Integrating the Arts in Kindergarten

Kindergarten has changed so much since I was in Mrs. Ryan's half day class back in the 80's. Kindergartners have gone from playing house to being expected to read and write by the end of their first year in school full time. While I could debate the merits and pitfalls of these changes at length I prefer to focus on how to incorporate more of this creative energy alongside the push for academics.
I was fortunate to teach in schools that still had full time art teachers that saw my students on a weekly basis so I knew they were getting solid art instruction regularly, however I feel that in kindergarten especially the need to practice writing, painting, coloring within the lines and cutting with scissors is essential for fine motor development.  One of the ways that I integrate arts alongside my instruction is through the use of paper crafts, often called craftivities, that accompany our read alouds, comprehension and writing work.
These crafts require students to really focus their attention to building strong scissor skills which help in so may aspects of a child's development.  If you have an administrator or even parent that is less than enthusiastic about your cute little paper crafts lining the walls and wants to know how this could possibly be helping students, then I have a little one page info sheet that you can quietly slip into their mailbox or backpack. (Click on the image to download a printable copy.)
If you need some really great advice for helping those kiddos in your class that have never picked up a scissors before entering your classroom and you don't know where to start with them, Mama OT is a FANTASTIC resource for parents and teachers, I use lots of her ideas with my 3 year old all the time.

Here are just a few of my favorite craftivities. Click on the pictures for the printables!


 

 










Thanks for reading and happy crafting!

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