Kindergarten art projects for home or school
Learn how to help your child feel good about kindergarten.
Kindergarten art projects take us all back, running up the front walk, clutching a piece of paper and shouting See what I made! Recapture that wonderful feeling with your kindergartener at home, or volunteer to help your child's kindergarten teacher do the same. Big kindergarten art projects are fun to do but take more than one set of adult hands to produce for a whole class of children. Doing these projects with your child's class has an extra feature. Learning how to be yourself while being part of a group is a growth-task kindergarteners work all year to master. These projects are all designed to help children feel happier about themselves and their class.
This project captures a wonderful moment in your child's life. Kindergarteners know who they are and are fascinated with their bodies and all the things they can do. A full-body self-portrait lets your child shine as an expert on him/herself. Supplies you need:
Large roll of brown wrapping paper
Markers or crayons
Multi-cultural paints for skin tones (often called "people paints")
Brushes or small sponges
Plain and novelty yarns, for hair
Fabric remnants, for clothes, or wallpaper samples (usually free from decorating stores; colored construction paper will also do
Have your child remove his/her shoes and lie on the floor on the brown paper. Trace a body outline with a marker or crayon. Some children like to raise one hand (waving). Help the child get up, and review the results (Are fingers too lumpy-looking? What about ears?). Help the child choose an appropriate skin-tone paint. Have the child apply paint with a brush or sponge, and let it dry. When it's dry, have your child draw his/her face. Yes, your drawing might be more accurate, but it's your child's work that's the treasure.
Help your child choose, cut and glue hair (ribbon scraps for bows or braids), clothes (help your child outline for body, cut and glue), special features (glasses, a bracelet, ribbon-scrap sandals, a colored-paper cutout of something your child wants to be holding). Help your child cut out the portrait. You can cut it out once the skin-paint is dry, but arms and legs can get torn easily. So waiting til you're done is safer. Hang and admire. To store roll carefully in another sheet of brown paper.
This project teaches how individuals join together to be part of a bigger whole like a class. The project is fun because it's so big. You need:
Different colors of 9x12 construction paper
Markers or crayons
Cut construction paper sheets lengthwise in 4 strips (each 2 ¼ x12). Let children each choose a strip and decorate it on one side with markers or crayons. Ask or help each child write his/her name on the strip (teacher and adult volunteers, too). Staple the paper loops together into a paper chain, name-sides out.
You can use the chain to measure things or people. (Jeremy is 12 links tall, Jenny is 13, and Miss Hall is 18 whole links tall!) Make a measuring chart, and hang the chain to admire it. When you take it down, each child can take his/her link home along with a good story.
If your school has several kindergarten classes, it's easy to provide supplies and directions to all the classes. The resulting chain will be excitingly huge and can be hung in the hall outside the classrooms--a good lesson on what you can do working together.
The Best Thing About Me
This project combines a quick paper-plate self-portrait with a self-affirming writing or dictating project:
Six- or Nine-inch plain white paper plates
Lined early-writing paper
Markers or crayons
11x14 construction paper
Stapler or tape
Ask each child to draw a facial self-portrait on a paper plate. Help each child record a dictated story on writing paper. A sample story might be: My name is Ally Robbins. I am 5 ½ years old. I have light brown hair and blue eyes. The best thing about me is: I'm a really good runner. Children who have trouble with the best thing statement may be given some suggestions or allowed to substitute What I like to do best is or something similar. Clearly the point of the project is to help each child feel special and positive about him/herself. Mount the stories on colored paper, read the stories or help each child read his/her story and show his/her picture to the class. Hang up your portrait gallery for all to admire and share.