Ready-To-Use Teaching Ideas: Fine-Motor
- Washable finger paint, messy trays, smocks, and finger paint paper
- A variety of blocks, including wood and interlocking blocks
- Washable tempera paint and medium paintbrushes
- Pipe stems
- Several old shoes (with interesting patterns on the soles)
- Brown mural paper
- Basin and containers for water and plastic plates or trays for paint
- Creative thinking
Finger Paint Prints: Put one or two colors of washable finger paint on a tabletop or messy tray. Invite children to mix colors and use their fingers to draw into the paint. Explain that they will make a print of their drawing. Give children a sheet of finger paint paper and assist them in placing it on top of the painted surface. Press down gently and lift. Let the print dry.
Block Prints: Collect a variety of wooden and interlocking blocks to use for printing. Use a few of the wooden blocks to make block stamps by bending pipe stems into zigzags, swirls, lines, circles, or other shapes, and gluing them to the bottom of the blocks. Squirt washable tempera paint on plastic plates or trays. Invite a small group to the art area to create prints on paper using various blocks. Ask children to compare prints.
Shoe Prints: Cover a table or floor area with brown mural paper. Give children paintbrushes, containers with washable paint, water for rinsing brushes, and smocks. Invite a small group to make prints using the bottom of old shoes. Ask children to use a paintbrush to paint the sole of an old shoe and press it onto mural paper. Notice the different types of patterns created by their print.
Handprints and Footprints: Paint a thin layer of paint over children's hands and feet and press them gently onto a sheet of paper. Keep a basin of water nearby to rinse off paint. Encourage children to compare their prints.
Remember: Some children are uncomfortable with finger painting. They can use the handle of a paintbrush to avoid touching paint.
Family Hands and Feet: Send a note home to parents requesting that they help their child trace each family member's hands and feet on separate sheets of paper. Ask children to color their hands and feet. Cut out the hands and feet. Suggest that families now use the hands and feet to play games that build math skills, such as matching the pairs of hands and feet.
CURRICULUM CONNECTION: MATH
Print Patterns: Invite a few children at a time to the art area. Provide them with paint, paper, and blocks used for block printinq. Introduce the concept of pattern and show children a preprinted pattern as an example of the activity. Then ask them to choose three different blocks to create print patterns.
I Am An Artist by Mary Murphy (Houghton Mifflin Company, 2000; $4.95)
Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh (Harcourt Brace & Company, 1995; $5.50)
Vincent Van Gogh: Sunflowers and Swirly Stars by Joan Holub (Crosset & Dunlop, 2001; $5.99)