Connect art and nature to create stunning still life sunflowers! This fall activity for preschoolers uses basic supplies and is always a hit.
The most beautiful fall activity for preschoolers
One of our preschool families came in with several long stems of sunflowers from their garden. You know how homemade cookies taste better than store-bought cookies? I always think the same of flowers – a homegrown flower is better than store-bought.
And, I’m already obsessed with fresh flowers, so this made the surprise extra touching.
Because we were gifted what felt like an acres’ worth of flowers, we could do so many things.
Sunflowers in the water table!
Sunflowers in the science center!
Sunflower still life drawings!
This fall activity for preschoolers is GORGEOUS
If you’re not an art nerd like myself, the term “still life” may be new to you, but there’s a 117% chance it will make you look extra fancy when using it with coworkers and families.
“Oh, those drawings? Those are just our still life pieces.” *cue hair flip*
But while it sounds fancy, it’s not hard to do. Still life art refers to art, often drawings or paintings, of things that are…are you ready…dun dun dun dun…still. Unmoving. Inanimate.
A drawing of a bowl of fruit? Still life.
A painting of a jar filled with apples? Still life.
A precious little preschool drawing of fresh sunflowers? Still life!
Other sunflower activities to try:
- Fine motor sunflower activity – Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds
- Giant recycled sunflower craft – Inner Child Fun
- Egg carton sunflowers – Buggy and Buddy
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- Sunflowers (or another still object, see ideas above)
- Black, permanent markers
- Yellow watercolors
- Brown watercolors
- Paper (we used watercolor paper here, but use the thickest paper that you can when using watercolor paints)
While not required, we often like chopping up our art paper into smaller pieces so that it feels a little less intimidating for the kids.
Sometimes, mini art > regular art.
- Investigate: Set your sunflowers around the table and invite your child to examine the flower closely. What colors do they see? What shapes are the petals? How does the flower smell and feel?
- Draw: Invite your child to use the black, permanent marker to draw the flower. We use phrases like:
- What shape is the center of the flower?” 👉🏼 kids name and draw circles
- What is around the center of the flower?” 👉🏼 kids name and draw petals
- Paint: Add the color to the drawings! We use black, permanent markers because they don’t smudge, smear, or bleed when the kids paint it over.
Yes, we use Sharpies with preschoolers. Here’s why…
Sharpies make AMAZING art. You can paint over them, they don’t run, and the colors never fade.
I started using Sharpies in the classroom in 2011 after observing a brilliant teacher friend use them with her preschoolers, and a lightbulb went off. How had I not used them before with kids?! I haven’t looked back and now couldn’t imagine my classroom without them.
Yes, they are permanent, so we set some boundaries. We remind the kids that these markers are not for drawing all over their skin and tables…but those are the same rules for the other markers in our class.
We also have the Sharpies set at adult height in the classroom just in case a younger sibling wanders into the room, but Sharpies have caused problems with our 3-6 year-olds precisely 0 times.
Seriously, once you go Sharpie, you don’t go back!
Other objects preschoolers can draw
We are using sunflowers here, but you can easily swap those out for any other still, inanimate objects, such as:
While it’s still life whether or not you’re using real sunflowers or fake ones, if given a choice, we always choose fresh.
Because there is so much beauty around us that we often overlook. A mug is just a mug, but when you sit down to draw and paint it? You notice It suddenly becomes incredible. The same thing happens with sunflowers, books, pears, stuffed animals, etc.
Whatever age enjoys drawing and painting!
Yes! If you choose to paint over, the colors will bleed, but you could easily skip the painting part and just enjoy drawing.
You’re going to love this fall activity for preschoolers
My Fall-loving heart loves making sunflower still life with kids, but now I am itching to do a pumpkin version, too. Our local pumpkin patch has a wide variety of pumpkins and gourds that would be beautiful for this process.
Whether using sunflowers, pumpkins, or anything in between, your little artists will love still life art!