Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Toddler Art-Caterpillar Mural

This is a relatively inexpensive program to put together as you can tailor it easily to your customers and the size of your program room.  As children come into the room, I give them each 2 paper plates.  One plate is for them to take home and the other is for me to hang on the wall.  I set up stations of various art supplies throughout the room.  At our location, it is easiest for us to work on the floor as we can just cover it with paint drop cloths or giant roll paper minimize the clean up.  We do only register 25 kids so everybody gets a chance at every station.  With the art supplies, I always try to find some different ones so they can try something new.  With our most recent program, these are the five stations that I used:

Station 1-We used the Easy-Grip Super Stamping Sticks from Discount School Supply (item #8WWSTICKS).  These are great for little hands as they are easier for them to hold, which means that they have more control over the stamper.  It helps if you only use one color stamp pad.  For this program, we pulled out 4 green washable stamp pads.

Station 2-Our next station was Colorations Glitter Glue from Discount School Supply (item #8WWGLITGLUE).  This set of glue contains 6 4 oz. bottles in a variety of colors.  Little hands are able to squeeze the glue without help.  (Note-don't expect to be able to reuse the bottles of glue.  Chances are that they will up every last drop.)

Station 3-Some kids don't like to get messy so we put out a station of chubby crayons.  We use a combo of the large crayons from Discount School Supply (#8WWCLR8) and the jumbo crayons from Lakeshore Learning (#VX275).  Crayons are also good because you can encourage children to sign their creations and pull in some of those early literacy skills.

Station 4-We used dabbers or dot art markers.  While kids will sometimes color with them, the real use is to make lots of colorful dots.  This was the first time that we used these and they were a definite hit.  Our dabbers came from Discount School Supply (#8WWDABDOT).

Station 5-You have to have a paint station.  There will always be 1 or 2 kids who spend the whole session just painting.  You will want plenty of watercolor paints and extra brushes (they don't mind sharing the paint, but they need their own brush).  We also put the cups of water in a plastic dishpan as they will get tipped over and played with.

As the plates dry, attach them to a free wall.  You may want to do a spot test to make sure your tape will eventually come off.  We use masking tape.  If you run out of room, make another face and start a 2nd or 3rd caterpillar.

This summer we are going to do a similar program where we will pass out cardboard star shapes for kids to decorate and hang for the summer reading program.

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