Engaging preschoolers in western crafts does more than just keep them entertained. Crafts teach young children and help them work on basic motor skills. By involving the children both mentally and physically, you make learning fun. However, it's important to stick with age-appropriate activities to ensure student safety.
Paper Bag Vest
Teach your preschoolers about the old west with a sheriff vest craft. Prepare the craft by gathering a paper bag for each child. Cut two arm holes, one head hole and an opening in the front of each bag. Give each child a vest and ask them to decorate it with western images. Let preschoolers use markers, paints, yarn, stickers and glue to decorate their vests. You can also cut out yellow stars for the preschoolers to decorate and glue to their vests.
Help preschoolers understand a primary feature of a western landscape; cactus. Cut out a large cactus shape from green paper for each child. Have each child glue his cactus to a piece of blue paper. Each preschooler adds small dots of glue to his cactus and scatters rice over the picture. Once the pictures dry, students shake off the excess rice to reveal a prickly cactus picture.
Entertain preschoolers with a bandanna craft to get them into a western outlaw mood. Each child starts with a triangle of plain cloth big enough to tie around the neck. The preschooler places his bandanna on a covered surface and uses fabric paint and markers to decorate the fabric. Once the fabric dries, each student wears his bandanna for the rest of the day.
Teach preschoolers about basic painting and the many uses of hay with a western hay painting craft. Set up a covered area for painting and give each child a piece of thick white paper. Place assorted paints in small cups and give each child a handful of hay. Students use the hay instead of a paintbrush to create the picture. Remind students to keep with a western theme by painting cactus, horses, cows, barns and other popular western images.
Use a slithering snake craft to introduce preschoolers to some of the creatures of the west. Give each child a piece of white paper cut into a snake shape. Set up different pictures of snake skins, such as rattlesnakes and cornsnakes. Ask preschoolers to use markers and crayons to decorate each snake with a realistic pattern. Once finished, students can use the snake as a "pet" or wrap it around their waists as a belt.
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