I’m not exactly known as an art maven in my home. My son has groaned more than once when I’ve hauled the hot glue gun out of the closet or when I plop a stack of felt squares on the table and say we’re going to make “something”.
What, exactly, will we make?
You see, I just say “something” because odds are, my husband is going to walk in and say, “Well, that’s certainly… something.” But I digress.
One of the sweeter things about preschoolers is that they’re pretty forgiving when it comes to crafts and art. They’re infinitely more into the messier aspects of preschool creative activities, which gives you a little parental leeway if you’re not first in line for an art award.
And besides: we all know that many a Monday rolls around when you and your four-year-old find yourselves forehead-to-forehead, wondering what on Earth you’re going to do today. Enter: creativity overload. Win!
Why Preschool Creative Activities Matter (and How to do Do Them)
It’s important to engage your preschooler creatively for a multitude of reasons. After all, you’re clearly raising the next Frida Kahlo/Steve Jobs/Roxane Gay, right? All of our children are geniuses. Clearly.
But seriously: creativity is fun, even for kids who are less into glitter glue and beads, and more into making sure that every square inch of the sofa has a handprint-sized patch of mud on it. (Been there!)
Creativity is what teaches kids to problem solve, to reason, and to reasonably explore new concepts—all of which are important, because one day your preschooler really will turn into a real life human who you actually enjoy having conversations with. (Maybe. #Goals)
When it comes to preschool creative activities, aka getting down and dirty at your kitchen table, you can pretty much make it… whatever you want. If your kid is artistically-inclined, then set your precocious wunderkind up with the materials of his or her choosing.
But if your kid is more the “look, I glued two popsicles together, I’m a star!” type… girl, get those popsicles ready. If you’re struggling to come up with a few preschool creative activities that you could actually pull off, don’t worry—I have a few in mind.
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5 Preschool Creative Activities For Kids
Sensory, sensory, sensory:
If your kid is into touching everything (the dog, your hair, your face, your arms, your chin, your nose, your nose hair…), you should probably just give in to it. Few things are as easy as pouring half a box of dry pasta out on their little kid table (or wherever) and seeing what they do with it.
You could also cook it and play with spaghetti worms. They’ll feel as weird as the name sounds, but it’s a fun, messy activity that is kids can sink their hands into. (See what I did there?)
Tape into a shape:
Tape is really fun for kids to mess with because, frankly, it’s so bizarre. Think about it: why do we have paper that can stick to things? This can be easy or not, all depending on what you and your budding Monet want it to be.
You can also go low-key and simply fold up pieces of tape, have your kid fold them up, or whatever works for you and their fine motor skills. You can also get fancy with it, and make trees from tape and oil. No, really. You can.
Mix and match colors:
My best preschool creative activity ever happened on the day when I mixed food coloring into water in the ice tray, froze it, and produced rainbow ice cubes. My kid was delighted just by their existence, and then we took them outside on the pavement and watched them melt.
The colors blend together as the ice melts in the sun, and it’s an easy way to point out that red and yellow make orange, or blue and yellow make green, or purple and red and blue and green make… oh yeah, you’re right, that does kind of look like poop. C’est la vie!
Laminated coloring sheets:
My laminator actually gives me life, and I can often be found laminating anything and everything that can fit between two plastic sheets. A super easy preschool creative activity goes something like this: google and print coloring sheets that your kid will love.
Then you laminate those sheets, set your kid up with dry erase markers, and let her go to town: coloring for days! But only on the sheets, because I don’t know if dry erase markers will come out of the rug.
Tie dye it:
Ok, this is *only* for the brave, but I promise you that if you can find a suitable messy spot for it, tie-dying with kids is actually a lot of fun. You can buy a kit at a local art store and use t-shirts that you already have around the house.
Then arm everyone with gloves and rubber bands, and begin your masterpieces. Sure, some of the colors miiiiight end up mixed together, and your kid could end up with a dark brown streak down the middle of his shirt, but the experience is… memorable.
After all, what’s more memorable than that one time you tie-dyed with your four-year-old and non-washable dye dripped down onto the porch of your downstairs neighbors and onto their white cat, who ran around the block with a couple of colorful patches for a few weeks until it faded?
That definitely never happened, by the way.