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Teachers make the difference in these creative art activities.

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Art Activities with Recipes
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Science: Sparkle Painting
Preschool and kindergarten children explore science, cause and effect, with this activity by Erin D. How does the salt change the picture?

Materials: Tempra paint or water colors, various kinds of paper and Epson Salts.

Description: Let the children paint a picture.  Before the picture dries let them 
sprinkle the epson salts on the wet painting.  Watch what happens as the painting 

Comments: These make beautiful butterflies, fish, rainbows, snowflakes and just 
about anything you want to sparkle.

painting idea and activity  No Chipping "Shiny Paint"
Here's an open ended art project by Amy Y. that can be adapted for many themes.

Materials: Aluminum foil, dish soap, paint and hairspray.

Description: First cut the foil into interesting shapes. Next, mix 2/3 paint with 1/3 dish soap then let children paint the foil using the mixture. When dry, spray the painting with hairspray to prevent paint chipping and cracking.

Winter Snow
Diane S. shares this classic early childhood method of creating snow that children can use for painting.

Materials: White paint, Ivory Snow and paint brushes.

Description: Mix equal parts of Ivory Snow and white tempra paint. You will need 
to closely supervise the children. Have one child at a time stand on a small step stool and paint snow, snowmen and snow flakes on the windows or sliding glass doors in your classroom. I teach pre-kindergarten in Central Florida and most of my children have never seen snow. I do this every year. The Ivory Snow gives it texture and makes it easy to wash off.

coloring rice  Colored Rice Is Nice
Preschool children have fun as they use fine and gross motor skills during this activity suggested by Diana P.

Materials: Rice (10 lbs), food coloring, rubbing alcohol, large zip loc baggies and

Description: Place 3 tablespoons of rubbing alcohol into a zip-loc baggie and  add drops of food coloring. The more you add, the darker the rice. Add 4 cups of rice then seal the bag, and shake until the rice and food coloring has mixed together.Pour out on a cupboard that is covered in tinfoil and let dry overnight.  It seems to dry fast, the rubbing alcohol smell stays until completely dry.

Extension: Teachers can color the rice so when dry it looks like pastel colors for Easter.  Add plastic easter eggs and plastic chicks and bunnies.

coloring macaroni   Texture Table Activity
Preschoolers use small motor skills during this sensory activity from Kristy S

Materials: Elbow macaroni, food coloring, plastic baggies and rubbing alcohol.

Description: Put macaroni, food coloring and a little bit of alcohol in a plastic baggie. Shake to cover the macaroni well. Then remove the macaroni and place on a sheet of paper, wax paper or tin foil to dry. Finally place the macaroni in the texture table with cups, bottles and pans for kids to play with.

Sand Art
During this project Lynsay C. allows children an opportunity to expressive themselves creatively using the colored sand.

Materials: Dry sand, food coloring, cards and glue.

Description: Mix the play sand together with a few drops of food coloring.  Mix  well to ensure that all of the sand is colored.  Repeat this with other colors. Then lay some samples of the sand in small tubs.  Allow the children to make pictures using the sand.  Then sprinkle sand onto the glue which has been placed on the children's pictures.

Painting with Corn Syrup
Diana P. suggests this activity to create an art project that uses a tactile and tasty ingredient.

Materials: Corn syrup, food coloring, cut out shapes (any that you desire for your theme), spoons and 4 small bowls.

Description: Teachers cut out 1 shape for each child in your classroom.  I used hearts for Valentines Day.  Place corn syrup in small bowls placing 1 tablespoon syrup in each. Place bowls and spoons on the table and have food coloring in a small dropper in containers on table.

Children spoon corn syrup onto the shapes, and spread the syrup until it covers the entire shape. The preschoolers then drop 3 or so drops of food coloring onto the shape.  Children fingerpaint the food coloring over the shape to make designs.  The clean up is easy.  Just wash hands in warm water, and the youngster like to lick their fingers for a tasty treat.

Edible Fingerpaint
Try this tasty tactile fingerpaint by Kym.

Materials: Corn syrup, thick paper and food dye.

Description: The kids will love to lick their fingers after this one!  Add colors to corn syrup and use as finger paint.  It will also act as a glue so the kids can use construction paper to make pictures on it.

Comments: You can also do yogurt painting. Just add food dye to yogurt and use this as fingerpaint.

Teacher Made: Fingerpaint Recipe
Create your own fingerpaint and encourage creativity with this recipe by Paula C.

½ a cup of cornstarch
1 cup of cold water
Scents such as oils of cloves, 
Talcum powder (optional)
Description: Dissolve ½ cup of cornstarch in 1 cup of cold water then pour into boiling water and stir constantly until shiny and translucent. Allow to cool then use as fingerpaint base.
Ladle into jars and stir in food coloring, or tempra. Talcum powder can be added to make the appearance slick. Scents can also be added. Jars of this cornstarch base paint can be refrigerated.

Recipe: "Sidewalk Chalk"
Karly F. says, "Children can watch the process of making sidewalk chalk and can then use their imagination and fine motor skills to use it and play.

1/3 cup quick- setting plaster of paris
1 tablespoon powder paint
3 tablespoons of water
Plastic cookie cutter, candy mold, or toilet paper tube.
Description: Mix plaster, powder paint, and water in a small bowl until blended. 
Quickly spoon the mixture into a cookie cutter, candy mold, or toilet paper tube which as been sealed at one end.  Let the chalk dry for about 45 minutes. Carefully pop the chalk out of the mold.  If using the toilet roll, peel the paper away carefully. 

