At the beginning of the school year, it's so important to start off by building strong relationships with each child. During those first couple of weeks we make an even more concerted effort than usual to spend as much quality time as we can with each child. That might be reading a story with them, joining them as they build with blocks or do a puzzle, helping them say hi to a new friend, or any of the other million and one things that are new and sometimes intimidating to a first time preschooler.
Although I'm often tempted to jump right in with providing super fun and messy art activities, those tend to require quite a bit of teacher involvement and supervision, especially since many of the children have rarely even held a paint brush! Staying stationed in one spot for most of the morning means that those important relationship building and one-on-one teacher-child interactions aren't happening with many of the children at this important stage in the game. The kids are just learning how to navigate this big new space and all the new people and things it contains, so they really need us to be with them every step of the way.
But I still want to provide something in the art area! I want them to know there will be fun activities awaiting them every day in that wonderful area. So I start off small:
A contac paper collage, with large scraps of construction paper needs little to no supervision. It's a nice little sensory experience, and can be switched up easily simply by providing different kinds of scraps.
A tray full of large stickers (I got mine at Discount School Supply) and small pieces of paper is simple and fun, with that bonus of fine motor development thrown in there.
Tape a huge piece of paper to a table with cans of crayons and pre-cut pieces of colored tape. So simple. So fun!
Various types of crayons spice things up a little :)
I always start off the year with my youngest kids with only one color of paint at the easel. Looks a little boring to us, but it's new and exciting for most of the kids. They'll quickly work their way up to being able to handle more!
How about you? How do you start off your school year in the art area? Have any simple activities the kids can do all by themselves? Share down below!