Art Lessons For Kids - Paper Cut Out Animals on a Farm

A quick study in overlapping for tiny tots!

Children love working with the theme of animals in art. I often encourage them to create an environment for the animals which they create. This project will teach children about cutting and overlapping. Learning how to overlap images is an important stage in development.

You may notice that young children tend to separate everything in their drawings, so nothing is hidden or overlapped. It takes patience and support to help this process evolve. If you are teaching this project for the first time, don't be surprised if they only overlap one thing on their drawing. This is o.k. Each time they practice, it will become easier for them to trust that their images or thoughts will still be seen, even if a leg or a piece of the barn isn't seen. Sometimes, I'll take children I'm teaching to my front doorstep and point out all the things that overlap in real life to help inspire them. Sometimes, it works and other times, less so. But at this stage, its development, each child is unique and has their own needs. My recommendation is to go slow and be patient and encouraging.

This is a quick and easy art project, which requires a little bit of work ahead of time for the smaller kids in order for it to go smoothly. I will give two versions of it, one is for little kids, (ages 4-5) and one is appropriate for children a bit older, perhaps up to age 7.

Materials you'll need for the farm:

  • A large sheet of white paper to draw on for the Background (at least 11" x 17")
  • Crayons or Oil Pastels (recommended for ages 6+)
  • *Outlines of farm animals that are pre-photocopied, which kids can color in, at least 4-5 depending on your time schedule (ages 4-5). You can find animal outlines on google images, which can be downloaded and printed out. OR Additional white sheets of paper which children can us to draw on
  • Glue Stick

How to assemble your farm:

  1. Using Crayons or Oil Pastels, draw and color in a farm for the background. Include a barn, landscape and sky. Also consider trees or plants and variations on weather.
  2. Either color in the animals on the photocopy sheets, or Draw animals and color them in on the additional white paper
  3. Cut the animals out. (Adult supervision for smaller children is suggested)
  4. Remind the child/children about overlapping. Glue the animals onto the farm setting, overlapping each other, and the barn.

Clean Up: Use a damp rag with mild detergent to wipe up excess glue, oil pastel or crayon that didn't make it onto the drawing. Make sure scissors are free from glue.


And, remember: Art is a practice. The more you do it, the better it gets!

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