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Holiday Art for Preschoolers

Holiday Art for Preschoolers

This holiday season is a wonderful time to introduce sensory learning to your preschoolers through fun art projects for kids. Art activities for preschoolers are a great way to combine family time with learning, developing their skills in language, science, and even math!

Treat your preschooler, and yourself, to a few of our favorite holiday crafts listed below:

 

Soda Clay Christmas Ornaments

Book: GIANT Encyclopedia of Preschool Activities for 4-Year-Olds

Center: Art

Topic: Colors

Area: Fine Motor

Age: 4 Years Old

Interaction: Individual Child

Materials:

  • 16 0z (450g) baking soda
  • Cornstarch
  • Measuring cups
  • Pot
  • Stirring spoon
  • Cold Water
  • Oven or hot plate
  • Plate
  • Damp cloth
  • Covered container
  • Rolling pin or any smooth cylinder
  • Christmas cookie cutters (simple shapes such as stars, bells, or trees)
  • Plastic straws (cut into thirds)
  • Tempera paints and brushes
  • Clear polyurethane, optional (adult only)
  • Yarn or ribbon

Instructions:

  1. Make Soda Clay. Mix 16 oz (450 g) of baking soda and 1 cup (125 g) of cornstarch in a pot. Add 1 1/4 cup (300 ml) of cold water. Stir over moderate heat until the mixture thickens and resembles mashed potatoes. Scrape it onto a plate and cover with a damp cloth. When it is cool enough to handle, knead until smooth. Store it in a tightly covered container.
  2. Give each child a piece of clay (about the size of an egg), a rolling pin, a cookie cutter, and a section of plastic straw.
  3. Help the children roll the clay until it is about 1/4 ” (6 mm) thick.
  4. Encourage them to cut out a shape with the cookie cutter.
  5. Show the children how to cut a hole into the top of the shape using the straw.
  6. Place each shape on a piece of white paper and write the child’s name on the paper. (At this stage, all stars look alike!)
  7. Allow the shapes to dry thoroughly, at least overnight.
  8. Encourage the children to paint their dried ornaments. If desired, spray the finished ornaments with clear polyurethane (adult only) to make them shine like ceramic.
  9. Attach a ribbon or piece of yarn to make a hanger.

More to do:
Language: Use the following words as you work with the clay: knead, smooth,
soft, white, cold, wet, thick, thin, roll, cylinder, round, even, large, small, and hole.

Science: Describe the difference between wet clay and the dry ornament. How
did the clay change in appearance? In the way it feels? Why do you think this
happened?

 

Christmas Bell

Book: GIANT Encyclopedia of Preschool Activities for 3-Year-Olds

Center: Art

Topic: Holidays

Area: Fine Motor

Age: 3 through 4 years old

Interaction: Large Group

Materials:

  • Small jingle bells, two per child
  • Thin ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Small clear plastic cups, one per child
  • Small Christmas stickers

Instructions:

  1. Give each child two jingle bells and a piece of ribbon, 6” to 8” (15 to 20 cm) long.
  2. Show the children how to string the ribbon through the bells.
  3. Poke a small hole in the middle of the bottom of each cup. Give one to each child.
  4. Help the children double the ribbon and tie a knot so the bell is inside a little loop.
  5. Help the children thread the two ends of the ribbon through the hole in the cup. Tie a knot for them.
  6. Cut apart the sheets of stickers. Ask the children to pick out the stickers they want to use and stick them all over the cup.
  7. Encourage the children to hold their “Christmas bells” by the ribbon and shake them to hear the jingle!

More to do:

Put a variety of bells on a tray. Encourage the children to ring them and listen to the different sounds they make. Ask them questions, such as “Do you think this bell will have a loud or soft jingle? What does it sound like? Which one was the loudest? Softest?”

 

Winter Wreath

Book: The GIANT Encyclopedia of Art & Craft Activities for Children 3 to 6

Area: Fine Motor

Age: Kindergarten

Interaction: Individual Child

Materials:

  • White tag board
  • Hole punch
  • Markers
  • Winter items such as pinecones, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, anise stars, nutmeg, and cloves*
  • Glue
  • Red or gold ribbon or yarn

* Adjust activity if child has allergies

Instructions:

  1. To prepare, cut wreath shapes from tag board. Punch a hole at the top of each wreath.
  2. Have the children draw on their wreath with markers, then glue a variety of the items on it as decoration.
  3. Tie a ribbon through the hole in the top of each wreath to hang.

More to do:

Art: Place the child’s photo in the center of the wreath and wrap in handmade paper for the holidays.

Make a wreath for the classroom door from pinecones sprayed with gold paint.

Math: Put extra pinecones in baskets for counting and sorting.

Snack: Enjoy a snack of cinnamon toast and baked apples, or cut cookie dough in holiday shapes, then bake. Serve with hot chocolate.

We hope you enjoy trying out these fun holiday crafts with your preschooler and wish you Happy Holidays, from our family to yours!   




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