We’ve made it through the Christmas chaos and New Year’s festivities, into the cold, gray month of February, so who couldn’t use some more color and brightness inside their homes? Painting projects for your in-home daycare are a great way to liven up the February weather and will keep preschool kids entertained.
Paint Dot Mural:
Paint dot murals are great ways to get preschool kids involved in a painting project, while developing fine motor skills and mindsets for teamwork and collaboration. They will also bring a ton of color and light into your in-home daycare.
What You’ll Need:
You’ll need some paint dots and butcher paper for this activity. Paint dots are giant paint-markers and are great for keeping the mess to a minimum and the fun to a maximum. Butcher paper is available at most craft stores or online, and is good to have on hand to cover tables for the other art projects your kiddos will create.
How it Works:
The trick with this paint dot mural is to encourage the kids to use the paint dots as giant paint brushes, rather than just “dotting” the page. The great thing about this kids art project is how sensory the sponge-brushes are – a fair bit of sliding and squeezing is involved to paint with them.
We recommend setting each preschooler up with a section of the butcher paper that they can draw on, or cut off squares of butcher paper for each kid (if you would like to send the projects home with the parents, this will be the easier option). Use the other butcher paper to cover the art-project surface, demonstrate to the kiddos how to use the paint dots, and let them have at it!
Depending on the ages of the children in your in-home daycare program, this kids art activity can be used as a lesson around teamwork. With other kids, perhaps have them talk about what theme they want to draw with (dinosaurs, jungle, beach, bikes, etc.) and encourage conversation and collaboration with the theme idea.
Glitter Traffic Lights:
February is Black History Month in the US, and this easy art project is a great way to get your in-home childcare program talking about inventors, black history month, and traffic lights! Sound like an odd combo? In 1923, Garrett Morgan invented the current model of traffic light that we use today. He added the yellow “warning position” to the design and has been commemorated in Black History Month for his contributions. Preschoolers can participate in Black History Month too and this traffic light project is just the ticket!
What You’ll Need:
This kids art project is seriously simple. You’ll need: black, red, green, and yellow craft paper, glitter paint in red, green, and gold, and some scissors and glue (for you). Cut rectangles out of the black paper and circles out of the red, yellow, and green craft paper. Make sure that the circles are small enough that 3 of them can fit on the black rectangle. You’ll need enough traffic lights for every child in your program.
How It Works:
Depending on your style and the age of the kids in your in-home daycare program, you may choose to have the children pick and glue their traffic lights onto the black paper themselves. If that sounds like a hassle, feel free to glue them on before your in-home childcare program starts for the day.
Set up each child with a traffic light, just a little bit of each glitter paint color, and a paintbrush. Demonstrate how they will match the colors and paint the litter onto their traffic light.
Egg Carton Flowers:
Who says that only April showers can bring flowers? Using recycled egg cartons is a great way to bring some spring into your in home childcare program in the midst of the wind and snow, and to start a discussion about how to reuse and recycle seemingly ordinary house products into really beautiful art projects! Only a few kinds of paint are needed, and this is a seriously simple art project that you can either send home with the child or keep and use to decorate your in home daycare space.
What You’ll Need:
This child art project calls for acrylic paint, cardboard egg cartons (NOT foam), paper straws, small pom poms, scissors, glue, small paper plates, and several paintbrushes. Your children won’t need any water for this activity, as it helps brighten the flowers to have the paint mix on the paintbrush. If you don’t have any paper straws, paint some popsicle sticks green and you’ll be good to go. We recommend using lighter paint colors; pink, yellow, light blue, and light purple. Keeping it pastel themed will help keep the art project looking bright and beautiful for the children in your daycare program.
How It Works:
Cut the egg carton into sections of 4 egg containers (cups). Trim around the edges so that the cubs have a rounder shape (like the petals of a flower). This can be done ahead of time, so you are ready to go when the children in your program arrive.
To prep the paint, pour a little bit of each color (or let the kids choose which colors they want) onto a small paper plate. Better to err on the side of less paint here, as overloading the egg cups can result in the paint soaking all the way through the cardboard (which will take until next February to dry).
Have your kids paint the inside of the flower. Mixing paint is strongly encouraged!
Once the painting is complete, set aside the flowers to dry. After an hour or so, you should be set to hot glue a small pom pom in the middle of the flower, and the paper straw or green popsicle stick to the back of the flower. Align the paper straw between 2 egg cups, with the top of the straw in the middle of the backside of the 4-cups.
From there, simply let the hot glue dry and then either send the February flowers home with each child or use them to decorate your in home daycare program!