Why Crafting isn’t Complicated (and a Fun St. Patrick’s Day Craft!)
This Year, my Littles and I engaged in a two-day St. Patrick’s Day Craft. It took two days because:
- It’s March and averaging 30 degrees outside. We are STILL battling the daycare winter blues, and our regular free play isn’t cutting it.
- I like our crafts to involve both process and product based processes.
There is a lot of discussion between caregivers about process based art and produced based artwork in the early childhood education field.
I’ve read, researched, and experienced both ends of it with my children, and I believe both have value. (Check out the NAEYC’s article about How Process Art Supports Preschoolers to see the differences in these forms of art.) In our Childcare program, I try to do a little of both for my children. Here are a couple of ways how I tend to meld the two:
- I may give the children a guideline for how a craft “should” look- I mainly do this for activities which have a focus- such as our St. Patrick’s Day Craft- But I allow the children to follow their own leads and support their creativity in whichever way they feel fit.
- I allow the children’s art to be theirs. Unless they ask, I don’t change or alter anything.
- Because of the wide age ranges of my children (It’s important for each caregiver to decide which ages work best for them) I cannot allow my children to come and go freely during certain art processes, such as paint or glue. I believe that learning to sit and focus on a task at hand is important. They don’t have to take part, they may take as long or short of a time as they want on their project, but they may NOT go back and forth between their project and play. Crafts such as painting and gluing are primarily done at the kitchen table, instead of our train table where my inquisitive toddlers can reach.
Those Sneaky Leprechaun’s visited today!
I can’t wait until the Little’s wake up to their surprise- I even dyed the toilet green! (Sorry Hubs.) I can’t wait to hear the discussions about that!
Yesterday we began our craft by playing with one of my favorite sensory activities- Shaving Cream. How do you incorporate shaving cream into art? Oh, so many ways… (Subscribe to the blog and maybe you’ll find out, hint hint!) But for our St. Patrick’s Day craft, we used shaving cream and food coloring to make green, tie-dyed prints. This was also a great play-based lesson in mixing colors! I used green, yellow, and blue coloring in a HUGE mound of shaving cream. The kids got to mix it up with their hands, and after it started getting swirly and pretty, they laid big green pieces of paper on top and gently lifted them. I set the pieces of paper aside to dry (with shaving cream still on top) for the next day’s use. Unfortunately, I got NO pictures to show you of the process, because it needed pretty closely supervised. I did, however, get a great pic of my Little Man enjoying a full body sensory experience.
St. Patrick’s Day Craft: Day Two
So the next morning as my daycare kids were arriving, I took an old gift card and basically “shaved” the dried shaving cream into the trash can. Left behind were beautiful stained swirls of blues, yellows, and greens! My kids used their hand strength to punch out the printed papers with a heart-shaped cutter. This resulted in a fun stack of green-swirled hearts- perfect for our St. Patrick’s Day craft- Clover Cards!
The children then glued on the hearts to make a 3 or 4 leaf clover (after a quick explanation of WHAT a clover is, and why four leaf clovers are lucky.). They also colored a picture inside of something that made them feel “lucky”. Hello building social-emotional skills while crafting! I love the children’s decisions for their St. Patrick’s Day craft- how they made their clovers, what pictures they colored, and the levels of development and growth that their coloring is taking them.
What is your favorite St. Patrick’s Day craft? Do you do a new one every year, or change it up? Does a leprechaun visit your daycare?
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