Spring Torn Paper Flower Garden

Springtime brings green fields and blooming flowers. In this torn paper collage project, little artists create bouquets of “flowers” by tearing and crumbling construction paper and tissue paper.

Eric Carle Inspired Animals

Little artists paint poster board with crazy lines and textures, then “put the puzzle together” by gluing the cut out stripes, spots, legs, and faces of Eric Carle inspired animals. This project can be adapted to any Eric Carle animal, we made a zebra, monkeys, a cheetah, and panthers.

Painting With Air

Little artists blow air through drinking straws to move liquid watercolors across the page. Salt is added while the paint is still wet, as it dries, the salt absorbs water creating interesting speckles and textures.

Old Fashioned Clothes Pin Dolls

Making old fashioned clothes pin dolls is a delightful one on one project in which little artist and grown up work together. Little artists choose clothes, hair, and identities for the dolls, grown ups handle the hot gluing, then artists play with their new collaborative creations.

Sun Catchers (Made with Recycled Plastic Lids)

Recycled plastic lids are filled with glue, liquid watercolors are added and little artists swirl, blend, and pull the colors into beautiful patterns and shapes. After the glue dries, these sun catchers pop out of the lids and can be hung in windows to glow in the sunshine.

Dance Drawings

Listen to music and draw like you are dancing! In this mixed media project, little artists close their eyes and draw like their hand is dancing across the page. Adding watercolor on top of the dancing lines creates a colorful finished composition.

Monster Eyes

My son Roger started calling these little creations “Monster Eyes” and the name stuck. In this sculpture project, little artists play with model magic and markers and then add eyes to their “monsters.”

Styrofoam Plate Prints

In this printmaking project, little artists carve designs into the back of Styrofoam plates to create their own relief prints.

What is Play Free and Create?

Play Free and Create highlights open ended art projects designed for toddlers and preschoolers. These projects emphasize play and process while encouraging exploration and experimentation.