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Paper Plate Sun Masks
Materials: yellow paper plates, yellow construction paper, scissors, glue sticks, yellow yarn, hole punch
Preparation: Cut the construction paper in small triangles. Cut two holes for eyes in the paper plates.
Instructions: Give each preschooler a paper plate, some construction paper triangles, and a piece of yarn long enough to encircle the head. Instruct the children to glue the triangles around the outside edge of the paper plate to form sunbeams. After the glue dries, help the students punch a hole on either side of the mask with the hole punch. Finally loop the yarn through the holes making the yarn behind the mask tight enough to secure the mask to face.
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Sun Planter Stakes
Materials: yellow paper plates, yellow pipe cleaners, tape, wooden stakes
Preparation: Glue the wooden stakes to the backs of the paper plates. Cut the pipe cleaners to various lengths.
Instructions: Give each child a paper plate and some pipe cleaners. Show the preschoolers how to attach the pipe cleaners to the back of the paper plate with tape. Tape the pipe cleaners around the edge of the plate. Insert the finished sun stakes into the dirt of a planter or garden.
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Painted Sun Catchers
Materials: Plexiglas squares, sun catcher paint, paint brushes, smocks, drill, string
Preparation: Drill a small hole through the top of each Plexiglas square. Thread the string through the hole and tie off to make a loop from which to hang the square.
Instructions: Have the students put on their smocks. Give each preschooler a Plexiglas square. Instruct the children to paint a picture on the Plexiglas with the sun catcher paint. Make sure the preschoolers wash their hands thoroughly after painting. Allow the painted sun catchers to dry completely before hanging in the window.
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You Are My Sunshine Collage
Materials: colored construction paper, yellow construction paper, glue sticks, scissors, photographs of friends and family, crayons
Preparation: Cut the yellow construction paper into variously sized circles. Also cut the photographs into circles with the people in the pictures in the center of the circles.
Instructions: Teach the preschool class the song "You Are My Sunshine," music and lyrics by Jimmie Davis and Charles Mitchell. Give each child their photos, a full sheet of construction paper, and enough yellow circles for all their photos. Show the students how to glue the photo circles onto the yellow circles and the yellow circles onto the construction paper. Allow the students to decorate their collages with crayons.
Lyrics: You are my sunshine / My only sunshine / You make me happy / When skies are gray / You'll never know dear / How much I love you / So please don't take my sunshine away
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Using these preschool art activities to learn more about the Sun as the closest star in space to planet Earth is a great way to encourage young children to learn more about our solar system.
All ideas and images courtesy of the author, Heather Marie Kosur