Here’s a fun activity that adults can do with young children in helping them practice their fine motor skills and promoting their creativity! Materials that are needed are plaster, vaseline, a bowl of water, paintbrushes, acrylic plaints, and scissors.
Finger Puppet Monster Activity
1. Cut the plaster into small rectangular strips
2. Get a bowl of water and dip the plaster into the bowl. Wet the plaster by running your thumb and index finger up and down to “activate” the plaster. Make sure that the holes on the plaster are all covered. During this step, educators can initiate conversations about the texture of the plaster by asking them questions like what does it feel like? or what is the purpose of wetting the plaster?
3. Before wrapping the plaster around your finger, remember to put some vaseline on your finger. After putting the vaseline, wrap as many strips of plaster around your finger as you want. This is where children can design and shape their monsters however they want. The more strips you use, the thicker it becomes. This step would be a great opportunity to teach children about mass and volume. Mass or volume is an element of art that is used to describe a three-dimensional object that is solid and has height, length and width (Schirrmacher & Fox, 2012). Engage children by asking how big or tall they would like their monster puppets to be. Let them be creative and make extra pieces for arms, legs, teeth, or other body parts!
4. Once you are satisfied with the shape of your monster puppet, sit back and let it dry for al least 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, gently pull the plaster off your finger and let it dry completely in the next 48 hours! Educators can ask children how it feels to have a cast around their fingers. For us, it felt so stiff and our fingers just temped to bend right over !
5. Once it is dried, paint it with acrylic paints. This would be the best time to allow children to practice their colouring mixing skills. By providing just the primary colours, white, and black, children are encouraged to create their own shades of colour through mixing and experimenting.
6. Almost done! After the paint is dry, use sharpies or markers to add some details (eyers, lines, or patterns). In this process, educators can guide children in adding the details to develop their fine motor skills.
These are the finger puppets that the three of us have created!
♥ Gina ♥
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Schirrmacher, R., & Fox, J.E. (2012). Art and creative development for young children (7thEd.). Belmont, CA: Delmar.