I have heard from many of you that you are looking for projects that do not take a lot of prep time. While I am in the process of working on a series dedicated to quick, but meaningful projects, I wanted to share our Shape Jack-O-Lanterns explore shape recognition, fine motor development, creativity, writing skills, language development, Fall and Halloween! Yes, all of that and all you need are orange and black construction paper, computer print-out, glue and scissors! So much fun for your children and less than 10 minutes of prep time for you!
WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE SHAPE JACK-O-LANTERNS
orange and black construction paper
My Jack-o-Lantern Sheet (print here- one per child)
AREAS OF DEVELOPMENT ENHANCED BY MAKING SHAPE JACK-O-LANTERNS
fine motor development
TIME TO MAKE SHAPE JACK-O-LANTERNS!
Prior to introducing the activity cut small shapes (squares, rectangles, circles, triangles) out of black construction paper and large circles out of orange construction paper. Print copies of the My Jack-o-Lantern Sheet ( click here to print My Jack-o-Lantern Sheet).
Introduce the activity by giving each child a large orange circle and access to the black shapes. We are going to make jack-o-lanterns today! You can choose any of the shapes to make the faces. What shape do you want for the eyes? Circle, rectangle, square or triangle? (point to each as you name them). Charlotte wants circles. How many do you want? Demonstrate how you can use a small amount of glue to stick the shapes on the jack-o-lanterns. Remember when working with children it is important to focus on the process of the art project rather than the end product. If your child wants 7 eyes, a nose, and puts the mouth on top of the head that is fine. Honor where your child is in that moment. The most important thing to do is to give your child access to materials and talk to your child while they are working. I promise you they are learning. You can learn more about process over product here.
After your child decides his shape jack-o-lantern is complete, give him a copy of the My Jack-o-Lantern Sheet. Now we are going to write about our shape jack-o-lanterns! Let’s read the paper together. Help your child by slowly reading the words and pointing to the individual words as you read. The act of pointing and reading is an important pre-reading (and writing) skill. My children are at different writing stages. At almost 5 my son is beginning to independently write using inventive spelling (writing the words as they sound). Being 2 years old, my daughters are focusing on telling me their thoughts as they watch me write the words known as dictations. Dictations are an important pre-writing and reading skill. Help your children fill in the blanks on the sheet. So much learning is occurring! Your children are working on language development, reading and writing skills, shape recognition, counting, addition, spacial awareness, fine motor skills and creativity.
Demonstrate the importance of your children’s work by taping the jack-o-lanterns and My Jack-o-Lantern Sheets to the wall. Your children will love showing off their hard work!
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