When developing curriculum, daycare providers must include age-appropriate activities for young children that develop fine motor skills. This marshmallow stamping and painting activity will support an fine arts unit as well as promote visual motor coordination, bilateral coordination, and hand strength.
Fine motor skills are actions that involve the small movement of hands, wrists, feet, fingers, toes, tongue, and lips. In contrast with gross motor skills which involve larger muscles of the arms, legs and feet, fine motor skills focus on small muscle movements in coordination with the eye. Some important fine motor concepts and skills that preschool age children learn to master are bilateral coordination, visual motor coordination, grasp, hand use, manipulation skills, pincer grasp, wrist rotation, pre-writing grasp, hand strength, and tactile awareness.
Children learn fine motor skills through practice. Activities which involve writing, drawing, cutting, stringing, and buttoning are great examples of activities that promote the development of fine motor skills.
This marshmallow stamping activity includes the preparation instructions, procedure, and materials list for this activity. It also provides age-appropriate learning objectives and a sample of the simple supporting verbal cues necessary to encourage participation and support learning.
Marshmallow Stamping Materials
For each child you will need:
- Art paper
- Sticks (wooden sticks, craft or popsicle sticks, about 6 inches)
- Jumbo sized marshmallows
- Tempura paint in a variety of colors
- Shallow dishes for paint
- Butcher paper
Cover the activity table with butcher paper. Set out art paper for each child. Put tempura in shallow dishes. Set out one large marshmallow and one stick for each color of paint. Put one marshmallow on the end of each stick and then one inside each paint dish. Invite the children over to art area. Explain to them that you are stamp on the paper with the marshmallow to make creative prints. Let the children paint with marshmallows.
Fine Motor Learning Objectives
Objective 1: To provide the opportunity for increased visual-motor coordination, bilateral coordination, hand strength, and pincher grasp by using the marshmallow on a stick as a paint brush.
Verbal Cue A: Can you dip the marshmallow in the paint?
Verbal Cue B: Can you stamp the paper with the marshmallow?
Objective 2: To encourage spontaneity in material usage by allowing the children to choose the colors for their painting.
Verbal Cue A: What color marshmallow stamp would you like to use?
Verbal Cue B: Would you like to use the green marshmallow stamp?
Objective 3: The child will use new tools to create designs.
Verbal Cue A: Can you use the marshmallow on the stick like a paint brush?
Verbal Cue B: I like how you stamping with the marshmallow paint brush.
Children in your child day care center will create a unique work of art while enhancing their fine motor skills.
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