digging for art projects I could entice her with in the hopes that something remotely artistic would spark some love for colour and paint and drawing in her.
And they did! These are 7 easy preschool art projects that she really loved doing again and again:
This art project came about after the 5th or 6th box of crayons was purchased. Unsuccessfully may I add. So when you have lots of crayons, what do you do? You melt them (and watch them trickle away like my dreams of having a mini Picasso).
OK enough with the drama now and let’s get down to business.
The crayons we used were perfectly new; however, this is a good activity to do to use those old, broken or no-longer-used crayons. Get a sheet of cardboard and stick them with glue or tape to the top of the cardboard.
You can put them in a pretty pattern or just randomly placed (depending on how artistic you are). Out comes the hair dryer and hey presto all the crayons are dribbling down your cardboard.
At this point, ask your child to move the cardboard in order to create fun patterns with the molten wax crayons. They can also fold the sheet in half and create a mirror image.
Another trick is to stick pieces of paper with tape (which can be later removed), letting the colour trickle down over them and when all is set, remove the papers to create areas with no colour (negative spaces).
Should be fun and easy and get those artistic juices going.
Art with a pre-schooler often comes with a price. And that price, as many of you know already, is mess.
However, there is this one preschool art project which I promise will leave no mess whatsoever.
No, it’s not letting your child sit in a corner all day!
It really does produce quite a few artsy creations you could actually frame and call modern, abstract art.
You will need a few zip-lock bags, pieces of paper slightly smaller than the bags and some poster colours. I used colours similar to my daughter’s bedroom colour palate and later hung these works of art there.
Back to the activity!
You have chosen the colours and all the other materials are ready. So all you need to do now is put a few blobs of paint on the paper (make sure you put quite a lot), slip it into the zip-lock bag and ensure it is tightly sealed. The last point is very, very important.
Then give it to your little one and let them squish the colour all over the paper. When they’ve had their fun, get the paper out of the bag and let it dry. Now you have the rest of the afternoon off because there is no mess to clean up.
As you can imagine, this is my personal favourite.
Moving into my sancta sanctorum – the kitchen!
Take a minute to appreciate how far I will go to get my little one’s artistic side going.
So here we are in the kitchen and the first step is to boil some long pasta. The amount of pasta you boil is proportional to the mess you are willing to clean up, but hey it’s all in the name of art.
So in go 50 grams of spaghetti and once ready, drain and let cool. Now for the next part you have an option of using regular poster paints or food colouring. Both deliver good results but I find poster paints easier to get off surfaces, clothes and skin (mine).
Spaghetti is cool and you have added a good amount of paint to it. Now get a big piece of paper (I use a roll of paper tablecloth which I stick to the floor) and let your kid go wild with the spaghetti and colour.
I sometimes split the batch into different colours just to add to the fun.
You actually get a pretty cool twisty pattern with this method.
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Once we’ve made a mess in the kitchen, we like to keep at it (so I only have to endure it once).
This preschool art project requires the use of potatoes. Get around 4 or 5 potatoes and cut them in half. I use baby potatoes so that little hands can grasp them better.
A little trick I use to get a nice round shape for printing is to use a cookie cutter (round one of course) and cut into the potato. Then I remove the extra part around the circle and there it is – perfectly round.
Next step is to set up 4 or 5 paper plates with different colours (poster paints) and place one half potato in each one. Your child can then pick a colour and start printing with the potatoes on a large piece of paper.
I sometimes create different shapes and patterns depending on the time of year. Bats for Halloween, hearts for Valentine’s and hollies for Christmas.
We sometimes use the paper to wrap presents for close family (since they are the ones who will understand the artistic effort it took us to do those prints), on gift tags or decorations.
Let’s move away from paints for a moment and focus on other art projects which can ignite that passion.
You will need some coloured tissue paper (or crepe paper), canvas or watercolour paper and a spray bottle filled with water. This is such a simple preschool art project that your child can probably do it all by herself.
However be warned that, if framed, you might be getting orders for more. It turns out so pretty.
OK, get all the tissue paper and cut it into geometrical shapes. You can mix and match the shapes or you can go with one shape only. Use different colours which coordinate with your house décor (I’m serious! It will look stunning when finished).
Ask your pre-schooler to arrange the shapes in any pattern they like. Once all of the spaces are filled to their liking, spritz water all over and press it down slightly on the canvas but not too much.
The colour from the tissues should transfer to the canvas. Let it set until dry, peel off the papers and voila! A work of art fit for a museum.
Back to colours again. And be ready for the next Mondrian. This next activity is so simple, your pre-schooler does not even have to paint inside the lines.
Imagine how relaxed they will be having a go at this.
Your part in the project is to prepare a canvas with masking tape across from side to side to create random patterns of squares, triangles, oblongs and rhombuses. Prepare plates with different poster colours on each.
Now using a slightly wet brush (not too much though), your child can start painting each masked off section in a different colour. Let dry and remove the masking tape.
There it is – your child’s very own masterpiece.
It’s time for you to wind off, get a coffee and call it a day. But there is just enough time for one last art attack. And it can all be done while brewing your favourite cup of coffee.
Now how good is that?
This activity can also double up as a science experiment so you are in fact doing three things at one go. Talk about multi-tasking.
Get your coffee filters, place one in the coffee machine and switch on. That’s your coffee getting done.
For the artwork, get about 4 or 5 coffee filters and get your child to draw concentric circles using white board markers (or any other markers which are not permanent). Leave approximately 2-3 cm around the centre of the filter free of colour.
Fold the filter in half and again in half to obtain a quarter circle. Place this, point downwards, in a glass with a little bit of water at the bottom. Do not put too much water and make sure it is not coming into contact with any of the marker circles.
Pour your coffee and enjoy.
Wait until the filters have completely absorbed the water and the marker has spread out. Leave to dry and this project is done.
Being artistic is a gift, but creating art can be done by anyone with a little bit of guidance and support. The key to all these easy preschool art projects is having fun. Art is fun! And your little one will definitely have a good daily dose of fun when you follow these steps.
P.S. Did you know that the Atlas Mission is the only educational program that teaches your child ALL the skills they need to succeed in the 21st century?
It covers both core skills like reading, writing & STEM, as well as 21st century skills like creativity, critical thinking, problem solving & coding.
Atlas Mission – the new educational program for 3-7 year old children that increases their awareness of other countries and cultures.
Kristjana Borg creates educational content for the Atlas Mission. A speech therapist, wife and an exhausted mother, she is the founder of "The Speech Bubble" - a forum that gives parents information, tips and ideas on how to improve their children's speech and language.