We made doggies in preschool

This doggy project was more about using our listening ears and organizing our materials than it was a project for creative art although there was some creativity involved as well.

Each of the children were given precut pieces of construction paper to put together their own dog for the Letter of the Week – The letter D.

The teacher had made a dog ahead of time so the children could visualize how all these pieces could  be  put together to make the shape of a dog. Then she handed out all the construction paper pieces and some glue for the children to make their own dogs.

For some in early childhood education, this type of activity would not be considered “creative art” because the outcome is a part of the focus. However, as I watched the children engage in the process of organizing their pieces, glue them together, keep track of their materials, and make decisions about where to glue their pieces – I found this type of process to add value to the learning process. As I observed the children, my first thought was that there were too many pieces for the children to keep them all organized but the children most definitely proved me wrong.

I think it is a good idea for children to explore all kinds of processes but I also think that it is important for the teacher to understand what the process offers. Creative art processes should offer opportunity for exploration, self-expression, and sensory. A creative process like this is more focused on instruction, organization, and listening. Providing a balance of both kinds of processes can lead to a well rounded experience.

When these doggies are all complete, they will look similar because they are similar but each child worked to organized their materials, make decisions as to what order to create their dog, observe each others work, listen to the teacher’s suggestions, create something they were quite proud of, and they enjoyed playing with their doggies.

By |2010-10-21T06:00:35+00:00October 21st, 2010|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Marilyn S October 22, 2010 at 1:24 am - Reply

    Thanks for this…. I know what you say about the creative process is true, but I’m happy that there is still a little room for activities like this; that there is value in this type of activity for promoting listening and organizational skills. I still have some old activity books and it seems like my ‘teen teachers’ always find this kind of lesson in them. Now I can feel better about letting some slip through and be able to point out how it does teach our standards. And the little ones really do like this kind of product and so do their parents. Thanks again!

    • Deborah J. Stewart October 22, 2010 at 2:43 am - Reply

      I think the most important thing to take a way and to teach your teens is that they need to be able to look at what they are sharing with their students and speak to the process. Is the process of value? I don’t want folks to confuse this with being what creative art is about but rather understand the differences in the processes and seek to make sure children are able to enjoy both kinds of process.

      • Marilyn S October 22, 2010 at 3:01 am

        Exactly…. I ask them that question all the time… What is it you want the children to learn? Which standards are you teaching? I stress the process and the creativity which is hard for them comprehend. They still try to ‘teach’ with coloring pages and it’s an ongoing battle… but gradually they begin to understand, and it’s fun to see them try to explain this to the new crop of teachers the following year! Yay!

      • Deborah J. Stewart October 22, 2010 at 3:25 am

        LOL! I can remember the days when I just loved a cute coloring page:) It is hard to adjust from choosing “cute” to choosing “process”!

  2. Nadia October 22, 2010 at 6:22 am - Reply

    These doggies turned out wonderful!! Id like to try this but im horrible with free hand circles

    • Deborah J. Stewart October 23, 2010 at 1:13 am - Reply

      So just let the kids make the circles – they would be cute no matter what:)

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