I love preschool crafts and art projects but there is a huge debate in the preschool world about using crafts. Here is my opinion; they serve a purpose. Crafts aren’t art. Kids need to explore and create art freely with access to lots of materials and wide-open boundaries, where they focus on the process, not the product. That said, crafting is hugely beneficial when it’s added to a curriculum with ample opportunity to create and explore art. These preschool crafts work on fine motor development and skills like color and shape recognition and can help support other lessons at preschool. When done at home with a loving adult, it’s also a special together time. If you scroll back on my site, you’ll see my now teenager and me crafting together when he was just a toddler. That time together was priceless. Crafts aren’t art, but they aren’t the enemy either. Here are my favorite 35 preschool crafts that I have used at home and with students.
The best thing about these crafts is that they use everyday materials you may already have at home or in your classroom. For more everyday learning, check out my new book – Everyday Preschool!
Preschool Art Projects That Use Paper Plates
So I didn’t realize just how many of my favorite preschool crafts use paper plates, but as you can see, it’s a lot. They are handy items to have on hand in your preschool for eating, painting, and of course to use for art activities for preschoolers.
- Heart Rainbow I can’t resist rainbows, and this one made from hearts gives children a chance to manipulate shapes while creating. Of course, there don’t have to be any rules about making a standard rainbow. My preschoolers rarely do!
- Paper Plate Tree Frog I just think these guys are cute, but they also support preschool science learning about life cycles!
- Paper Plate Emotions Masks Learning about emotions and crafting mash together in this must-do activity.
- Ladybug Craft is a classic preschool art project that uses paper plates, and I love it!
- Puffy Paint Cookie Craft Yum. If you have time after making the pretend cookie, you should bake some real ones together too.
- Puffy Paint Pumpkin I do this sensory-focused craft every fall, and students love it. Of course, you could cut out faces and turn them into jack-o-lanterns too!
- Paper Plate Pig Pigs are rad. That’s all I have to say about this and all other farm animal preschool crafts!
- Snowglobe Snowman Who doesn’t love a snowman?
- Paper Plate Butterfly This is a great preschool art activity for using up the random craft supplies that accumulate every year!
- Matisse Inspired Snail The best way to learn about fine art is to make something!
What Are Some Good Crafts For Preschoolers?
Here are some of my favorite crafts for preschoolers that allow your students to really work on specific skills like developing their fine motor skills.
- Paper Bag Jellyfish These paper bag jellyfish are a fun way to work on scissor skills with preschoolers.
- Yarn Nest This was one of my first crafts that got noticed online. It’s a fun spring craft that helps support learning all about birds and nests but as children make the nests, they are working hard on developing their pincer grasp
- Mother’s Day Bouquet Craft This is a simple craft that my preschoolers have absolutely loved every year I’ve done it with them. It’s so simple, but they get so into making something special for someone they love. Another idea that uses artificial flowers is this flower tray, which is great for fine motor development!
- Button Letter Craft This tactile letter activity is great for children just starting to notice the importance of letters, but it’s also great for children who need to work on fine motor skills. This means it’s great for everyone because they all need to work on them!
- Marshmallow Rainbow Trust me, they won’t eat them all. They will, however, be counting while making this and sorting by color. Two important preschool skills.
- Clothespin Dinosaur this preschool craft is one of my all-time favorites and helps develop children’s hand-eye coordination. All these Dinosaur activities are always a hit with preschoolers.
- Toy Parachute, I’m going to brag for a minute. Last year when my then 4th grader had to start learning virtually, this got sent home for a STEM project. I was like, hmm, I recognize that parachute! This isn’t just a good craft for older kids it’s one of my favorite crafts for preschoolers too.
- Paper Roll Fish Craft Save those tp rolls for crafts and make a whole school of fish!
My Favorite Holiday Preschool Projects
Preschool crafts aren’t art, in my class, we do a lot of free – process-focused- art, but when it comes to the holidays, we will make some special preschool projects that are crafts. Here are some of my favorite holiday preschool crafts!
- Paper Roll Frankenstien Have you seen this before? It went viral on Pinterest when I first shared it eons ago.
- 4th of July Mural I’m not sure this photo does this 4th of July craft justice. It’s stunning in person and a great family or class group project.
- Rock Easter Eggs It’s worth getting acrylic paint just to make these. So cute! I have so many fun Easter crafts, but I think these might be my favorite.
- Heart Family Portrait this little heart family is the cutest!
- Coffee Filter Hearts Work on fine motor skills with this fun Valentine’s day preschool project.
- Masking Tape Mummy Are you getting sick of me extolling the wonders of fine motor skills? Well, this craft does a wonderful job at making something fun for Halloween and working on those all-important fine motor skills.
- Shape Nativity I teach at a church-affiliated preschool, and this craft is a favorite. Not only do we celebrate the origins of Christmas with it, but we also learn more about how shapes work together to make different forms.
- Family Portrait Celebrate family during any number of holidays or any time of year with this fun and process-focused craft.
- Cork Love Bugs I guess we will need to have some wine so we can make these love bugs!
- Paper Hug Hugs aren’t just for Valentine’s day. Send one to someone you love any time of year.
- Milk Carton Bird Feeder I love doing this activity around Earth Day because it teaches children to care for their fellow animals while also learning about recycling.
- Squish Monsters I made these squish monsters over zoom with my preschoolers during virtual preschool and we all had a blast!
- Q-tip Painted Easter Eggs are simple and totally amazing.
- Hot Glue and Watercolor Hearts These are incredibly beautiful crafts for preschoolers.
Good Shape Crafts for Preschool
- Shape Tree Use different colors of shapes based on the season you are in while crafting. A bright green and pink one would be beautiful for springtime.
- Shape Bulldozer This simple shape craft actually touches on many skills from scissor skills, shape recognition, counting, and pre-writing too!
- This Shape Snowflake is a fun shape craft and helps children learn that no two snowflakes are ever alike!
- I love making Shape Scarecrows at the beginning of the year, it helps me see what my students know about shapes before I dive into teaching too far.
- This Mosaic Heart shape craft works on scissor skills simultaneously as spatial ones!
- I could have put the paper plate pizza craft in the first section of this list of preschool crafts, but it’s a shape craft and belongs here.
Need more than just preschool crafts?
Check out Everyday Preschool. Check it out on Amazon here! Teachers and parents alike are raving about how much they like the over 170 simple educational activities included in this book.
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