archive for the 'Creative Expression' category

The Power of Play Dough

I thought it would be fun to set up a play dough bakery. I made some chocolate colored/scented dough and some lavender glitter dough. I also provided birthday candles, wooden flower decorations, colored beads (sprinkles), pie and bread tins, rolling pins, ice cream scoops, silicone cupcake holders, a serving platter with a doily, cookie cutters, etc.. I had everything ready to go before my class arrived.

This is Chloe. She is always so serious and straight-faced in the mornings, so I was thrilled to see her chatting and smiling while making her “special star cookie”. Some of the kids made birthday cakes and cupcakes while singing “Happy Birthday” to each other.

There are so many benefits to playing with this squishy substance.

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Play dough allows preschoolers to come up with unique and creative ideas. Children often express pride in accomplishments when they use play dough in purposeful and meaningful ways. Social skills grow as they share space and materials.

FINE MOTOR SKILLS

Children use their hands and tools to pound, push, poke, shape, flatten, roll, cut, and scrape the dough. Through these experiences, they develop eye-hand coordination and control, dexterity, and strength; critical skills they will need later for writing, drawing, and other purposes.

LANGUAGE/LITERACY

Working with play dough helps young children to enhance their language abilities. They practice listening, understanding, speaking, and communicating skills as they negotiate roles and engage in conversations with classmates and teachers. Materials like play dough encourage preschoolers to describe and reflect on what they are doing.

SCIENCE AND MATH

As young children discuss what they are doing with the dough, they often engage in scientific thinking. They learn through tactile experiences, observing and reflecting on how materials feel and change (grainy, smooth, round, flat). Math skills increase as children compare shapes, measure sizes, and count.

It’s safe to say, NEVER underestimate the power of play dough.


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3D Easter Collages

Art is always a hit with the kids in my class this year, but especially 3D collages. They seem to inspire a higher level of creativity, allowing the children to build on, up, and around. In addition, 3D collages look amazing when displayed on bulletin boards, and they help to meet the art materials requirement on the Environmental Childhood Environmental Scale Revised (ECERS-R).

I was ready to present another type of this art form, and Zoey was ready for something Easter. We were deep in the aisles of Hobby Lobby when Zoey spied these little guys.

Chicks, eggs, and buttons..oh, my! That’s all it took – we knew we had to have our preschoolers make 3D Easter collages. To introduce this activity, we will be reading There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Chick!

MATERIALS USED:

-Egg cartons
-Tacky glue
-Crinkle paper grass
-Plastic eggs
-Small glitter eggs
-Colored buttons
-Chicks
-Ribbon
-Yarn
-Colored macaroni
-Felt pieces
-Construction paper squares
-Pipe cleaners/fuzzy sticks
-Pom poms


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Colored Shaving Cream Paint

Colored shaving cream is inexpensive, and can be used in a variety of ways. It also provides a nice change from using traditional paint.

It can be easily made by adding a few drops of washable water color to shaving cream. Stir slowly until blended.

MATERIALS USED:

– Shaving cream
– Washable water colors
– Containers in desired size
– Paper plates
– Paint brushes
– Cotton balls
– Glue

A couple of weeks ago, my class used it to paint rainbows on paper plates. We added a couple of pieces of cotton to simulate clouds, and the children had beautiful rainbows to take home. This was such a big hit.

More colored shaving cream activities to come!


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Shamrock Collages

Collages are a great way for children to creatively express themselves, and a simple way for mothers and teachers to incorporate learning. With these shamrock collages, descriptive words were used to point out various aspects of the materials. We talked about their colors, shapes, textures, compositions, and patterns.

There is an everlasting supply of collage materials. However, it is all about quality and organization. Whether if it’s in an activity or in an art center, a thrown together mishmash of miscellany is unlikely to a inspire a preschooler’s creativity. Be sure to use a method – for example, paper stacked neatly on a shelf, a container for glue bottles and sticks, a bin for recycled materials, and another for buttons and pom poms, and so on. Presenting these things in an orderly fashion will aid children in recognizing artistic possibilities. Here I’ve used a plastic compartment serving tray to display these green goodies.

MATERIALS USED:

– Construction paper
– Glue
– Scissors
– Our free printable shamrock template
– Fabric scraps
– Feathers
– Pom poms
– Tissue paper
– Sequins
– Sequin shamrocks
– Pipe cleaners/fuzzy sticks


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