Time for Art: “Cut” and Paste Cross

I love these tearing gluing combo activities! My kids love them too because for some reason it seems like they always found paper to tear… usually a document or list that they weren’t supposed to destroy. So, with this activity they can tear apart paper to their hearts content. Check out this week’s plan with a full list of materials for this activity.

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We make a cut and paste cross every year, but you could easily make an Easter egg if you would rather. It is really as easy as it looks to set up this activity. Cut out your cross or egg, let your child choose a color, or several colors to fill in their object, and then let them get to work tearing a part the paper and gluing it on.

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When my kids are younger I squirt some glue out into a dish or onto some newspaper. It seems a little easier for them to dip their paper scraps into the paper and then stick it onto their cross. As they get older I start to let them experiment with the glue bottle.

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So, what’s happening in this activity?

Art: Even though it’s pretty simple, your child is still getting the chance to do whatever they want with their paper scraps. This is big for their independence and creativity. They need chances to be in control of something and make their own decisions. Those chances are very few and far between for our little ones. So, with this freedom they are learning what happens when they are in charge. It’s our job to talk about what we see them doing, encourage, and ask questions.

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Fine Motor: Obviously this activity is heavy on the fine motor movements. It takes quite a bit of strength to tear paper, so your child might need you to help them get started. They will still get a good little workout for their fingers and forearms.

Happy Playing!

 

 

 

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Time for Art: Tear & Paste Glitter Star

 

Get the fine motor juices flowing with this Christmas art project today! For a list of materials and a brief description of what to do go to this week’s activity plan, here.

Each season I like to include an activity like this. Tearing paper is fun (although difficult for younger children, so keep that in mind!) It uses so many fine muscle movements, it’s fun to watch the shape fill in with color, it uses creativity… it’s just a good activity! For a more in depth breakdown of the benefits of this kind of activity, check out Time for Art: Torn Paper Apple!

Start by cutting out your shape. This is a star, but you could make a tree, an ornament, a snowman, a football… Whatever you think your child would enjoy. Then, let them tear apart paper that will eventually be glued to their shape. For younger kids you can get them started and demonstrate what to do.

Once you have several tiny pieces your child can start gluing…

More gluing and sticking on paper. If your child gets overwhelmed by the amount of space to fill in help them focus on one ray of the star at a time. I remember several years ago I was helping my 2-year old niece color in a hand turkey that we were working on. I said ok now you can color it in, and she replied “I can’t!” I realized it was too overwhelming, and when we focused on one “feather” at a time she was able to do it just fine! So, keep that in mind.

To finish off we pulled out the rarely used glitter. The star has to twinkle, right?! We just brushed glue over the top of the yellow pieces and then sprinkled on the glitter, removed the excess, and then let it dry. Glitter by the way is totally optional!

 

Such a great Christmas decoration in the tree or on the fridge!

Have fun and happy playing!

Summertime Collage

It’s June and summer is here! I know it technically isn’t summer until the 20th but my brain will always function like I’m in school… so summer starts… NOW! We kicked off our summer today with a nature walk around the house to inspect how things are changing. I am definitely not a nature girl, but I can’t deny what a rich experience playing outside is. We walked, ran, jumped, and skipped around the house and found all kinds of goodies. Yellow flowers, purple flowers, dandelions of course (why kids so enamored with them, I’ll never know), grass, Maple tree seeds and leaves, Chives, flower petals… my kids had a blast getting to run around and put things in their buckets to eventually put on their summertime collages.

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There is so much going on in an activity like this you probably won’t be able to highlight it all with your child, but let’s break it down a little bit.

Large Motor: Going on a nature “walk” involves any form of movement your child chooses to move from place to place. Enhance this by encouraging them to try different ways of moving by demonstrating some moves (it’s still cool and fun when we do it now). You can skip, twirl, run, gallop… bear walk… hop like a bunny… anything that sounds fun to your child. Adapt it to fit their abilities and their interests as best as you can. If your child is less mobile or not at all, take them to the “nature” or bring it to them.

Fine Motor: The small muscle movements will show up in picking things up outside as well as in the creation of their collage. Picking up a leaf, pulling a dandelion, squeezing the glue, and putting all their beautiful pieces from outside onto their paper are all fine motor movements.

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Sensory: Sensory experiences show up in a lot of activities, but it’s our job to highlight these experiences and give them words for our kids. Ask a lot of questions and describe what you feel, hear, see, smell… all of those senses. “oooh this tree bark is so bumpy,” or “these flowers smell beautiful,” or “this mud is slimy…” Outside, the sky is the limit to describing sensory experiences… literally!

Art: Your child will have a chance to practice their creative abilities when it comes to putting together their collage. If your little one isn’t quite strong enough to squeeze the glue go ahead and give them a little hand getting it out but make sure they have freedom to choose where they put it. My little guy had a blast getting to pick out all of the spots to put his petals, leaves, stems, and seeds!

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Early Science: Believe it or not little toddlers and preschoolers are already picking up on early science concepts. On our walk some of the things we encountered were a mama robin protecting her babies in a nest that we got a little too close too, seeing the difference in growth of our maple leaves, and deciding whether or not a bug was going to hide in a hole in the cement. Simple concepts about animal homes, change in growth of plants and trees, weather, and so much more are early science concepts that we can enhance.

These concepts don’t even scratch the surface of all of the communication experiences this activity brings as well as colors, shapes, sizes… It’s a great big world of learning with so many opportunities for us to expand on the experience with questions and labels. Have fun making special memories and lot’s of new experiences for your little one!