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Traffic Light Art Project for Early Preschoolers

written by: Olive Estrella Coronado • edited by: Jonathan Wylie • updated: 9/11/2012

Are you in the middle of a transportation theme with your class, and eager to engage them in a traffic light project? There may be a lot of traffic light art projects for preschool children, but this one especially caters to those active two and three-year-olds!

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    Traffic Light Treasure Chest

    This is a traffic light art project for preschool children that can be fun and at the same time educational and functional.

    Materials:

    • shoe boxes
    • black paint
    • trays
    • paintbrushes
    • aprons
    • cutter
    • cellophane (red, yellow, green)
    • scissors
    • glue
    • old newspapers or scratch papers
    • enlarged picture of a traffic light

    Procedure:

    1. Trace three circles on the cover of the shoe box to serve as the traffic lights. Cut them out to make three holes. Then cut out bigger circles from the cellophane, one for each color. Prepare enough for all the students.
    2. Spread out old newspapers or scratch papers on the work tables of the kids. Prepare all the materials.
    3. Post the enlarged picture of a traffic light on the wall and point out the colors and order of the lights. Then demonstrate the entire art activity first before letting them work on their own.
    4. Have your youngsters wear their aprons and get to work painting their shoe boxes completely black. While letting the boxes dry, gather them on the mat for a storytelling about transportation and traffic lights.
    5. When the paint has dried, ask the kids to go back to their work tables and place glue around the circles. Then have them stick the cellophane cut-outs just like in the picture of the traffic light.
    6. Place the traffic light boxes on the shelves and tell the children that these are also treasure chests where they can keep their artworks and worksheets about transportation.
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    Stop, Slow Down, and Go!

    If you are thinking that those treasure chests are going to just sit there on the shelves, then think again. Traffic light art projects for preschool children do not stop at one activity only. There are several ways in which you can make the most of them. What are some fun ways you can use them in class?

    1. Touch the Color Game- Let each child hold the cover of his shoe box as you all form one circle. Ask them to touch each color and say the word aloud. This helps them review these three basic colors and practice their speech too. Try showing them pictures of things that have the color green, red, or yellow. For example, you can show a picture of an apple for the color red, a leaf for the color green, and a mango for the color yellow. As you show them the picture, instruct them to touch the same color on their traffic lights.
    2. Walk and Freeze Game- Put the tables and chairs aside to have greater space inside the classroom, or perhaps do this activity in a larger area. Tell the kids that today, they will all pretend to be cars. Use one shoe box cover to serve as the traffic light. Point a flashlight at the back of each colored cellophane to show them the meaning of the lights. When the green is lighted, it means they can walk or move like cars. If the yellow is lighted, it means they have to slow down. And when the red is lighted, it means they have to stop or freeze. A kinesthetic activity such as this will help them remember what each light means. You may have your teacher assistant or a few older kids demonstrate how it is done before starting the game. You may also play some background music while playing.
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    Related Worksheets

    You may want to have your preschoolers try out some related worksheets too. The following links will take you to printable worksheets you can use with your students,

    You can have them color a picture that shows how a traffic light is used, review shapes and colors by putting together the parts of a traffic light, and/or answer a worksheet to review the order of the lights and their meanings. Remember that repetition is the key when it comes to these very young learners!