Break free of the winter doldrums with some hands-on crafting fun geared toward preschoolers. Rare is the child who does not delight in glue and paint, so snap on the smocks and get started. The four easy winter crafts below will keep preschoolers occupied and learning at the same time.
Puffy Snow People
Combine a handful of fluffy white cotton balls, a stick of glue and a snowman shape cut from construction paper for this fun and easy craft. Children will enjoy gluing cotton balls on their snow person and teachers will enjoy the low-mess glue sticks. For a jaunty cap cut a top hat from black construction paper that can be glued on after the cotton balls are adhered. Small circular pieces of construction paper can be used for buttons if so desired. Use the puffy snow people as a tie in to a discussion about the science of snow.
Teaching symmetry starts in the preschool years. It can be made easy with a simple snowflake craft that will allow the children to practice their fine motor skills. Have them take a sheet of white construction paper and fold it in half lengthwise (like a hot dog bun) and then again in half widthwise (like a hamburger bun). Prepare a snowflake quarter template for them to trace onto the folded paper after it has been neatly lined up along the folded sides. Safety scissors will help them cut out the pattern. Once the snowflakes have been cut out, open them to see the symmetry. Add coloring, glitter or glue on sparkles to make the snowflakes stand out.
Bean plants grow year round and are a great craft activity turned science lesson for the preschool set. Have the children decorate a Styrofoam cup with a silly face using magic markers. Fill the cup about 3/ 4 of the way full with potting soil and place a dried bean into the dirt. Place the cups in a warm place that receives light and watch for the beans to sprout. The children love drawing the faces on their cups and getting dirty in the soil while the teacher has an instant lesson plan in hand.
It is never too early to have children tell of things that they remember, and the winter is full of fascinating memories and stories. In this simple craft the children will trace from a pattern and cut out two mitten shapes from construction paper. On each mitten they can recite to the teacher a fun winter memory that she will write onto the cut out. After a memory has been written on each mitten the child can decorate them on the blank side and tie a length of yarn to connect the two pieces. For very young preschoolers assistance may be required with tying the yarn. Hang the mittens around the room or on a classroom bulletin board for display. This activity is great to integrate into story time or show and tell. Consider sending the completed mittens home with a note asking parents to share their favorite winter memories with their children.
Crafts provide a wonderful opportunity to integrate other subjects into a lesson. They do not have to be overly messy or expensive to be effective and fun. Allow children the freedom to express their ideas and memories this winter with the easy craft projects above.
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By Jennifer Dobson