Tag Archives: topics

Autumn leaves – cutting

:Autumn, Leaves, Trees, Hands

I saw this idea on Pinterest and adapted it to use with my autumn theme.

I recently purchased some yellow contact sticky paper on sale. Clear contact paper will be effective too.
I drew an outline of a leaf using a black koki pen. I folded the edge over so it would be quick and easy to pull off the paper for the children when I set out the activity.

Since the toddlers are limited with their cutting skills I cut red and yellow paper into strips and they enjoyed cutting it up and watching the pieces fall onto the sticky paper. Once the leaf was well covered I pasted a clear sheet over and cut out the leaf shape.

I painted a tree on the window and attached the leaves. With the light shining behind the leaves it was very effective.

• Make sure you can pull off the sticky paper easily when you present it to the children – its tricky to get the two layers to separate
• Be well prepared
• Some children just could not resist putting their hands on the leaves so some leaves never made it to the tree
• This activity is best suited to the 4-6 year olds
• If you don’t have contact paper, it is still effective on paper using glue • Instead of cutting the strips of paper, the children could tear the strips into pieces

CAPS outcomes

Subject: Life Skills
Study area: Creative arts

Create in 3D (constructing)
• Fine-motor and sensory co-ordination: (eye-hand-mind) manipulation of paint and other tools and equipment.
• Fine-motor and sensory co-ordination: (eye-hand-mind) manipulation of scissors and other tools and equipment.
• Craft skills and techniques: cutting, pasting, tearing

Subject: Home language
Skill: Handwriting
• Develops fine motor control using scissors to snip paper strips
• Develops eye- hand co-ordination through play e.g. cutting
• Develops small muscles skills through finger play, e.g. cutting

I applied the same concept to an activity I set out for the babies. I attached a sheet of clear contact paper to a low table. The babies enjoyed attaching and moving collage items on the contact paper. Some babies were more interested in sliding collage items under the paper, pulling off the masking tape and feeling the sticky surface with their hands.


Paper plate boats


This child wanted me in the boat too so I drew a picture of myself

This activity is suitable for a variety of themes: Boats, water transport, things that float, floating and sinking, shapes, fish and the beach and the sea.

Note: Before you present this activity to the children please do a clear demonstration to the children either in mat time or around the art table. Talk about the shapes and where they should be positioned to create a boat using vocabulary such as; next to, on top, underneath and talk about big and small triangles  Then leave the children to create their own boats so you can do assessment. Resist the temptation to intervene and correct the boats.


I set out half a paper plate (small works best) or a half circle of light weight cardboard, a wooden sucker stick or piece of card, some triangle shapes in different sizes and colours either white or coloured, glue and glue brushes and A 3 size paper if possible

At a separate table set out the wax crayons and scissors to draw a picture of themselves, cut it out and attach it to the boat. Encourage the children to draw fish and birds and other sea creatures. Suggest that they draw patterns on the sails of the boat although many children chose to paint theirs.
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In another area either on the floor or on a table set out some paint. Make the blue paint thin so the wax crayon fish will shine through like a colour wash.
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Did the learner follow instructions

  • Is the boat orientated correctly on the page
  • Does the end product resemble a boat
  • Has the learner added details to the collage
  • Has the learner used the materials with restraint
  • Which hand did the learner use while drawing, cutting and painting
  • Could the learner share materials

An interesting orientation


  • Due to the way the art area is set up at the school I work at in New Zealand, the different activities used to create this collage are all on the same table. This results in the children following their own ideas more so than if the different components are separated. We also do not have a specific mat time to discuss the art activity and since I am a reliever I have to work around these limitations. I prefer the way the SA system works and you end up with more learning taking place and a pleasing art outcome
  • Encourage the children to place the glue on the sucker stick and the paper sails and paper plate as opposed to pasting glue to the page in the general area.
  • Set out small pieces of paper to draw themselves otherwise the people come out a bit big
  • Larger paper is easier for the children to plan their picture and fit it all in
  • 3 year olds need a fair amount of help to create a boat. Then allow them to be creative and complete it in their own wayCAPS outcomes

Subject: Life Skills   Study area: Creative arts
Create in 2D
Drawing and painting using the week’s topic • Draw and give own interpretation to drawings using the week’s topic using wax crayon, oil pastels and other drawing media • Painting: use pre-mixed tempera paint or coloured inks or dyes in primary and secondary colours to respond to the week’s topic

Create in 3D (constructing) • Fine-motor and sensory co-ordination: (eye-hand-mind) manipulation of scissors and other tools and equipment. • Encourage development of skills through manipulation of the materials
Create freely using a range of materials: small boxes, recyclable materials like buttons, egg boxes, cardboard off-cuts, and other

Craft skills and techniques: cutting, pasting, tearing • Develop craft skills and fine motor control

• Art extra’s • Art elements: informal experience and use of shape in drawing and painting •  Variation of paper size and format: encourage working in different scales • Informal use of art elements shape and colour in drawing and painting in response to week’s topic

Visual Literacy • Naming shape in own work • Looking at and talking about book illustrations: naming shape and colour in book illustrations, • Looking at and talking about colour and shape in pictures and photographs • Responding to questions to show awareness of colour and shape • More specific naming of colour and shape (light and dark colour, simple geometric shapes) through answering questions