by Jean Warren
Kitchens are perfect for creative projects by preschoolers. Countertops and floors can be easily cleaned up and the most amazing things are found in kitchens. Flour for playdough, paper plates for puppets, muffin cup liners for spring flowers are but a few of the many wonderful materials found in almost every kitchen. Below are some of my favorite kitchen crafts for preschoolers.
Give your child two paper muffin cup liners and have her smash them flat. Then have her glue the flat liners on a piece of paper. Next give her two more cup liners (don’t flatten) to glue to the top of the flattened ones. The flowers should resemble daffodils. To finish off the flowers, your child can use a green crayon or marker to draw on grass and stems with leaves.
Give your child some old greeting cards with people or animals on them. Help him cut out the characters and tape them to a straw for a puppet.
PAPER PLATE PUPPET STAGE
Fold a paper plate in half, then cut across the middle horizontally to 1″ from the edge of the plate. Open the plate and have your child draw a scene on the front of the plate using crayons or marking pens. Have him color the top of the plate blue for sky and the bottom of the plate green for grass. Then encourage them to add houses, flowers, trees or whatever they want.
Show your child how to insert the straw puppet through the slit from the back of the paper plate. Have him make up simple skits with his puppet.
Some time when you are making pudding, give your child a spoonful on a large piece of paper. After washing her hands, let her use the pudding like she would finger paint. Children enjoy this immensely and they love licking their fingers when they are through.
Give your child a paper plate and have him turn it over and glue ½” rocks or large dry beans to the bottom. When the glue is dry, give him a piece of aluminum foil to place over the rocks and wrap under the edges of the plate. Using his fingers, have him shape the foil around each object. When he is finished, his inverted plate should resemble the surface of the moon.
NAPKIN TIE DYES
Give your child a white paper napkin. Have her fold it in-half a couple of times. Set out three bowls with a small amount of different colors of food coloring in each one. You may also wish to add a small amount of water in each bowl. Next, have your child dip each corner of the napkin into a different color of dye. The last corner could be a repeat of one of the other colors, or a mixture of two of the colors. Unfold the napkin and let it dry before displaying.
Children love stringing circular cereal to make necklaces. Cheerios or Fruit Loops work great. Give your child a 12″ piece of yarn. For easier stringing, wrap a small piece of tape on one end and tie a cereal loop to the other end. Show your child how to string on loops to make an edible necklace.
One of my most favorite art mediums for preschoolers is playdough. There are many recipes but for a quick and easy one, just mix ½ cup hot water, a few drops of food coloring, 1 teaspoon cooking oil and ½ cup salt together. Dissolve the salt and slowly add 1 cup flour, stirring with a big spoon. Let your child help you as much as possible. Continue adding flour or water until the mixture is not sticky but easily pliable.
Give your child a large ball of playdough with some simple kitchen utensils, such as, small pans, dull knives, birthday candles, cookie cutters, rolling pin, etc.
Note: It is best to keep this dough covered when not in use.
Go on a hunt in your kitchen with your child. Look for flat objects that would be good for making rubbings. Have your child lay a piece of paper over the top of one object. Then using a peeled crayon on its side, have him rub across the paper creating an impression. Rubbings are great for preschoolers because they allow them to be successful even if they are just learning to color.
Jean Warren, previous owner of Totline Publications, is a parent, grandparent, teacher and writer. She is the creator of Piggyback Songs, Theme-a-saurus plus 100″s of other resource books for parents and teachers. Jean has personally, written over 1000 songs, rhymes and stories for working with young children. Visit Jean’s new on-line website for parents and teachers – Preschool Express. www.preschoolexpress.com