Making a mural is a great opportunity for learning, especially cooperative learning. When I was teaching PreK I had a very spirited class and although I made many missteps as a new teacher one thing I did well was to encourage cooperative art projects when bad behaviors started popping up. Murals aren’t only great for making kids work together they are also wonderful for long term projects, getting up from the table to learn and encouraging kids to use proper hand form for writing while writing and drawing on vertical surfaces. Each of these mural projects have other more specific learning goals like shape recognition, counting and fine motor skills but the emphasis is always on fun.
Spring Garden Mural
Math Around The House Mural
Flower Petal Sticky Wall
Heart Rainbow Mural
Letter Flowers Sticky Wall
Jar Lid Match Mural
Peel & Pick Apple Tree
Alphabet Wall Mural
Ocean Shapes Mural
Christmas Tree Sticky Wall
by Allison McDonald We have been doing so many playdough and other sensory activities lately that it was about time to get back to a simple and playful alphabet activity. This alphabet activity is part of our Alphabet For Starters series. This series is all about playing with letters, discovering them without pressure. This alphabet garden is super simple but can be made more challenging with a few simple changes.
- Gather your materials. You will need some contact paper ( rumor has it that the dollar store is carrying it now! ), some green construction paper, multi-color construction paper, scissor and a marker or two.
- Attach the contact paper to the wall sticky side out. She loves to “get stuck” on the wall .
- Next step is making some grass. Fold your green paper, and cut.
- Next cut some stems and flowers. I did tulips because they are easy to free hand cut.
- Add letters to your flowers. Now here is where you can easily customize this activity. For my daughter I did plain old lowercase letters. You can do upper or a mix or write letters on the stems and have it turn into a match game.
- Set the pieces out and let your kiddo explore.
- My daughter loves flowers and she got right into it. We talked about the letters, the colors of the flowers and how the stems are different lengths. Don’t pressure young kids to do every letter. My daughter put a handful on while we played the first time and then I left it all set up and a few days letter she returned and added a few more. I will leave it up for a few more days and I am sure she will keep adding a few every day. The whole point is to play and discover letters. As she adds the letters to the wall she naturally says ” Look this is A, it’s your letter Mama!” and we talk about it .
If you are looking for a more traditional letter of the week approach we have many letter of the week ideas here. My son loved cutting and pasting so we made fun letter crafts when he was learning his letters. Find what works best for your child, what they enjoy and don’t forget to have fun!
Like many of my activities this sticky window was spur of the moment. I was trying to get ready for our family trip to Texas and my 2 year old had already watched more TV than I care to admit. We needed an easy and fun activity . This was perfect. I had a bouquet of flowers that I was going to have to throw away before we left anyway so it was even better that we could use it for this. If you don’t have a bouquet of wilting flowers on hand you can use leaves, grass clippings, pine cones, etc… Go on a nature walk and see what will stick!
- Gather your materials. You will need some contact paper, painter’s tape, scissors and flowers or other bits of nature. I used markers to make some stems and the start of the mural but it was totally NOT needed. I wish I had not done this. The flowers and sticky window is enough. I would have put up another sheet of contact paper but it’s expensive and my daughter was waiting.
- Tape the contact paper on the window. The way I do this is to peel a little bit back and tape the top. The sticky side is facing YOU. The carefully peel the backing off. Tape all the other sides down with the painter’s tape.
- Prep the flowers in a bowl or container for your child. My daughter loved just playing with the flowers , pulling them apart and investigating. I loved watching her.
- Stick the flowers on. She was totally into this and it was such pretty addition to our kitchen.
We needed some extra happy cheer in our playroom after a week of cold, gloomy weather. My kids had fun making something cheerful for their playroom while working on fine motor skills, color recognition and counting. Oh and cooperative projects like these were always the very first thing I’d set up for my class ( and now my kids) when bickering started popping up. Working together has a great way of allowing them to work out their differences and feel like a team again.
- Gather your materials. You will need some contact paper ( or craft paper with double stick tape ) , many sheets of all different color paper, a heart punch, and markers in every color of the rainbow.
