Skills: small muscle development, eye-hand coordination, pre-writing skills, self-control, creativity
Materials: paper, crayons or markers
Directions: Draw a small shape, such as a circle, triangle, rhombus, etc. in the middle of the paper. Children take various colors and trace around the object going from little to large as they try to fill up the whole page. *Adapt this to seasonal or holiday shapes by drawing a pumpkin, heart, etc. You can also place a sticker in the middle of the page for children to enlarge.
Materials: clear plastic dessert plates, permanent marker, play dough
Directions: Draw simple shapes on the plates with permanent markers. Children roll the play dough and then try to reproduce the shapes on the plates. *Write numerals or letters on the plates for children to make with play dough. They can also make sets to match numerals or mold objects that start with letter sounds.
Materials: play dough, scissors, cookie cutters, plastic knives, birthday candles, seasonal toys
Directions: Rotate objects children can use with play dough. They can cut the play dough with scissors or plastic knives. They can make “cookies” with cutters, birthday cakes with candles, or aliens with toothpicks.
Materials: paper, crayons
Directions: Demonstrate how to close your eyes and scribble a design with a black crayon on a piece of paper. Open your eyes and fill in all the sections with different colors and designs.
*Fold a sheet of paper over and over until it is a small shape. Open. Trace over the lines with a black crayon and then fill in each section with a different design or color.
Materials: cereal boxes, paper plates, greeting cards, string, yarn, tape, hole punch
Directions: To make sewing cards, hole punch around the tops of cereal boxes, paper plates, or old greeting cards. Make a “needle” by wrapping tape around one end of a piece of string or yarn. Children sew in and out of the holes. *You can also give children burlap, plastic needles, and yarn to practice sewing.
Materials: pasta or cereal with holes, letter beads, yarn, pipe cleaners
Directions: Children can string pasta, cereal, or beads to make yarn necklaces or pipe cleaner bracelets.
*Cut plastic straws into 1” sections and string to make a necklace.
Materials: scissors, scrap paper, catalogs, wrapping paper, junk mail
Directions: Place the scissors and paper in a plastic tub. Children can cut, cut, cut.
*Craft scissors with decorative edges will create lots of interest.
Materials: paper, crayons or markers
Directions: Write a large letter in the middle of each sheet of paper. Children select a letter and then create something out of it.
*You can do similar activities with shapes, numerals, and words.
Materials: paper, pencils, step by step direction cards
Directions: Prepare direction cards similar to the one shown. Children follow the steps to draw simple objects.
Materials: stencils, paper, pens, pencils, colored pencils
Directions: You can cut simple objects, shapes, or seasonal designs out of recycled cardboard boxes. Children trace around stencils with pens and pencils.
*Give children blocks, jar lids, puzzle pieces, and other classroom objects to trace around.
Materials: hole punch, scrap paper, food boxes, greeting cards
Directions: Children punch holes in the paper scraps. They can use the holes for an art project or sew yarn through the holes.
Materials: letter shaped pasta, tweezers
Directions: Children spread out the letters and then pick them up with the tweezers. They can make their name, words, etc.
*Dye the pasta by placing it in a zip bag with a spoonful of rubbing alcohol and food coloring. Shake and then dry on wax paper.