Art activities stimulate the preschool child’s imagination and creativity, aiding their physical and mental development. Research has shown that art activities develop brain capacity in early childhood. Art engages children’s senses in open-ended play and supports the development of cognitive, social-emotional, and multi-sensory skills. For this activity, we created monster masks. As your child explored the materials (glue, paper eyes, and paper ovals), it was noticeable how involved they got creating masks. They delighted in applying the glue themselves. This experience enabled them to build important life skills. While creating this mask, we focused on the letter M, and the many words that begin with it.
This activity also targeted specific fine motor skills, as your child glued and adhered pieces of paper to their creations. We introduced this activity by reading and discussing the book Go Away, Big Green Monster! by Ed Emberley. Following our discussion, students were informed that they would be creating their very own monsters.
As a class, we brainstormed what our monsters might look like. How many eyes will they have? Will they have horns? Hair? Warts? What colors will they be? Each child was then given a pre-cut mask, and covered it in ovals. As a result, we learned that monsters do not have to be scary! By creating and proudly displaying their art, each student was able to access their own sense of individuality, self-respect, and an appreciation for others’ work.
Young children are fascinated by the many dwelling places of the various American Indian tribes, and love to recreate the things they learn through dramatic play.
What they enjoy more, however, is creating the materials that they use for the imaginary worlds they create. For this activity, we decorated teepees. Following their creation, your little one participated in small world dramatic play. Doing so contributes to their development in several ways.
For one thing, it helps them work together toward a common goal. As they played with their teepees, they combined their worlds. Working together like this teaches teamwork, fuels creative thinking, and also exercises your little one’s ability to use make believe as a means to integrate the information they have been introduced to at school.
Paul Cezanne was a French artist noted for his still-lifes and development of the style of painting that utilized shapes at their most elemental form. He regarded the world as being composed of cylinders, spheres, cones, and cubes. These shapes adorned his many pieces, and he created them with thick paint, using solid outlines to build form. Our lesson commenced with a discussion of Cezanne, where he was born, and the most prominent characteristics within his works. We then talked about what a cylinder, sphere, cone, and cube were, and looked for these shapes around the front yard. Next, we went to work! Using Apples and Oranges as our inspiration, we sought to mimic Cezanne’s mastery of form and shape!
Picasso is not only recognized for his unique vision of the world, but the emotion he expresses throughout his many works. For this activity, we discussed the visual characteristics of his pieces and the feelings they evoke. We expanded the discussion by associating colors with various emotions. Using several Blue Period pieces as our inspiration, we practiced mixing colors and creating our own masterpieces!