Teaching Art to Preschoolers (2-5yrs)
Preschool aged children (aged 2, 3, 4 & 5 yrs) need opportunities to develop their growing abilities through books, games, songs, science, math and art activities.
What to Expect: 2-3 years:
Between their second and third birthdays, children begin to pay attention to print, such as the letters in their names. They also begin to distinguish between drawing and writing and start to scribble on paper, making some marks that are like letters. Two and three year olds require activities to help them develop hand coordination (for example, by holding crayons and pencils, putting together puzzles or stringing large beads).
What to Expect: 3-4 years:
By their 3rd and 4th birthdays, children have greater small-muscle control than toddlers, which is reflected in their drawings and scribbles. They can match and sort things that are alike and unalike, recognize and print and can “write,” or scribble messages.
What to Expect: 4-5 years:
Between their 4th and 5th birthdays, children are active, enjoy more group activities and have better muscle control. They can recognize and write the numerals 1-10, recognize shapes such as circles, squares, rectangles and triangles and can write some letters.
Keep the following things in mind when working with your preschool aged child:
- Never tell your child what to draw or paint.
- Don’t “fix up” your child’s drawings. It might take practice before you can recognize what she has drawn, but let her be creative.
- Invite your child to talk to you about what she is drawing and to identify by name each object in the picture.
- Give your child lots of different materials to work with. Show her how to use new types of materials.
- Find an art activity that’s at the right level for your child and let him do as much of the project as possible.
- Display your child’s art prominently in your home. Point it out to visitors when your child is near to hear the praise.
Ideal Arts Activities for Preschoolers:
Young children love to play with dough. They can squish and pound it and form it into fascinating shapes. Helping to make play dough lets children learn about measuring and learn and use new words.
Music is a way to communicate that all children understand. It’s not necessary for them to follow the words to a song; it makes them happy just to hear the comfort in your voice or on the recording or to dance to a peppy tune.
Young children are natural artists and art projects can spark young imaginations and help children to express themselves. Scribbling also prepares them to use writing to express their ideas.
(Early Childhood Education)
- Color the Snow
- Corn Syrup Color Mixing
- Cornmeal and Powdered Paint
- Crayon Crackle Painting
- Crayon Resist Fish
- Drawing on Wet Glue with Chalk Pastels
- Dripping Paint Action Painting
- Egg Carton Caterpillar
- Frozen Paint Pops
- Fruit and Vegetable Prints
- Handprint Canadian Flags
- Handprint Rainbows
- Handprint Turkey with Texture
- Holiday Fingerprint / Finger Painting Crafts for Kids
- Little Green
- Make a Sticker Shekere
- Maracas (Recycled Objects)
- Milk Bubbles
- Monoprinting: Three Ways
- Muffin Liner Flowers Craft
- Mouse Painting (Color Mixing)
- Nature Art Activities for Kids
- Paint Blots
- Painting with Flowers
- Pointillism Corn
- Primary Colors Snails
- Pulled String Paintings
- Raindrop Painting
- Sand Painting
- Sponge Painting
- Spray Bottle Mural
- Spreading Paint with a Popsicle Stick
- Tasty Color Mixing
- Tennis Ball Prints
- Tips for Working with Play Dough
- Two Layer Painting
- Winter Picture with Foam Shapes and Stickers
Let Us Help You
I’m Andrea, co-creator of KinderArt.com. I’m an artist, writer, art teacher and homeschooling mom with 25 years of teaching experience. The following articles will provide you with lots of helpful information about creativity and children. Any questions? Please contact me! I’m here to help.
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- Art for Children and Adults with Disabilities
- Art Supply Safety for Kids
- Children and Art. They Go Together
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- Creative Spaces for Kids
- Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Clay
- Help Your Child Express Herself with Art
- How to Bring Art Into Your Home or School Classroom
- How to Look at (and Approach) a Work of Art
- How to Make Art When You Don’t Know How to Make Art
- Introduce Your Kids to Art
- Saving Your Child’s Artwork
- Storage Apps to Preserve Your Kid’s Artwork
- Teach Kids How to Be Creative
- Typical Language Accomplishments for Children, Birth to Age 6
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- How to Set Up an Art Classroom