10 At-Home Art Activities for Preschoolers
Art activities are some of our favorites! While coloring books, play-dough, and watercolors are always enjoyable, we’ve also tried some ideas that are a little more creative. My boys love creating, and I’m always glad when I tolerate the mess it creates in order to encourage them to develop their imaginations.
When I was young, I loved finding rocks with unusual shapes and turning them into random objects with paint. I even painted a rock to look like a mouse once, and made it a house with a sponge cut up into “cheese” bits and everything! My boys love finding rocks and painting them with acrylic craft paint.
My kids will play with these silly faces for an amazing length of time! I purchased a multi-colored pack of felt for a few dollars and cut out different face parts from the felt. I store them all together in a gallon-sized Ziploc bag, and then they assemble the faces in all sorts of funny configurations. I also have an assortment of shapes, with varying sizes and colors, we play with. They’re great for teaching shape-recognition and colors to toddlers, and we can make fun pictures with them as well (triangle+circle=ice cream cone, etc.). If you don’t have a flannel board, making one is easier than you might think! Just use a piece of thin wood and glue a piece of flannel to it with a regular glue-stick (I know, just trust me on that!). Cover the edges with duct tape, and you’re all set!
My kids loved sorting through old magazines to find pictures that interested them. After they cut them out, I trimmed the edges more closely and we then glued them into colored file folders for a collage. It was fun to see their interests represented in the pictures they chose, and the file folders make it easy to store the collages as the pictures aren’t catching on things and ripping off.
Hand Print Art
I adore hand prints! We put hand print turkeys all over our thankful tree this past year for Thanksgiving. They were so festive! We also made reindeer heads by making a brown footprint on a piece of white felt and then adding hand print antlers. A red pom-pom for the nose, googly eyes, and a ribbon to hang it with made for an adorable Christmas decoration! We’ve also done bunnies with just the index and ring fingers painted, along with the palm. You could also do Christmas trees (overlap several hand prints to form a tree), flowers (each hand print forms a flower–just add leaves and stems), or whatever else strikes your fancy! They’re cute, and they make a great keepsake. I suggest using washable paint (unlike me!) and staying close to the sink to wash off those little paint-covered hands!
We love paper chains! It’s fun to make them, and it helps so much to count down to big events. My kids then have a visual to help them see just how long it will be until the big day arrives! We made a paper chain to help count down the last month or so until our third son arrived/my mom came to visit, and we wrote a different activity on each link in the chain. Each day we would do the activity and rip off the link, and it helped so much to pass the time for the kids and their mom!
Magic Invisible Pictures
These pictures are so fun. Just draw something with a white crayon, and use water colors to paint all over the paper. The image will “magically” appear as the paint runs off the wax! I suggest drawing heavy lines with the crayon for the most obvious effect.
Cut potatoes in half, and then cut around different shapes in order to make stamps. My 3-year-old loved decorating this Christmas tree with hearts, ornaments, and a star!
Tie-Dye Coffee Filter Butterflies
Add food coloring to cups of water (the more you use, the more vivid the colors will be), and then use medicine droppers to color coffee filters. You can buy a pack of a couple hundred filters for just a dollar or two, and there are so many crafts you can do with them! After they dried, we scrunched the middles and twisted pipe cleaners around them to make butterflies.
Peanut Butter Play-Dough
There are several different variations of peanut butter play-dough out there. Use your favorite recipe and have a little fun with snack time! You can use straight pretzels, chocolate chips, raisins, nuts, sunflower seeds, or other small finger foods to make different creations. For some reason I usually find myself making bugs–they’re so fun to shape and eat!
Painting Color Wheels
For this activity, I drew 3 big and 3 smaller circles on a piece of paper to form a basic color wheel. I then put a few drops of paint in each circle and had my son guess what color would be formed when mixing colors. He really enjoyed painting the circles and he was amazed to see the colors mix together and form new colors!
We love art! What are your favorite art activities for kids?