School is out, but before you and your children jump into summer activities, take some time to wind down together. Enjoy sleeping in. Soak up some sun. Watch clouds sail overhead. And try this Fun and Easy Art Activity for Creative Kids, called Circles of Fun.
It doesn’t take many materials or time, and it’s neat enough for indoor fun—have I said fun enough? It also encourages some quiet creativity, without screens!
Circles of Fun is a printing project, simple enough for preschoolers, but with a few variations and suggestions, can easily challenge older children.
The only thing you need to think ahead about is to save cardboard tubes!!
In this post you’ll find 6 things:
- Supply list
- Step-by-step directions for the activity
- Easy clean-up tips
- 8 Variations to extend the activity or make it more challenging
- 4 Ways the activity aids children’s mental, physical, and social development
- A short kid-friendly devotion
- Paint (tempera or acrylic; watercolors won’t work well)
- Paper plates or recycled plastic containers for paint puddles
- Cardboard tubes
- Crayons or markers
- Find other circular-shaped items around the house, such as pencil erasers, bottle caps, glue stick covers, etc.
- Spread thin puddles of different colors of paint around your plates or plastic containers
- Set cardboard tube up in each paint puddle
- Demonstrate how to go up and down with the tubes on their paper—explain that they are printing, not painting
Some children like everything very orderly, while others like to mix things up. No one way is correct or better. Some children will want to return each tube to its color before changing to a new color, but if they end up mixing colors on one tube, that’s an opportunity to see color blends and talk about how that happens.
If you have children of both types, try this solution to prevent arguments: provide a separate plain container for used tubes. As these dry they can be used again, and since cardboard tubes are pretty abundant, provide a stash of new ones, too.
Okay, Let ‘em loose! Have fun!
Easy Clean Up Tips
- Put an old plastic tablecloth down to collect spills
- Have paper towels and wipes handy to wipe fingers
- Have an old plastic container, such as a dish-washing tub to dump all disposables in
- Use cheap paper plates for the paint puddles and then toss
8 Variations to extend the activity or make it more challenging
- Suggest children see how many circles they can make before the color gets too faint. Ask which they like better—the bright colors or those that are lighter.
- If you have large enough stamp pads, children can try these instead of paint. Neater, but not as bright:)
- Create a pattern of different size circles or colors and encourage younger children to repeat your pattern.
- Use crayons or markers to color in the various shapes created by the overlapping circles. Whenever they cross a line, they must change colors. They could use all the colors or just cool or warm colors. I dare you to stop, once you start this!!!
- Use some of the circles to create people or animal faces.
- Use circles to create things, such as a caterpillar or a bike.
- Use the cardboard tubes and other circular objects to create designs and patterns.
- Print the random circles or designs on large sheets of paper and use as wrapping paper for presents.
4 Ways the activity aids children’s mental, physical, and social development
- Circles of Fun helps develop visual/spatial skills and how to understand and use visual information—important in learning to interpret photos, graphs, maps, etc.
- When children make choices in creating art, it enhances problem-solving skills.
- Discussing their choices builds vocabulary and social skills.
- Children improve fine motor skills as they print up and down.
A Short Kid-Friendly Devotion
When you printed your circle masterpieces, you probably printed many to overlap or cross over each other to make interconnected designs. Sometimes at home or school, we’re part of a group playing a game or working on a project. God created us to enjoy these special times with family and friends.
But brothers and sisters and friends may disagree about how to play a game or how to complete a project. How does that make everyone feel? What can we do when that happens?
In the Bible, God has given us the very best way to get along with others and settle arguments so everyone can have fun. He tells us we are to love each other (John 13:34-35). God also wants us to treat others the way we want to be treated (Matthew 7:12).
- What are some ways you can show love to brothers, sisters, and friends when you disagree about something?
- What are some ways you could treat your brother, sister, or friend when you have a disagreement? Would you like them to listen to what upset you?
Prayer: Thank you, Lord for giving us our friends and family. Please help us love them and treat them the way we want to be treated. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Molly and I were soaking up some sun this week, and we found a sprinkler just her size. She didn’t want to drink from it, but she cooled off as she bobbed for cheerios! What kinds of fun do you enjoy with friends and family in the summer?
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