Arts and crafts projects are an easy way to engage your preschoolers’ creativity and imagination while supporting their development. Plus, since most preschool crafts require everyday materials that aren’t hard to find, it doesn’t take much to get the creative juices flowing.
Read on for 20 easy preschool crafts to try with your children.
Why are arts and crafts important for child development?
There are many benefits of arts and crafts for early child development:
- Creativity: Arts and crafts allow preschoolers to experiment with self-expression, explore new ideas, and discover new ways of thinking.
- Motor skills: Painting, cutting, gluing, and drawing help fine-tune a child’s fine motor skills.
- Quality time: If you’re a parent, crafting gives you a chance to bond with your preschooler.
- Literacy: Crafting improves a child’s literacy skills, such as developing their communication skills as they describe their work or working on their listening and comprehension skills as they follow verbal instructions.
- Exposure: When crafting, children have to work with various shapes and sizes and count and measure the ingredients for their crafts.
20 best preschool crafts
Here are some of our favorite preschool crafts.
1. DIY stamps
Preschoolers can make stamps of flowers or their name initials using common items like plastic bottle caps or corks. Simply glue some foam pieces to the ends and let your children use them to stamp patterns or designs on paper.
2. Washi tape paper plates
You can create many things with paper plates—the possibilities are endless. This washi tape paper plate craft helps in teaching children more about colors. The cutting and sticking process also improves a child’s fine motor skills.
3. Clothespin dragonflies
This craft is fun to make and easy to make using clothespins, pipe cleaners, and googly eyes. This craft involves painting, coloring, and gluing, which improve a child’s hand coordination skills.
4. Melted bead suncatchers
Preschoolers will love making these bead suncatchers. This craft includes sorting colored beads and melting them. It’s a good activity to learn about colors and an introduction to the science of melting. When the suncatchers are ready, children can hang them outside to catch the morning sunlight.
5. Soda bottle flower stamping
This is an excellent way to use plastic water bottles before recycling them. Choose the bottles with a flowery bottom and dip them in tempera paint. Next, stamp them on the paper and repeat the process to form a design. You can later draw patterns in between for decor purposes. This craft teaches toddlers about colors and the importance of recycling.
6. Painted pasta necklace
Preschoolers will love customizing their necklaces and wearing them. They get to use their favorite colors, choose the design, and even add some art or their name initials. The process is pretty simple and boosts preschoolers' hand-eye coordination.
7. Rainbow tree
This excellent craft teaches children how to repurpose things or give items a new life. You’ll need a dry stick and some paint. We recommend rainbow colors, but you can let your preschoolers choose the colors they want in their art. They can carry these sticks home, put them in a container full of soil, or add them to their backyard décor.
8. DIY caterpillar dreamcatcher
This caterpillar shaped dreamcatcher is perfect for children of all ages. All you’ll need for the craft is play dough lids or paper cut in circular shapes for the caterpillar body. Use pipe cleaners for the caterpillar antennae and legs. When finished, stick the dreamcatcher to a window to catch the light.
9. Outdoor name art
We mostly refer to drawing or painting on a table when we talk about art. This outdoor art activity is a different way to experience art. For this project, you’ll need to write your child’s name on a huge piece of paper (or you can use a cardboard box) and stick it somewhere outside.
Provide them with different paint colors and allow them to decorate it. This craft not only boosts their creativity but also helps familiarize them with letters and the spelling of their name.
10. Paper towel art
This craft improves your preschooler’s motor skills and teaches them about color blending and absorption. This activity also allows creativity because there are no rules on how preschoolers should scribble on the paper towels; they can come up with their own individual patterns.
11. Sponge painting
Using paint brushes can be cumbersome and stressful for beginners. This activity is perfect for preschoolers who aren’t good with paint brushes yet. It improves a child’s hand coordination and fine motor skills and makes their color-mixing experience easier. To sponge paint, all you need to do is attach a clothespin to a sponge and get painting.
12. Little pebble monsters
For this activity, collect smooth, flat stones and paint them solid bright colors. Add some dots for eyes and allow children to create different expressions by painting mouths, teeth, spots, or other patterns. You can then take this opportunity to discuss different emotions with your preschoolers.
13. Toilet paper roll binoculars
Toilet paper rolls are one of the main items used for DIY projects — there is so much you can do with them. As you make the binoculars, you can introduce the preschoolers to recycling.
Once the binoculars are ready, you can play pretend with your preschoolers and name the birds you “see” in the park and what they’re doing. This art improves a child’s hand-eye coordination and literacy skills.
14. Pringles can binoculars
This is an upgrade for preschoolers who are outgrowing the toilet roll crafts. If your toddler is a craft beginner, you can use a toilet roll instead of the Pringle can.
Painting the cans, stapling them together, and adding a neck strap is good for hand-eye coordination. This activity also improves a child’s language development as they play make-believe with their new toy. For example, you can ask them what animal they're seeing or what they're hunting.
15. Popsicle stick kitty
This popsicle stick kitty craft involves drawing, painting, scissor work, and decorating. It’ll help your preschooler improve their scissor and hand coordination skills.
16. Leaf prints
This is another nature-inspired craft your preschooler will love. They can make a nature collage using paint and real leaves. All you need to do is to collect leaves of different shapes and sizes. Dip one side in the paint and press it on a white canvas.
To make this art colorful, consider using different colored paints. As for the arrangement, let your children decide the design they want.
17. Craft stick snakes
This is a great craft for preschoolers just starting to learn about the animal kingdom. The only supplies you need to get started are wooden craft sticks and colored markers. Let your preschoolers color any pattern they like and then add some googly eyes and a paper tongue.
18. Pool noodle boats
Using a few basic supplies like a pool noodle and paper sails, you can make small craft sailboats that your preschoolers can race in a kiddy pool or bath! Cut a pool noodle into two inch slices and have children decorate the sails. Add the sails to the noodle slice with a wooden skewer to complete the boat. Let the race begin!
19. Handprint sunflower
This is an easy-to-make dollar-store craft that’s perfect for summer and fall. Trace children’s hand prints on yellow construction paper and cut them out. Glue them to the end of a popsicle stick. Add leaves and a circle to the middle to complete the flower.
20. Magnet painting
This craft mixes art and science as children learn about how magnets work and color mixing. Follow these instructions to get started.
Let the fun begin
Arts and crafts are a fun and easy way to support your preschooler’s learning while boosting their self-expression and self-esteem.
Remember, there is no right or wrong way of doing art. While these easy preschool crafts have simple instructions and materials, anything goes when your child is creating. It’s their personal touch (and mess) that makes their work unique.
Brightwheel is the complete solution for early education providers, enabling you to streamline your center’s operations and build a stand-out reputation. Brightwheel connects the most critical aspects of running your center—including sign in and out, parent communications, tuition billing, and licensing and compliance—in one easy-to-use tool, along with providing best-in-class customer support and coaching. Brightwheel is trusted by thousands of early education centers and millions of parents. Learn more at mybrightwheel.com