Looking for a way to entertain the kids in December? How about creating some easy age appropriate art? Kids under 5 will love imagining a melted snowman and then sharing their creation with family and friends.
Blue Construction Paper
Pre-Cut Snowman Accessories (or make your own)
Give your child a piece of blue construction paper along with a paint brush and a cup of white paint. Invite them to begin painting their “melted snowman”. Talk about how a melted snowman might look and feel.
While the paint is still wet have children stick the snowman parts (hat, arms, scarf, nose, eyes) directly onto their melted snowman. Talk about the shapes as you go.
It’s the season of thanks and the whole family will love making a “Thankful Jar”! Have kids create thankful notes by drawing a small picture of what they are thankful for. Older kids can use a word or two in addition to drawing.
The week of Thanksgiving pull the notes out of the jar and share with the whole family!
In honor of Halloween, this month at Gymboree Play & Music we are focusing on building confident learners through IMAGINATION!
Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Encouraging your child’s imagination fosters cognitive and social development, which helps them build their critical thinking skills — an important element of early childhood development. Imagination also builds social-emotional development by allowing children to create different resolutions, thus boosting children’s confidence, which can be used in interactions with others.1
Fortunately for parents, children often have great imaginations and creative visualization can come very easily to them; but there are still ways to help your child’s early development even further!
And, since Halloween is all about imaginary monsters, princesses and spooky creatures, it’s the perfect time of year to work on building that imagination! So, when your little one says a shark has eaten your leg or there is ice cream in that empty bowl…play along =)
Here are a few fun and easy Halloween IMAGINATION activities:
Leaf People: Collect fall materials like leaves, sticks, acorns, and pine cones and make a fall collage, a leaf-man or whatever your child’s imagination creates!
Pumpkin Painting:This allows your child to get a bit more imaginative than carving because there are no knives involved!
Pumpkin Faces: Grab some white paper plates, orange paint, black paper (for the eyes and mouth), and paint brushes to create pumpkin face masks!
Styrofoam Spiders: Just a styrofoam cup, pipe cleaners, googly eyes and markers to make silly (or creepy!) spider decorations.
Hand Print Trees: Draw your child’s handprint on some construction paper, use brown paint for the trunk and branches (wrist and fingers) and then glue some fall-colored tissue paper on for the leaves.
MUSICAL ACTIVITIES: Turn up the stereo volume, get out some instruments and bust out those dance moves. Let your child freestyle dance and/or play some instruments (like maracas) to whatever beat they hear!
Last night we had friends over for dinner. All the kids were off playing together and suddenly they came marching through the dining room with various musical instruments and pronounced that they had started a band!
One of these instruments was a favorite DIY bell shaker that is super easy to make and is just as fun for our 6 year old to make as it is for a toddler.
1 stick (You could also use a wood dowel or even a chopstick!)
Craft Bells (we used 5 for this one, but any amount will work. The more bells, the louder the jingle).
Craft Wire, cut to about 2 ft. (pipe cleaners work fine too). If the wire is sharp on the end, just wrap the ends with tape.
This is a fun project to do with your child. Young kids will most likely need help with the wire wrapping so it’s a good idea to work together with your child on one shaker or you can each make your own while you demonstrate the steps.
Wrap one end of the wire around the end of the stick a few times to secure it.
Wrap tape over the secured wire and down the stick for decoration.
Thread a bell onto the loose end of the wire and slide it down into place against the stick.
Wrap the wire a few more times around the stick and make sure to keep it tight.
Repeat steps 3 and 4 for each new bell.
When you get all of the bells onto the stick, wrap the rest of the wire around the stick and secure with tape.
For added decoration, wrap the rest of the stick with craft tape.
Shake, shake, shake and have fun with your new instrument!
Megan Schiller is a former art teacher who designs children’s creative play spaces at The Art Pantry. She especially loves to help families set up art spaces that encourage exploration, independence, and joyful learning. When Megan’s not doing art with kids or designing spaces, you might find her out in nature, reading, or chatting with her husband on their podcast about creating the life of your dreams.