A friend and I have started teaching a class to moms of preschoolers about having fun with preschool development, through crafts, activities, books, and songs, centered around a theme each week. So, I’d like to share an abbreviated version on the blog!
This week is introductory and related to different colors.
First of all, when attempting crafts with toddlers and preschoolers, it is important to remember that “half the fun is getting there.” Preschoolers are developing in all sorts of ways, so craft projects are really about teaching them cooperation, taking turns, using their fine motor skills, helping them to develop their attention spans and the ability to have focused attention, as well as problem-solving and building positive representations of interacting with others. The end result of the actual project is very secondary to all the other life-skills going on during the process 🙂 Furthermore, each child is different, like the colors in a box of crayola, and not every craft project is for every child. Some activities are less crafty than others, and if a project turns out to be a flop with a certain kid, than so be it – laugh it off and clean up later! Reading a book related to our craft projects is fun, but reading whatever a child wants is when the magic happens. Furthermore, singing with your child is a beautiful way to connect, move muscles, build body awareness, rhythm, and fun memories that get stuck in your head. If I don’t know the motions to a song, then I just make some up – motions make any song better when you’re singing with children.
Okay, so we have two projects this week, two book recommendations, and a song:
Project 1: Garland of paint chips (supplies: paint sample cards, twine, hole punch &/or scissors)
**I found this idea on Pinterest for a paint chip garland. The cool thing about using paint chips to talk about colors is the fact that each card has several examples of one color. Showing a child how one color can appear multiple ways helps build a more complete, more accurate representation of each color. (This works the same way with other categories, such as learning that a dog can look like a dachsund, a golden retriever, and even a Saint Bernard like “Beethoven!”)
Project 2: “Water colors” on coffee liners (supplies: coffee liners, washable markers, water)
**I love the quick, easy, almost no-clean-up aspects of this activity!
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see? by Bill Martin, Jr., Illustrated by Eric Carle
Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh
Song Recommendation: Jesus Loves the Little Children