Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Nature Inspired Preschool Art Activities

I believe that children learn best through hands-on experiences, by seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, and feeling. I feel play provides the opportunity for my little one to explore, imagine, create, and discover. I also think it is important to provide a rich environment that nurtures a sense of wonder and curiosity. I feel that play, art, music, and nature are essential in developing my little one's imagination and creativity. So, if you are talking about where milk comes from... visit a farm. If you are counting, count strawberries and let your little one eat them. Also, it is best to choose multi-purpose toys. A plain wooden car could be a bus, train, racing car, moving van, caboose or ... The possibilities are endless. A yellow taxi cab is just that a yellow taxi cab. Other open-ended toys include a basket of shells, pine cones, river rocks, acorns, crystals, twigs, flowers, leaves, and seed pods. These are all things you could bring back from a nature walk. Not only are they free, but they provide countless opportunities for critical thinking and intellectual development. I was amazed when my little one stood up 3 pine cones to represent our family and began to play with them. 

I am interested in preparing nature inspired art projects for my little one that are process oriented. I stay flexible as our projects could go in any direction and I like that. I love seeing my little one's imagination and creativity take flight. 

Nature paintings
Collect objects from nature along your walk and use them to paint with. You will get a variety of different textures, as well as sights, sounds, and smells from the found objects. We painted with dried flower heads, clover, leaves, twigs, maple leaves, rocks, pine cones, and various weeds. 

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