Homeschool Adventure / Preschool at Home

1 Week of Preschool Sensory Play and First Grade Art Lessons for Homeschool Moms Who Aren’t Artistic

I realize I’ve posted a lot about art lessons lately, so I thought I’d compile things into a simple-to-use lesson plan that you guys could easily adapt and use. This is a HUGE post, but I wanted to show how activities between two age groups can work together to create a cohesive lesson plan.

Bonus: All of these activities were made from supplies we had on-hand and many doubled as sensory activities for the 2 year old!

Most of these ideas came from Pinterest or my sister’s blog, Your Hand in Mine. Link to the original sources by clicking on the blog name.


Tot Activity: Lacing Cards or Giant Lacing

Cardboard (We cut up old soda cartons)
Hole punch

Lacing cards can be bought anywhere, but truthfully, they are expensive for being pictures that have holes in them. Plus, kids gets tired of doing the same shape over and over. I decided to make ours.

Art Time Supplies

We used handy materials and even found more uses for those boxes than we ever imagined including finger puppets, but more on that later.

I made houses and alien ships (just weird cutouts the Cub pretends are UFOs) and more.

Lacing Card LC LC 3

My sister modified this activity when she realized that her son (6 months younger than Cub) wasn’t quite ready for the tiny lacing work. I call it Giant Lacing, and Cub loves it!

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Just attach a cardboard stopper to one end and a tab to the other of a wide ribbon. Then cut a paper towel road into rings. Cub likes to pretend the rings are building a snake, then he picks up the stopper end and wildly shakes all the rings off.

This is a Monday activity since it keeps his attention while his brother works on something else.

First Grade Project: Soap Jars
by-Hands As We Grow

Jars (The original idea calls for peanut butter jars, but with J’s allergy, we used old drink bottles.)
Dish soap
Food dye
Glitter (We didn’t have any, but trust me it looks cool.)
Random plastic things that fit inside (Cut-up straw, Googly eyes, Bouncy ball)

Simply add all the ingredients, shake and watch the kiddos. They love watching the foam settle and rolling it back and forth to each other on the floor so that a random googly eye or shape would appear.

J's favorite part: watching the food coloring disperse in the water.

J’s favorite part: watching the food coloring disperse in the water.

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Tot Activity: Squish Bag
by-Your Hand in Mine and Play at Home Mom LLC

In addition to having glitter jars to keep him quiet while Bubba worked at school, Sawyer also built a Squish Bag. This is modified from what Your Hand in Mine did. We used hair gel and more googly eye to appeal to my kids who love all things creepy.


Gallon storage bag
Hair gel
Food coloring
Googly eyes

1. Place gel, food dye, and googly eyes in the storage bag. Close.
2. Allow child to squish and mix color until fairly even.
3. After initial fascination has worn off, I would highly recommend putting glue on the seal of the bag and letting it dry so that the bag is harder to pop open by accident.

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First Grader: Balloons
by-Your Hand in Mine

Strange Fillings (We used oats, flour and rice.)


1. Attach balloons to the end of a funnel (or in our case a pancake pourer).
2. Have child, with assistance, fill each balloon with one filling.
3. Tie off balloon.

This activity may not seem very “art-focused” but it took time and patience to complete.


Cub’s reaction.


Tot Activity: Pom Pom Sort

Again, I got this from my sister, but it isn’t on her blog. Still wanted to give credit.

Fuzzy Pom Poms
Muffin Pan
*We added fabric flowers (off the stems) later too just because they were leftover from Christmas decorations.

Simply model for the child how to pick up the pom poms with the tongs and sort them into the muffin tins. If your child is able, you can guide them to sort by color or size. Even though Cub really knows his colors, he has no interest in sorting that way. He just like to put them “in!”  Either way, we’re definitely improving his fine-motor skills.

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First grader: Dye Spaghetti
by- Your Hand in Mine

This activity was done with the little guy in mind, the noodles are for him to use, but J loves using food dye. It’s a great way to combine science and crafts!

Food dye
Craft noodles (Macaroni would work too or small Penne)
Rubbing alcohol
Sandwich storage bags (one per color you intend to use).

Submerge noodles in alcohol. Add food coloring. (Insert lesson on primary colors and combinations here). Leave noodles for at least 3 hours. The longer you leave them, the more rich the color will be. Lay out on paper towels to dry.



Tot Activity: Colored Noodle Sort
by-Your Hand in Mine (see above)

Similar to my previous post about pipe cleaners and a strainer, Cub spent a considerable amount of time carefully selecting a noodle and slipping it into a box I’d cut holes into. My sister has a great steamer-type pan that has large holes, but we don’t so I made do.

First Grader: Daily Drawing Challenge

To give a little break from all the projects, we took it easy and referred back to our Drawing Challenge.

drawing challenge

As always, after the initial drawing (which usually takes about one minute) encourage your kid to go back, add details, and refine the drawing. This teaches a few important things like attention to detail and viewing editing as part of the process instead of an indication of failure. (See more on that ideology in my post on The Insignificance of a Red Pen).


Tot and First Grader Activity: Pandora’s Box

That really annoying box of art supplies and crafting scraps
(I.e. glue, construction paper, scissors, markers, stamps, cardboard)

Art TimeEven though this is their favorite activity by far, it is the hardest for me because it is unstructured and messy. Still, this is the one I have to drag them away from so it’s worth it.

A note on finger puppets. Use the soda-box cardboard leftover from the lacing cards. Cut in to fun shapes. Make finger holes. Allow kids to decorate freely. This day we ended up with a Love Monster that chased the other finger puppets to kiss them. A google-eyed monster, a ghost and more!

There you have it–one week of art lessons that involve a 2 year old and a 7 year old. Not only did we have crafts for each day of the week, we now also have a bucket full of fun things to pull out when there’s a lull in the day.

Handy Tip–Make your life easier by gathering materials for the whole week and sorting them into gallon storage bags, one for each day of the week. That way, no matter who is doing what, you aren’t trying to keep their attention while you hunt for the hole punch that always falls to the bottom of the craft bucket. 

I hope you enjoy!

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