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Old 08-05-2010, 04:17 PM
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Crystal Crystal is offline
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Default Your Favorite Art Experiences

I'm not big on crafts. I prefer to offer the children experiences that focus on the process, not the end product. I'm in need of new ideas, as we seem to do the same things alot. So, I'd love to hear some of the art activites that you all use that are popular with the kids.

Please share!!!!
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Old 08-05-2010, 04:40 PM
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Hi Crystal,

Like you, I only do open-ended art and always am looking for new and creative ideas. Here's a few things that I like to do:

I try to think of all the different mediums that can be used for art...sculpture, painting, drawing, ink, stamps, pictures/gluing) when I get stuck for art ideas. With older kids you can also introduce simple drawing/painting techniques, like cross-hatching, pointillism, etc. I'm sure you could find some art websites that talk about the different techniques.

We do a lot of color mixing activities- liquid watercolor paints with eye droppers, fingerpaint mixing. We also try to find different things to paint with- dinosaurs (footprints), wheels on trucks, even balled up papertowels are fun. We do marble painting (put the paper in a baking tray, put some dollops of paint on the paper and a marble and they can roll the tray around to create different designs).

We also make playdough and silly putty, add colors to those. We also like modeling clay. You can also have the children look through art books and have them 'paint' that picture using their own interpretation.

This book has a lot of open-ended ideas:

And, of course just having a well-stocked art area (which I am lacking in right now) (including lots of recyclable materials) helps the children to discover 'new' ways of using what they know.

These are probably all things you know, but maybe there is a little something that helps. I'm just started a preschool right now and haven't been in a preschool in 2 years, so this was a good activity for me to try to recall some of the fun things we used to do.

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Old 08-05-2010, 05:07 PM
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Default I really like this blog for art ideas, they are simple and child centered.

We did a craft that was fun. Take a paper plate, you or the child punch holes around the edges, then take some yarn or string and thread it through the holes but go across the plate. It makes a cool spider web design. Does that make sense? We also colored the paper plate.
Some of the kids didn't have the patience to sit and thread the yarn through all of the holes so they just made theirs into signs or kites and that was just fine.

I love to just cut out shapes and let them glue them onto a piece of paper it is cool to see what they come up with.

We also do modeling clay, they love that.
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Old 08-05-2010, 05:33 PM
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An old favorite of mine is bubbles mixed with food coloring. You lay large white sheets of paper outside and have the kids blow colored bubble fluid near the paper and when the bubbles pop on the paper it leaves a colored bubble imprint. (Make sure to strip the kids down to just undies/diapers or have on OLD cloths bc the food coloring stains).
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Old 08-05-2010, 08:21 PM
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Lilbutterflie Lilbutterflie is offline
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One of the most interesting art projects I've done involved a week where the theme was "family". The kids in my daycare are all ages 2-5. We had been talking about family all week, and I asked them to draw their own family. Every child had their own interpretation of their family! No matter what their skill level was, they were able to put down something on paper that to them was their family. Then, I hung them up on the wall side by side, along with a chart showing the results of a "quiz" in which I asked each one of them questions like "What is your favorite activity you like to do with Mommy/Sister/Brother/Daddy". It was adorable & the parents LOVED it!
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Old 08-05-2010, 09:39 PM
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I don't guess this is really "art" but the kids love it, and it shows them what colors mix to make different colors...Divide enough baking soda for everyone to have some, or let them all work together. I usually put it in a pie tin. Give them pipettes or medicine droppers and put a drop or two of food coloring into a small cup of vinegar. The kids use the droppers (fine motor skills) to get the vinegar from the cup to the baking soda. The colors will mix, and the kids will see what colors can be made. They also figure out what happens when vinegar hits baking soda. It doesn't smell fabulous, but it's vinegar...kind of expected to stink.
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Old 08-06-2010, 06:45 AM
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This summer they've had a lot of fun doing wet on wet water coloring, dripping the paint, and cutting out "things" after the paper has dried if they didn't make a specific picture.
Mine also really enjoy picking a primary color, white, and black paint, in an egg carton, and then mixing into different shades. They each get their own carton with instructions to mix to their hearts content and to take it easy with the black because it's such a strong color (they learn that pretty quickly when everything turns black). A lot of times they just like to paint with their colors, but sometimes I'll draw a bunch of one or different basic shapes for them to paint in.
Little books are huge. I'll either staple some together or do the little foldy thing, but they love making their own books.
They love coloring on coffee filters with the dot paints or markers and then spraying them with water. Sometimes they make butterflies, sometimes flowers, sometimes they cut them up and glue them to paper.
Cut up tissue paper and starch is also a big hit.
Beads, feathers, ribbons, and streamers are always go-tos.
I invested in one of those nice 14 bin shelved/slotted art carts when I first started up and that thing was worth every penny.
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Old 08-06-2010, 07:55 AM
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Loving the ideas! Thanks for sharing!
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Old 08-07-2010, 11:45 PM
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pantyhose, potting soil, grass seed, and googley eyes.

the kids LOVED it.

you can get little 3-4 inch plastic things (whatever they're called) that pots sit in. they're really cheap. you could probably use bowls too.

fill a nylon with potting soil - put grass seed on top - tie a knot in the nylon. glue the googley eyes on the front of what will now be a ball.

they can draw a mouth n stuff with a sharpie.

water it and in 2-3 days they will be the cheapest CHIA pets ever.

they're SOOOO cute!!!
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