Monday, August 23, 2010

Cheap fun: Art

Art projects are such a great way for kids to explore. Working with different supplies encourages creativity and imagination, learning about colors and how they mix, and sensory exploration. However, lots of time art supplies are super expensive. Here are some fun and cheap ideas for art enjoyment with your preschooler:
  • Use old toothbrushes as paintbrushes. Different bristles will make different paint stroke types and your child will love using this common household item in a new way.
  • Pipe cleaners are so versatile and can be bought in bulk very inexpensively. Practice making letters, numbers, and shapes with them.
  • Turn an old shoebox into a diorama - of animals, planets, or the jungle! Use stickers, paper, and pipe cleaners! Shoeboxes can also become great dollhouses.
  • Paint pasta! Using plastic sandwich bags and watercolors (food coloring also works), make a rainbow of macaroni, mini shells, or whatever kind of pasta you have in your pantry. Then sort it by color or make a pasta masterpiece by gluing on paper.
  • Empty toilet paper rolls (or paper towel rolls) can easily become kaleidoscopes, snakes, telescopes, inchworms, magic wands, or kazoos!
  • Paper plates can be a lesson on time (clock), seasons (divide into fourths), or just about anything your imagination can dream up!
  • Fill an ice cube tray with water and a little food coloring. Then, put a piece of paper into a baking pan (I like to use the big aluminum ones made to cook turkeys in) and have fun ice cube painting!
  • Finally, my favorite: construction paper. Construction paper, like pipe cleaners, can be used for so many activities and is cheap when purchased in bulk. Want a set of jungle animals? Cut them out. Need a set of letters/numbers? Cut them out. Making holiday ornaments? Cut out snowflakes! Love reading? Make a book!
Extra tip: Do you have tons of old, way too big T-shirts lying around? I do. Use them as dedicated 'art towels,' since the best (and most fun) art is always messy :)

Do you have other cheap, fun art ideas? Please leave a comment!!


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