Comments: Add glitter to the chalk mixture before adding the water to make it 

Buttermilk and Chalk Art
Julie S. offers this early childhood art activity that uses buttermilk.

Materials: Sponge, buttermilk, construction paper or smooth paper and chalk.

Description: Dip sponge into buttermilk which is in a small container. Press sponge over paper to dampen. Now draw designs on paper with chalk. Let stand until it is dry. The buttermilk will help bind the chalk to the dry paper. You can also use dry 
buttermilk powder.

Comments: The children really enjoyed this activity

Bridgit offers a different type of media to explore in the art area.

Materials: Variety of tempra paint, popsicle sticks and disposable plastic cups.

Description: Use 6 scoops of tempra per 6 oz cup. Fill cup ¾ full with water and tempra. Place plastic wrap over each cup and insert popsicle sticks. Freeze. 
Remove when frozen and place on trays or at the easel for youngster to use.

Teacher Made: Yellow Crayon Soaps
Colorful fun plus learning takes place when children write the letters of their names with these soap crayons by Laurie.

1 cup Mild Powered Soap
1 tb. food coloring (yellow).
Ice cube trays
1 Measuring cup
Description: Measure 1 cup of mild laundry soap and add 1 tablespoon of food 
coloring. Next, add water by the teaspoon until the soap is in liquid form. Stir well, 
then pour the soap into ice cube trays. Set in a sunny dry place until hard. Soap 
crayons are great for writing in the sink, tub, or sensory table.

Teacher Made: "Crayons"
Debbie contributes this idea for teachers to use. What a great way to recycle all those broken pieces of crayons!

Materials: Broken crayon pieces; Oven - for teacher's use only, and cupcake papers inside of a cupcake or muffin pan.

Description: Children can place pieces of broken crayon in cupcake papers, the rest is for teachers.  Teachers melt the crayons in the oven at 300 degrees for about 20 minutes. Teachers remove the crayons from the oven and let harden. After the crayons have cooled, pop them out of the cupcake papers.

Comments: Recycle broken crayons to create chunky crayons for the toddlers and 
2 year old children.

Mud Soap Recipe
Young children create finger paint designs and practice hand washing techniques during this early childhood activity by Marian V. This recipe makes a little more than a cup of Mud Soap.

Ingredients: Mud Soap
Mix 1 cup dry mild laundry soap (not detergent),
¼ cup of water, 
Three drops each of red, yellow, and blue food coloring.
Description: Put one scoop of mud on a tray for each child.  Hot lunch trays 
work good.  Let children create designs on the trays and discover how easy it is 
to clean their hands when they are finished.  Encourage them to talk with each 
other about their finger paintings and about how the Mud Soap looks and feels.

Sensory: "Shimmer Candy Corn"
Kelly H. shares this sensory art activity that young children can taste.

Materials: White construction paper, sweetened condensed milk,
paint brushes, food coloring and bowls.

Description: Draw a candy corn on the construction paper.  Make it as large as possible.  Next pour the sweetened condensed milk into bowls.  Add food coloring to the milk.  We use, orange, yellow and clear.  Then let the children paint the candy corn.  To dry, lay the paper flat.  Otherwise the paint runs and it is sticky.  Once the paint is dry it leaves a gloss like shimmer. 

If the children are old enough, when they finish, we let them "taste" this special paint.  The kids think it's a riot when they can eat this paint!

create puffy paint   Rain Drops
April J. suggests this interesting puffy paint for art projects.

Materials: Glue (½ of bottle works best), blue powered tempera paint and paper.

Description: Mix glue and paint together in bottle then let children make rain drops with the mix by squirting glue from the bottle onto paper.

Comments: When the glue dries it will make the drops stand up.

Foamy Paints
Young children explore a variety of artistic media during this project by Felicity. Just remember that shaving foam stings little eyes, so supervise the activity closely and be careful.

Materials: Shaving foam, flouro paints, brushes and paint pots.

Description: This is a great alternative to easel paints. Add a small amount of flouro paints to the base of paint pots, then add shaving foam and mix to create beautiful pastel paints. Great with sensory lesson plans.  The paint spreads smoothly & smells great. This one is definitely process inspired. The paints tend to crumble as they dry, leaving a soft colorful impression on the paper.

glitter idea  "Stay Put" Glitter
Glitter has a way of getting into everything but Jody S. has found a solution to this

Clear hair gel
Small plastic jars with lids or baby food jars with lids.
Description: At the childcare center I work in, we mix clear hair gel with glitter.  The children can use paintbrushes to paint the glitter on their project.  When the gel dries, it dries clear.  This is an easier way for me, because the glitter does not end up everywhere.

Natural Leaf Glitter
Natalie T. teaches children how to create an all natural glitter that can be
used for crating additional craft projects.

Materials: Dried Leaves, paint, paint brushes, newspaper and bowls.

Description: Lay the dried leaves on newspaper and ask the children paint the  leaves using brightly colored tempera paints. Allow the leaves to dry overnight, then flip the leaves over and paint the reverse sides as well. Again let the leaves dry completely. Once the leaves are dry ask the children crunch them into tiny pieces and put the pieces into the bowls. Now you have an all natural alternative to glitter for many of your future projects.

Sprinkle Paint
Interesting effects are created when you use this technique from Amy Y.

Materials: White construction paper, water paints, eyedropper, rubbing alcohol and salt.

Description: Tape paper to the table then wet down the paper. Next, have the children water paint pictures. When they are finished, use an eyedropper to cover painting with rubbing alcohol and sprinkle salt onto the painting. When dry, shake off excess salt.

For more teacher made ideas go to Playdough, Goop, Oobleck & Clay



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