Preschool Art Activities Interest Center

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Preschool art activities are amazing and should happen every day in every preschool classroom!

In many classrooms, the Art Center consists of many shelves with many materials on them!

The tables used for art double as snack and lunch tables during the day.

The materials you might have for your art center are ENDLESS!

What Do Children Learn At The Art Interest Center

Preschool art activities help children’s development in many areas. Art can help children to:

  • Express feelings through manipulation of materials (such as clay, finger paint, etc.)
  • Express creativity and individuality
  • Learn about cause and effect
  • Develop the skill to plan (through choosing colors or materials to create)
  • Develop fine or small muscles
  • Develop eye-hand coordination
  • Develop language skills
  • Express creativity and use of their imaginations

Preschool art activities also help children to express creativity, use their imaginations and encourage self-expression.

How Should Teachers Prepare for Preschool Art Activities?

With art comes paint and with paint comes spills!

Be sure to have a water source near your art area or have your art area nearest to the sink or bathroom for easier clean-up!  

For more information on where to set up your classroom's interest learning centers, you can click here to read my Classroom Design article.

Our classroom was 100% carpeted:  no floor areas.

Therefore, we placed washable mats under our tables.  

I HIGHLY recommend them! 

You can use a shower curtain or a more durable mat like this one that we've used.

We placed this on the floor under the table but you could also use one ON the table!

Provide bins with materials that children can access.

Many teachers have materials available at this center at all times.

Others have only the items that will be available for a specific week out and in bins for the children.

Still others place the items to be used out for the children daily.

This is your choice based on your space, staffing and schedule set up.

Materials Needed for the Art Activities Interest Center

The materials to have on-hand are anything that will encourage creativity and imagination!

I could not possibly list all the items you could have, but here some ideas to get you started:


Paint brushes

Paint cups

Water cups

Glue sticks

Paper of all colors and sizes

Play dough (store bought & home made!)


Shaving cream


Glue sticks





Colored pencils


Themed Books


Craft Sticks

Pipe Cleaners

Paper Towel tubes



Nature Items (beware of allergies.

Again, the items to have are only limited to your own imagination!

Everything from tooth picks to brown grocery bags to aluminum foil to milk caps have a place in art!

CD Player—it is fun to have music playing during art! Try encouraging the children to “paint to the beat”!

Large bin with water for clean up; paint smocks and a specific place to put wet art objects to dry on!


One resource I simply could not do with out is

The Creative Curriculum for Preschool by Diane Trister Dodge.

I believe every classroom should have one!

If your program does not have a copy, check your local library or bookstore.

It is a wealth of information on interest centers and could not be more developmentally appropriate!

Did you know storing the glue gun's glue sticks in the freezer prevent that stringy thing from happening?

Did you know there's a way to get rid of the sap from pine cones before using them with the kids?

My Friend Amanda has 15 Awesome Tips To Keep Your Art Supplies Organized

Click Here to Check Them Out!

Art in the Preschool Classroom

There are so many benefits to planning regular preschool art activities in your classroom!  

I recommend having the art table and the Easel available to your preschoolers every day!

What about crafts?  Well, there is a difference between an art and a craft.  Plan intentionally.  

Click here to read my article where I discuss the difference.

Other pages you might like:

Go to Preschool Plan It's Home Page

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