As part of a fall theme, many preschools, home day cares and families will be using pumpkins to celebrate, learn and play together. There are a plethora of pumpkin art ideas that can be picked from the Internet vine.
Pumpkin art brings up a good point about preschool art.
Once upon a time I entered a preschool and an excited young boy ran up and grabbed my hand. “I want to show you my pumpkin!” he explained as he pulled me across the room.
In front of us was a wall of pumpkins, or jack-o-lanterns really. Each was made from a paper plate painted orange with a glued on green stem and black facial features cut from construction paper. It’s a popular and fun pumpkin art idea that allows preschoolers to explore the concepts of colors and shapes and practice painting and gluing skills.
The excited little boy searched and searched each row and finally, disappointed, he said, “I don’t know which one is mine.”
After consulting the teacher and flipping up jack-o-lantern after jack-o-lantern, finally we were able to determine which one belonged to the proud pumpkin painter. By no means was this young boy scarred for life by the realization that he couldn’t tell his pumpkin from the others but the point here is that there are a couple of things that could have been done differently so that he could have identified his special pumpkin.
While that would have been nice, the even bigger point here is that these little changes in the preschool art activity would have also given him and the other students chances for more learning while enjoying their pumpkin art.
Why couldn’t the little boy find his pumpkin art?
They were all the same. Every jack-o-lantern had triangle eyes and noses and all of the triangles were uniform in size. They had obviously been precut. Read here for more on Why Precutting Cuts Out Preschool Learning. Think preschoolers can’t cut triangles? Give them a square and model that with one cutting stroke across the corner, they’ve just successfully cut a triangle.
Besides precutting, there was no variety in the choices to design these jack-o-lanterns. If children had been asked if they preferred “circles” or “triangles” or “squares,” they would have been receptively (pointing) or
expressively (naming) identifying a variety of shapes. Math would have also been involved as in “How many circles do you need?” Or “Do you both of your eyes to be squares or just one?” With a long thin strip of black paper these preschoolers could have made simple “snips” and been left with great teeth for their pumpkin art.
Read here for more ideas on offering the most learning opportunities in your Preschool Lesson Plans using successful theme teaching.
Given more time and opportunity, kids will create unique preschool art that they can proudly call their own. When preschoolers are allowed to do more and make more choices, learning opportunities increase. And isn’t that REALLY why we are making pumpkin art in preschool?