- Start by pinning the contact paper to the wall sticky side out. I prefer contact paper because it allows kids to change where they put a heart if they don’t like their original placement. I pop the paper on with the backing still on then peel. I find it way easier than putting in on with the sticky already exposed.
- Next punch out a whole bunch of hearts. My kids helped with some but I did most of the punching .
- Draw the rainbow with markers directly on the contact paper.
- Set up a heart station ( ours was a plate and a stool) by the contact paper.
- Let them at it.My daughter liked taking her time finding the exact right spot for each heart. My son liked gathering a handful of one color and adding them on in a bunch. Clearly they weren’t having any fun at all.
- My daughter fizzled out about half way through, if I was making this for just toddlers I’d make a much much smaller rainbow and maybe larger hearts as well. My son and I had a race to see which colors could be filled in first. I was reminded how much I love just working on something like this with my kids. It really does make you feel more like a team and is by far the number one reason we do projects together. He counted each color to see which won and noticed that of course the first few colors would have more than the last few. I love it when learning like that comes so naturally in a self directed way.
- All done. Now our gloomy winter weather can’t bring us down.
My kids love sticky murals and this one was a big hit with my toddler. This Christmas tree craft is fun to make and the best part is that you can keep adding to it for the days and weeks ahead.Also now our playroom has it’s very own Christmas tree that doesn’t need to be watered and is safe for kids too!
- Gather your materials. You will need some green wrapping paper ( ours is glittery and awesome but messy when cut), contact paper, tissue paper in various colors , buttons ( optional) , a pencil, scissors and painter’s tape.
- Start by cutting out a Christmas tree from your wrapping paper.
- Trace onto the backing of the contact paper.
- Tape the tree to your wall using painter’s tape. Place the cut out contact paper on top and hold and peel. Tape it to the wall with more painter’s tape as your peel the backing off. The contact paper should be sticky side out.
- Invite your decorators. Give them the tissue paper and have them rip, crumple and stick it on.
- This was OK for my son but this activity really appealed to my 2 year old, she LOVED it.
- Add some buttons!
- Talk about colors and shapes while they work. She even found a googly eye in the button jar and added it on. She was so proud of her tree she wanted a picture with it.
Stick Man by Julia Donaldson tickles my funny bone and my son thought it was funny and full of adventure too. Stick Man is a happy stick who loves with his stick family until a dog grabs him and he ends up far from his family but determined to get home. As the seasons change he is used as many things from a sword, a bat and even an arm for a snowman. After that he ends up in a fireplace just as a certain jolly old guy gets stuck in the chimney. This is a unique story we both enjoyed , you will never look at another stick in your child’s hands without wondering what it’s been turned into .
How Santa Got His Job by Stephen Krensky is a fun and surprisingly practical story about Santa and how he developed the skills needed for his one of a kind job. It starts with Santa as a young man and as he keeps bouncing from job to job he acquires skills like going in and out of chimneys as a chimney sweep with ease and without getting dirty, develops a relationship with reindeer as a zoo worker and gets chubby eating all the food at a all night diner gig! There are more but i don’t want to spoil the story. My son loved it, especially once the elves showed up, which was when the toys did too! I know when i was a kid I wanted to know how Santa got his job, and there are movies dedicated to this so this book jumped on the bandwagon and did a great job , it’s very cute!
Bear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma Wilson is such a heartwarming story about friendship. Bear is hibernating but his friends wake him up to celebrate Christmas. It’s not easy at first , Bear is super sleepy and wants nothing more than to cuddle back up and fall back to sleep. They get a tree, decorate it, hang their stockings and sing carols. When all the other animals snuggle in and go to sleep Bear stays up. He is busily making gifts for all his friends, he is so busy he doesn’t even notice Santa coming and filling the stockings. He delights in the friendship and when his friends present him with a lovely quilt, he snuggles under and goes back to sleep happy and filled with friendship. This is such a wonderful book , I love it’s focus on friendship and the excitement of giving gifts!This post contains affiliate links