For a simple spin on a classic medium, try colored glue! Children love glue, in fact, more than once I’ve prepared a collage type activity, only to have some of the children spend the entire time playing with the glue, and never using it to adhere anything to the paper! Well, it’s time to let glue have a well-deserved turn in center stage! Simply add food coloring or water color powder to regular old Elmer’s and mix with a popsicle stick, right inside the bottle. Put the caps back on and you’re ready to fire! (Well, nearly. It’s actually best if you have time to leave them on their sides, and rotate a time or two to get the color mixed in fully. That is, if it didn’t mix completely when you stirred.)
Depending upon their fine motor control and strength, your wee ones can fill their art papers with color straight from the bottle, or with paint brushes (fill baby food jar lids with the colored glue and have them use small “watercolor brushes”). Either way, you will be building fine motor skills while also fostering creativity.
The glue is a fun medium, different from paint in the way it flows, spreads, and dries. Talk about these differences with your preschoolers to enhance their critical thinking skills as well as language skills.
With the open-ended nature of this project, you may be surprised what other concepts your children will bring into play. Some may experiment with mixing colors, while others will use the glue to write some of their favorite letters in the alphabet. (Writing with glue requires fine motor strength, but the motion required for shaping the letters is larger, coming from the arm rather than the hand, making it a bit easier for beginning writers.) Color some glue and set your budding artisans free! You may be pleasantly surprised with what they come up with!