More than just a busy time project, crafts are a type of kinestetic learning. When used in addition to auditory and visual aids, the crafts round out the main learning processes. Preschoolers are aware of the world around them, and very early biology lessons typically focus on the living. Animal crafts round out, or add to, the information they already have and the information being given to them in the lesson.
This preschool animal craft project fits in well to a farm theme or a lesson on money.
Get an early start on the craft by asking parents to save small coffee cans or large formula cans with the plastic lid. They will need to be cleaned well to prevent any food allergies from occurring.
For this project, you will need:
- Cans with lids, one for each child
- Pink construction paper
- Pig face pattern (see reference #1)
- Paste or glue
- Pink pipe cleaners
- Give each child a pig face pattern to color and cut-out. Assistance may be needed in the cutting process.
- Assemble the pig face. Let the children glue the nose, eyes and ears onto the main face piece.
- Wrap the can with pink construction paper. Let the kids glue the paper together onto the can without the lid on.
- Curl a small piece of pipe cleaner into a swirl and let the kids place it on the can. This is the pig's tail.
- Cut a slit into the top of the can lids and give one to each child to place onto their can.
- Glue the pig face onto the front of the can. Ensure the students do not glue the face to the lid.
Consider giving each student a small amount of coins, or a single quarter, to get them started with their new bank.
When working with preschool craft projects, animals can take on a very personal feel by using personalized pieces such as the hands and feet. When teaching lessons about other animals on the planet, incorporating these personal elements can let the child feel attached to things even outside of their world.
This particular craft works well for projects on woodland creatures. It may also be transformed into a holiday project with the addition of some decoration. Ask for helpers ahead of time to make the project flow faster and smoother.
For this project you will need:
- Construction paper
- Brown and black paint
- Paint brushes
- Have the students remove their right shoe and sock and wash and dry their hands completely.
- Place the child's foot in the middle of a piece of construction paper and trace completely around using a pencil. Have the child place both hands on the paper on either side of their traced foot. Place the thumbs outwards at the top of the foot.
- Let the children paint the face and antlers created by their foot and hands. Let them paint eyes and a nose using the black paint.
For a holiday feel to the project, let them add a red nose and other holiday type decorations including a red bow.
For a quick and simplistic craft to accompany a lesson on felines, consider letting the children make cat tracks with their hands. This might go with a lesson on pets or a chapter on lions, tigers or other wild cats.
For this craft, you will need:
- Black finger paint
- White paper
- Paint the palm of each child's hand and let them place it several times across a piece of paper.
- Let the children dip their index finger in the paint.
- Demonstrate how to add four dots across the top of the hand print to make the claws for the paw prints.
The results will appear as hand sized paw prints going across the page.
As with most preschool craft projects, animals can add to lessons. Ask for help and don't be afraid of the mess. The learning will last a lifetime while the mess is cleaned up in only a few moments.
References and Photo Credits
2. Moose project and Image by Sidney Johns; Craft in image by Katelyn Buche', age 4.
3. Paw Print project by Sidney Johns.