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Silly String Art

Silly string art-01


  • Newspaper or sheets
  • Paint smocks or shirts
  • Construction paper
  • Tracing patterns
  • Scissors
  • Tempera paint in a variety of colors
  • Paint pans
  • 12" (30 cm) pieces of string or yarn


What to do

1. Explain to the children that this activity focuses on the holiday or unit that you have been discussing in class, as well as their creativity. (Use tracing patterns that relate to the theme or celebration.)

2. Cover the workstation with newspaper or sheets. Help the children put on paint smocks or shirts.

3. Distribute construction paper and a pattern for each child to trace. If you have been discussing circus or zoo animals, for example, use elephant patterns.

4. Help each child trace the pattern onto the construction paper and cut it out. (If necessary, precut the patterns so that all of the children will be successful with this activity.)

5. Pour tempera paint into paint pans.

6. Demonstrate how to hold one end of a piece of string while dipping the rest of it into the paint.

7. Next, take the string and splat, whip, or twirl it onto the construction paper cutout. Tell the children they can make a design that relates to the theme or just have fun. This is a chance for them to demonstrate their creativity as well as work on their fine motor skills.

8. When the children are finished painting, set the projects aside to dry. Then, encourage the children to discuss the different designs and why they chose them.


More to do

A simpler version of this activity is to create Silly String Art on a plain sheet of paper.

  • Language: Ask the children to examine the other children's work and then create a story about what they "see" in the design of the paint. Some children will get very creative with this part of the project.
  • Math: Encourage the children to count how many drops, twirls, or lines of paint are on each project. Then, ask them to make number comparisons between the different pieces of artwork to see who used the most lines, and so on.


-Mike Krestar, White Oak, PA

Book: GIANT Encyclopedia of Preschool Activities for 4-Year-Olds
Center: Art
Topic: Holidays
Content: The Arts: Visual Arts
Area: Fine Motor
Age: 4 Years Old
Interaction: Individual Child

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