Showing posts from April, 2018

Puppets and Stories: Finger Painting Part 2

Preschool art series, continued...
As a kid, I played with puppets a lot and came up with a fair number of wacky stories in the process. Since then, I have created a lot more stories, but have done very little oral storytelling. As a result, introducing my kids to puppets has been fun--and stretching.
The first part, creating a puppet, is super easy:Start with a paper lunch bag.Decorate it! You can just use paint, or you can add other materials--glue on feathers, clothes with markers, or glue paper arms onto the bag.Use triangles or semi-circles to add ears, and ovals to add arms.Add a face: eyes and a mouth. We used white paint on top of the other paint to create our puppets' faces: one thumbprint per eye, and a curvy line underneath for the mouth. You could also cut out paper shapes, and add more details too.
(Preschool art tip: if you are working with 2-3 year-olds, you may need to cut out the shapes and show them where to place the ears, eyes, etc. With 4-5 year-olds, you might…

Counting Flowers...

Yes, I know that “April showers bring May flowers.”
And it's still April.

At the moment, though, we’ve got a lot of April flowers.

Yesterday, on a walk, we started looking for different colors of flowers. (My initial goal was to slow my oldest child down a bit, so that the rest of us could keep up with him. I used to think there was no way I could ever run any substantial distance--that seems to changing now, as a matter of necessity.)

Anyway, today, we decided to count all the flowers in our yard--and a few more around our neighborhood. It made for a good outdoor preschool activity, and kept us busy for at least an hour, including a short walk through our local area.
Any guesses how many flowers we found?
At least 40.
I didn't take pictures of everything we saw--and we only picked flowers in our own yard (not counting the dandelions next to the road), but we found 40 unique species of flowers, counting bulbs, weeds, and even trees.
That’s just the ones with some sort of bud…

Circles and Fish: Finger Painting Part 1

Preschool art series, continued…

Last fall, I discovered the simple way to paint a picture: use a paper plate!

At the time, we were doing a preschool art program at our community center. Two of the four projects used paper plate circles. One circle became a pumpkin, and the other a moon. The plate was both the canvas and the image.

If you look up paper-plate art projects, there are dozens or hundreds of ways to use a paper plate (or some similar circle): add triangles for ears and paint an animal, add strings and make a hot-air balloon, or add cotton balls to the center to create a flower.

I've created a relatively simple project that combines this circle art with some easy scissor practice. We started with the basic circle, and then cut it into sections, gluing the sections together to create a fish.

You can keep things simple by using a paper plate. I traced a circle onto painting paper, partly to add some extra scissor practice to our project.

(Art tip for preschoolers: I start my…