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Crafty Learning: Build an Educational Foundation on Your Fridge!

Butterflies, and maps, and flags, oh my! Teach your little ones on the sly with these crafty projects.

View any proud parents’ refrigerator, and you’ll find many crafty creations from their little ones. From tissue paper hearts to abstract family portraits, every item is created with love and pulls on the heartstrings. There’s a lot more to the creation of these masterpieces than meets the eye though. Through crafting, our kids are refining fine motor skills as they learn about color, shape, symmetry, letters, sounds, and so much more.

Crafty learning produces amazing art forms while building an educational foundation for language, math, science, and social studies. As our preschoolers make galleries on the fridge and the playroom walls, they are also making huge strides in their cognitive development. I Can Teach My Child has a great list for stocking up on the essentials, so fill your craft bins and check out these fun and educational activities to let the learning begin!

Crafty Learning Activities by Subject

Language

 

Letter of the Week

Hit your local craft store for wooden letter cutouts or make your own from heavy tag board or cardboard. Display the letter of the week on the fridge and have your little one collect objects, draw pictures, and cut out words that begin with the weekly letter. Glue items on the letter at week’s end for a fun display that can eventually cover the whole alphabet and decorate playroom or bedroom walls. A shortened version could be to do the letters of your child’s name.

Alphabet Book

Print off letters to create an alphabet book. Kids can draw, print words, or cut out pictures of items that start with each letter to decorate the pages. You can visit Chubbie Cubbie for free printable letters. A shortened version of this activity could be a name book.

Picture Retelling

After reading a story, have kids create a picture of a favorite character or scene. This also becomes a great conversation piece as your child retells the story or details whenever the image is admired.

Math

Macaroni Patterns

What mom or dad doesn’t want to proudly don a macaroni necklace? With a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes, children can make simple or elaborate patterns and designs on yarn or twine. This is a great opportunity to talk about patterns and design.

Holiday Symmetry

How convenient that so many holiday symbols are symmetrical! As you fold construction paper to use those fine motor skills and cut out hearts, clovers, pumpkins, and Christmas trees, talk about the symmetry of these items. Add some sparkle and personal flair for great holiday décor.

Number Poster or Book

Printable numbers can be just as crafty as letters. Create a book, poster, or Number of the Week with the numbers 1-9. Let children glue on a representative number of objects (e.g., leftover macaroni, pompoms, and buttons) or draw the correct amount of their own shape/symbol choice for each number.

Science

Chromatography Butterflies

Love this exploration of water and color from Buggy and Buddy! Take coffee filter and markers and just add water for this fun experiment that can transform into adorable butterflies.

Constellation Crafts

Finding the shapes in the stars is exciting all on its own, and Artsy Momma has a great way to capture the moment indoors. There are lots of interstellar ideas here, but I’m excited about trying the glow in the dark star and glitter glue combination to recreate constellations.

Sound Wave Phones

The days of phones with cords may be long gone for our kids, but the fun of old-fashioned string phones is still a great educational activity. We Made That has a quick and easy how-to explanation for this age old experiment. Let the kids get crafty by personalizing their side of the line with color and bling.

Social

Studies

Neighborhood Map

Help your child make a simple map of the neighborhood. This could consist of the houses on your street or a short map to a neighborhood landmark or park. They can do detailed designs of homes and buildings with construction paper or just basic drawings of key landmarks. A great introduction to maps and a good resource for helping kids learn about their immediate community.

Cultural Rainsticks

Making their own musical instruments is sure to be a hit! Education.com has a simple and inexpensive design for rainsticks that will be music to your ears. Crafts from other cultures are great way to kick off discussions about diversity.

Flag Painting

Melissa and Doug share tips for helping your little ones create flag paintings. Kids study the flag and learn the background information for its design. A great extension activity would be researching flags for states and/or other countries.



With a few materials and a lot of fun, crafts are a great way to spark cognitive development. Kids will cut, color, and create wonderful keepsakes while also reaping all the unseen educational benefits. Opening our eyes to crafty learning will have us viewing refrigerator displays with a whole new appreciation!


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