Anytime is craft time for a preschooler. They love art projects and getting creative. They don’t even mind if the project is a bit messy, though their teacher or parent might. Spring is an excellent season to inspire some imaginative projects. Keep in mind though some days will be great for outdoor crafting, some days will be rainy or a chill will linger in the air and it is best to have some indoor ideas available as well.
Indoor Craft Fun
1. Lamb Picture – Who didn’t do this project as a kid? It’s easy! It’s fun! The kids love it. Grab a bag of cotton balls, some glue, and then head on line. Print a pattern of a lamb, like this link provides. Cut the lamb out and trace it on a sheet of paper for each child. Give them the glue and a handful of cotton balls. They can decorate the lamb with the cotton. Talk about how soft the lamb feels. Ask them if they have ever petted a real lamb? Read them a story with a lamb in it.
2. Make a tree picture – Give them strips of brown construction paper. Let them design the tree and glue it onto a piece of white paper. Let them get as creative and silly as they want to with limbs, trunk, etc. Once they have the tree assembled and glued on the paper, pull out some finger paints. Have them dip their thumbs and fingers in the paint and put leaves on the tree. They can also make flowers with fingerprints. When it is done they have made a lovely spring picture capturing the growth of nature.
3. Make a Magnet – There are a couple of different ways to do this project. If you want something easy, look for some foam shapes at your local craft store. Allow the children to draw designs on the shapes and add googly eyes, etc. Then glue a magnet strip to the back of the foam. You can also look for small plaster designs or make a plaster design with supplies from a craft shop. Then allow the children to use paint and paintbrushes to paint the decor on the plaster. Glue or use an adhesive magnet strip on the back.
4. Bake and Decorate Easter Cookies – Kids love to bake, let them stir up the ingredients for a big batch of sugar cookies. When the cookies have cooled, whip up some icing. Home made icing produces a lot of icing you can use separate paper bowls for. Add food coloring to the different bowls and then give the kids new paint brushes. Let them brush their designs on the cookies. When it is done, they have a tasty treat to enjoy.
Outdoor Craft Fun1. Mud Pies – These crafts aren’t savable. But find a three or four year old that won’t love sticking their hands in mud and playing. Supply them with mini disposable pie pans for the activity. Let them decorate and make mud pies to their heart’s delight. Children are extremely imaginative and it comes out in this activity. They may surprise you when they use grass or dandelions for garnish or ingredients in the pie. Make sure they are in play clothes for this activity as they will get very messy. On the plus side, once the pie is finished they can dump it out and start all over again.
2. Plant small flowers for Mom – Mother’s Day happens to land on the calendar during the spring months. This is listed as an outdoor activity because the soil is easily spilled and will go everywhere. Let them paint small clay pots and design them for their mothers. Then plant a starter spring flower in the pots. You will need flowers or seeds and a bag of potting soil. It depends on how active you are with the preschoolers as to what is the best item to plant. If you can not follow through with the activity much before sending it home, then it is best to give the child the gratification of seeing the flower. Plant a small zinnia or marigold that has already bloomed in the pot. If you have the time to help the kids tend to the plants lovingly for a few weeks, you can use seeds from a packet and teach them how to take care of the flower.
3. Easter baskets & Eggs – Spend cutting various shades of construction paper into strips. Teach the children how to weave an easter basket from the construction paper. Give it a paper handle. When the basket is finished, set it aside. Have some hard boiled eggs or plastic eggs ready. If you are using real eggs, you may want to provide some cups of dye for the children to dye the eggs. These will need time to dry before they can embellish them. Once dry they can use markers or stickers to color on the eggs. If you want to save the mess of dying the eggs, use some plastic eggs that are plain colored. Provide stickers, small items such as buttons and embellishments, glitter, and markers. Let the children use their imagination to decorate the eggs. When they are all done gather the eggs in a plastic, store bag. If you are at a preschool or there are older children around,
ask them to help you hide the eggs in the yard. When the eggs are hidden, hand each child their paper basket and let them spend the last few minutes of the day hunting eggs. Whatever eggs they catch they can take home in the basket, if one child has several and another has none suggest they share their bounty.
4. Sand Art – Sand has a variety of craft uses. Decide how many colors you will be using of the sand. Then fill paper cups halfway with the sand. Add water to the cups to cover sand, add food coloring to the desired color. Stir this mixture and let it sit for fifteen to twenty minutes. Pour the water out of the cup and scoop the sand out. Let the sand dry on paper towels, while dry times will vary it should be dry within an hour. Now that you have some colored sand, put that in disposable bowls and head outside. You can use this for a couple of projects, depending upon your budget. You can purchase some cheap, clear, plastic trinkets from your local craft store and allow each child to fill one with various colors of sand. Some of the trinkets you can use for this activity will come with a loop in it for hanging the trinket. Use that loop to thread yarn through it and make the child a necklace. When they finish filling their bottles with the various colors of sand, put the leftover sand to use. Give them sheets of paper and glue. Let them use the glue to draw a picture. Then use the colored sand to fill in the glue. When the project dries, shake the excess sand off the picture.
These are some simple craft projects anybody can do with their preschooler. There are many other ideas available, but these are very basic and will help get you started. Preschoolers love these activity’s and some of them have been used successfully in Sunday School classrooms, preschools, and homes for years