How to make lions in preschool

by Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. on January 17, 2012

in Creative Art

Making lions with three year olds can be tricky because they can either become a little too much on the craftsy side and the teacher ends up doing most of the work, or they can end up not looking so much like lions…

I did a little demonstration for the kids on how I might make a lion. I added eyes, a nose, some whiskers, and then used a cotton ball dipped in yellow and orange paint to add the mane…

I don’t always demonstrate the art process but when I know the process may be a little abstract, I take a minute to demonstrate. While demonstrating the process, I might say…

“What is the first thing our lion face will need?”

“Does anyone know what a mane is?”

“Hmmm, I think I will dab my paint to make the lion’s mane but how else could I add the paint?”

Essentially, we have a discussion about the process. I ask questions to promote the discussion and as the children answer my questions, I continue to “think out loud” and make my lion…

Then off the children go to interpret the discussion and the process the way they understood it…

In the end, the children’s lions turned out far more interesting than my boring old lion…

I know that some folks out there may frown on the fact that I sometimes demonstrate the art process but just know that I don’t demonstrate it in such a way that the children feel they must do it “the right way.” I demonstrate the process intentionally using words like “perhaps, maybe, or if I like” so the children can see the process but at the same time hear me processing (out loud) the different choices I might make while painting my lion.  Once the children start on their own lions, they know that there is no right or wrong way to make a lion…

This is what we read with this activity: 

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