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Candy Cane Art Projects for Preschoolers

by Erica Loop, studioD

When you are looking for a cute Christmas-time craft or are just in need of an activity on a cold winter day, break out the candy canes to use as the focus of your artsy activity or have your mini Monet make her own versions out of craft supplies. Use the finished products as holiday decor or give them to friends and family members as handcrafted keepsakes.

Candy Cane Reindeer

The candy cane reindeer project is a popular art activity that many parents and teachers of young children enjoy using. This easy-to-make project is perfect for your preschooler's budding fine motor skills, as it doesn't take an experienced artistic touch. Help your child wind a brown pipe cleaner around the top of the cane's hook to make the antlers, or cut some antlers out of brown construction paper and tape them to the candy cane. Add on self-adhesive googly eyes or make your own using white and black modeling clay. Add either a brown or a red pom pom to the front of the curved section of the candy cane for a nose, then wrap a holiday colored ribbon around the candy cane and help your child tie it into a bow to complete the craft.

Mock Mosaic

Instead of using the traditional glass or tile, use candy canes to make a mosaic. Place six or more unwrapped candy canes on a flat surface, such as your kitchen counter. Cover the candy with paper towels. Help your child smash the candy canes with a kitchen mallet or a similar tool. Next, help your preschooler draw a candy cane shape onto a piece of cardboard. Have him glue the candy cane shards onto the drawing, leaving small spaces in between, to make the mosaic style artwork.

Candy Cane Sculpture

Preschoolers can use modeling or play clay to make a super-simple sculpture that looks like a favorite Christmas treat. Give your child red and white colors of clay to start with. Have her roll each clay piece into a snake-like cylinder. Place the two tubes next to each other and help your child to twist them, intertwining the colors into a candy cane sculpture. If you want to incorporate color practice into the activity, do it multiple times, making different colors of candy canes to wrap together.

Christmas Cards

Use a candy cane theme to make a special greeting for grandma, an aunt or a family friend. Kids can create over-sized candy cards by drawing or tracing a cane shape onto a piece of white card stock paper, making the craft at least 12-inches tall. Help your child to cut out the candy cane. Encourage her to decorate it using red tempera paints or have her finger paint alternating red and white stripes. After the paint dries, help her to write a special message across the cane. Another easy option is to fold a piece of letter-sized white card stock in half, book style, and make a candy cane print greeting card. Pour a pool of red tempera paint onto a paper plate and help your preschooler to dip the cane -- with the long side down -- into the paint. Press the paint-covered cane onto the front of the card stock at least two times to make multiple prints.

About the Author

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.

Photo Credits

  • Steve Mason/Photodisc/Getty Images