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Preschool Crafts: 20 Easy and Simple Ideas Using Everyday Materials

Preschool crafts encourage self-expression, foster imagination, and enhance problem-solving skills. Discover simple crafts to keep your class engaged and teach important skills.

Preschool Crafts: 20 Easy and Simple Ideas Using Everyday Materials

Preschool Crafts: 20 Easy and Simple Ideas Using Everyday Materials

Arts and crafts not only provide endless fun and entertainment but also offer significant developmental benefits for young children. Through craft activities, preschoolers can explore their imagination, enhance fine motor skills, develop cognitive abilities, and express themselves creatively. 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. 

In this article, we'll explore a variety of simple and engaging preschool crafts to try with your children.

Why are arts and crafts important for child development? 

Arts and crafts play a crucial role in a child's development, providing them with countless benefits that extend beyond creating something visually appealing. Let's explore some of the ways in which engaging in arts and crafts activities can positively impact a child's growth and development:

Enhancing fine motor skills

Craft activities often involve using small materials such as beads, scissors, and paintbrushes, which require precise hand movements. By manipulating these materials, preschoolers can improve their fine motor skills, including hand-eye coordination, finger dexterity, and grip strength. These skills are crucial for tasks like writing, tying shoelaces, and buttoning clothes.

Encouraging creativity and imagination

Arts and crafts provide an outlet for children to unleash their creativity and imagination. When engaged in open-ended projects, such as painting or building with blocks, preschoolers have the freedom to explore their ideas and express themselves. This process fosters critical thinking skills, problem-solving abilities, and the ability to think outside the box.

Promoting self-expression

Crafting allows children to communicate their thoughts, feelings, and experiences in a non-verbal way. Through their creations, they can express their emotions, tell stories, and share their unique perspectives. This promotes self-expression, emotional development, and a sense of self-identity.

Developing cognitive skills

Engaging in arts and crafts activities stimulates various cognitive skills in preschoolers. From recognizing colors and shapes to understanding patterns and sequences, crafting promotes cognitive development. It also enhances visual-spatial awareness, mathematical thinking, and logical reasoning, laying a solid foundation for academic success.

Boosting confidence and self-esteem

Completing a craft project, whether it's a simple drawing or a more complex sculpture, gives children a sense of accomplishment and pride in their abilities. This boosts their self-esteem, confidence, and belief in their own capabilities. Additionally, positive feedback and encouragement from parents, caregivers, and teachers during the crafting process further enhance a child's self-confidence.

Fostering social skills

Crafting can be a collaborative activity, providing opportunities for children to engage in social interactions and develop important social skills. When working on group projects, preschoolers learn to take turns, cooperate, share materials, and communicate effectively. These skills are essential for building friendships, resolving conflicts, and thriving in social settings.

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20 best preschool crafts 

If you need a little inspiration for your class, here are some easy preschool crafts using simple materials that also offer plenty of opportunities for growth and self-expression.

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.

a washi tape paper plate preschool craft Source

3. Clothespin dragonflies

This craft is fun and easy to make using clothespins, pipe cleaners, and googly eyes. This craft involves painting, coloring, and gluing, which improve a child’s hand-eye coordination skills.

DIY purple and blue clothespin dragonfliesSource

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 for learning about colors and is also an introduction to the science of melting. When the suncatchers are ready, children can hang them outside to catch the morning sunlight. 

hanging colorful melted bead suncatchersSource

5. Soda bottle flower stamping

This is an excellent way to reuse plastic water bottles before recycling them. Choose bottles with a flowery bottom and dip them in tempera paint. Next, stamp them on a piece of paper and repeat the process to form a design. You can also encourage children to draw patterns in between the shapes. This craft can be a great conversation starter about the importance of recycling.

a soda bottle flower stamping preschool craftSource

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 painting process is simple and children can practice their hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills by threading the dry pasta onto string or yarn.

a painted pasta necklace craftSource

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.

a caterpillar dreamcatcher made from plastic play-doh lidsSource

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. 

two children painting outdoorsSource

10. Paper towel art

This craft improves your preschooler’s fine motor skills and teaches them about color blending and absorption. This activity is also a great example of process art because there are no rules on how preschoolers should scribble on the paper towels. Encourage them to come up with their own individual designs. 

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. 

painted rocks with monster facesSource

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 the concept of 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 craft improves a child’s hand-eye coordination and literacy skills.

a child with their  toilet paper binoculars on their neck Source

14. Can binoculars

This is an upgrade for preschoolers who are outgrowing the toilet paper roll crafts. If your toddler is a craft beginner, you can use a toilet roll instead of a 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. 

3 DIY popsicle stick kitty craftSource

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. 

a DIY leaf print artSource

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.

art supplies to make craft stick snakesSource

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!

summer craft pool noodle boatSource

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 shape in the middle to complete the flower.

a handprint sunflower craftSource

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.

paint on paper with round marblesSource

Let the fun begin 

Arts and crafts are a fun and easy way to support children’s learning while boosting their self-expression and confidence. From enhancing fine motor skills to promoting creativity, crafting plays a vital role in their physical, cognitive, social-emotional development.

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.

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