Making Art

Let your child use different art materials and talk about his work! Help your child practice pre-writing skills recognize shapes and colors.  

For this Activity you will need:

  • Harold y el Lapiz Color Morado by Crockett Johnson
  • Art materials


  1. Read the book to your child. Tell your child that Harold is an artist: someone who draws, paints, and makes pictures.
  2. Talk about how it is fun to draw and make things, even if the pictures don’t look real.
  3. Show him the art materials. Talk about each of them. You might say, “Look at this tin foil. It is a shiny, smooth square. Look what happens when I crumple it up. It’s now a circle. Is it still smooth?”
  4. Tell your child that artists glue art materials to paper and make a “collage.”
  5. Give your child a blank piece of paper. Ask her to make a “collage.” Encourage your child to do whatever he wants. There is no “right way” to do it.
  6. As your child is working, watch what he does. Talk to him about his work: “I like the way you used the feathers. Why did you put them there? Why did you decide to use glitter?” Ask your child to tell you about the other materials used. Encourage your child to talk about the colors, shapes, and textures of the materials. By talking with your child, you are helping him be thoughtful about his work.
  7. When your child is done, say: “Let’s give your collage a name or a title. What do you want to call it? How did you choose that name?”
  8. Ask your child if she would like you to write the title on the collage. If she says yes, ask her where she wants you to write it.
  9. Hang the collage in your home. Praise his work.

Next Steps/Follow-Up:

  • Use art materials found in your home to make a new collage. You may want to use bottle caps, rice, macaroni, empty toilet paper rolls, newspapers, or old magazines.
  • Point out different types of art in your child’s world: on the pages of your child’s books, on signs and labels at the grocery stores, in ads and maps at the bus stop.


Background Information:

Support your child’s school readiness in the area of the arts!

The arts involve:

  • Trying different art activities, such as dancing, singing, acting, painting and drawing.
  • Asking questions about and looking for new ways to dance, make music, act or create art.
  • Using different art materials, such as puppets, costumes, instruments, paint, glue, scissors and crayons.
  • Showing an interest in other children’s art activities.


When your child starts school, she will be more likely to do well if she is able to do these things.


You can help your child develop these skills, as well as his language and literacy skills, by doing these activities.

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Ready At Five improves the practice and quality of early childhood education in Maryland.


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