A Sweet Sensation
What better way to teach math concepts and exercise little ones' fine motor skills than having them engage in crafts starring our favorite breakfast treat…donuts!
- Blunt scissors
Show children how to roll a long snake with clay and then curl it into a circle to make a doughnut shape. Give those little fingers a workout by using clay instead of using Play-Doh or moon dough. It's slightly harder to manipulate, but will really exercise your preschoolers' fine motor skills. Give children several different colors of clay to work with and allow them to experiment with decorating their clay donuts. If you use air-dry clay, the children can bring their creations home after letting them dry for a day or two.
Donut Cutting Collage
- Construction paper in several different colors
- Bowls, cups and other circular objects for tracing
- Glue sticks or school glue (Elmer's)
While many preschoolers are able to hold scissors in a mature grasp and cut very easily in a straight line, cutting in a curved line or in a circle can present more of a challenge. Begin this craft by first choosing two circular objects, one large and one smaller. Have children suggest options that will work as a donut and the center of a donut. Try using a large plastic bowl and a small plastic cup. Allow children to trace around the objects to create a donut shape. Now the hard part: cutting! Show children how to fold the paper in half in order to cut out the inner circle without disturbing the outer circle or donut. Allow children to use the colorful donuts as a collage medium by gluing them onto a large sheet of paper.
Donut Sprinkle Patterns
- Donut cut outs
- Bingo markers
This fun craft activity doubles as an important preschool math lesson. Donut shapes are perfect for patterning! Once children have traced and cut out their donuts (from previous craft), give them instructions on how to decorate their donut shapes. For example, ask half the class to paint their donuts blue with red circles, and the other half to paint red with blue circles. You can also use bingo markers to decorate the donuts, as preschoolers love to stamp dots! Lay the donuts out in a pattern and ask children to finish the pattern using the remaining painted donuts. The donuts can be laminated for durability and future patterning use.
Use the leftover donuts to create a craft for a simple math game for preschoolers. After each child traces and cuts out his donut shape, give each child a bag full of colorful pom pons or small tissue paper squares. Give each child a turn to roll one or two dice and count the number of dots. Have children place that number of "sprinkles" on their donut. You could also create your own dice, one with numbers and one with colors. Have children roll both dice at the same time and match the number and color of "sprinkles" for their donut.
When children are decorating their donuts, allow them to use regular classroom glue to attach paper sprinkles. The glue will dry shiny, giving the donut a glazed effect.
Try using those inner circles the children cut out in the first activity to decorate your door for National Donut Day! Place them on your classroom door making it look like one giant donut box, and write, "Our Little Munchkins" on top. You can then use the patterned donuts the children painted to decorate the rest of your classroom door.
Some Fun Donut Facts for Craft Time
Donuts just seem like the kind of food that has been around since the beginning of time! The history of the donut has long been debated, with the most popular story originating with an American sailor in 1847. Hansen Gregory, eating a heavy cake while steering his lime-trading boat through a storm, needed two hands on the ship's wheel. He put the cake on a spoke in the ship's wheel to steer the boat and the donut shape as we know it today was born! There are other donut origin stories that are not nearly as fun as Hansen Gregory's, but the truth is that no one really knows the how, when and why of donuts.The next time National Donut Day rolls around, the first Friday of June each year, try celebrating with your preschool class using some of these donut crafts in your early childhood classroom. Who can resist such a delightful treat?
Author's own classroom experience
Photo Credit: dieraecherin https://morguefile.com/archive/display/210336