Art From A to Z

The testing is done and report cards are finished.  Whew!  I hope you'll find time this summer to have a little fun for yourself!  Read a book, go barefoot, eat ice cream, watch a movie, talk with friends, take a walk, and enjoy the moment!  And, when you get bored, here are some art projects you can think about doing next year.  Print these, punch holes in the pages, and put them in a notebook.  You'll be "good to go” when the new school year rolls around.  (Which will be sooner than you think!)

With so much emphasis on assessment and skills, art has been pushed aside in the curriculum.  Children LOVE to draw, paint, glue, and make a mess!   Through art children can express themselves and explore their world.  Art provides sensory pleasure, as well as a time when children can talk, share, problem solve, and interact with their friends.  Art also gives children the opportunity to develop small motor skills and offers "hands on” experiences with color, shape, texture, and space.  It's important to remember that it is the PROCESS, not the PRODUCT when children are involved in creative activities!   

I have tried to choose art projects that are simple, easy, inexpensive, and open-ended.  Many can be adapted for different themes, concepts, or skill levels.  You will find photographs of the projects, but please remember not to put up models for children to copy.  Introduce the activities by demonstrating how to use the materials and by giving the children some parameters and guidelines.  "Set the stage” and then let the children create!

I have organized the projects alphabetically from A-Z for several reasons.  First, many teachers like to integrate art activities with letters and sounds they are focusing on.  Second, you might want to do these projects throughout the year and save them to make an "Alphabet Art Book.”  Every week or two, invite the children to do one of the art activities.  Store these in a file folder with the child's name.  (Be sure to explain that they will use them to make a special book at the end of the year.  You might even let children do two of the projects they enjoy - one to take home and one to save for their Alphabet Book.)  The last week of school children can arrange their projects in alphabetical order.  Let them decorate a special cover, and then bind the pages with book rings.  What a wonderful memory book!

Happy coloring, painting, cutting, and gluing!

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