Abstract fire truck art in preschool

Let your children’s inner creativity shine with this process based art experience!

Last week we explored firefighters and fire safety. I prepared several different kinds of activities and this one was one of my favorites in many ways…

Providing a Source of Inspiration

I invited the children to make a fire truck with yellow, red, and black tape.  Before they made their own trucks, I gave them a little tutorial on how they could use the red tape to make a rectangle for the truck and a square for the cab. And they could use the black tape for the ladder and wheels, and the yellow tape for the sides.  Since creating a picture with tape is a new process for this class, I wanted to give the children some perspective on making a firetruck with the tape.

Preparing the Materials

Then I set out some paper, tape, and black markers so the children could try and make their own. The following firetruck is the one I made while providing my little tutorial…

Promoting Self-help Skills

Some of the children needed help getting the tape off of the roll and others figured out how to get their own tape. For those that needed a little help, I either held the tape out so they could cut it where they wanted or I asked them if they wanted a long or short piece and helped guide them in getting their tape.  By the end of the process, most of the children were pulling or cutting off their own tape…

Embracing the Creative Process

I invited the children to create their own version of the firetruck. As the children created their tape firetrucks, they would say things like “Now I need a ladder” or “This is my window.” It was neat to hear conversations emerging on things we had been talking about throughout our fire safety week!

Oh we had ladders and windows and firetruck pieces going every which direction.  This is why I titled this Abstract Firetruck Art!

The children were able to see their own firetrucks in their work  – and I was able to see it as well, no matter which way I turned the paper…

Adding Details to their Creations

Some children drew in a few passengers on their trucks as well…

And others added a few letters or “words” of their own on their paper…

Showcasing their Beautiful Works of Art

On my wall, I now have a wonderful collection of firetruck inspired abstract art… each and every one of them are unique! This is the beauty of process art. No two creations are alike and children are free to express themselves, knowing that their truly is no right or wrong way to create.

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By |2018-12-17T15:31:50+00:00October 7th, 2011|

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. Scott October 7, 2011 at 10:23 pm - Reply

    I really like your abstract fire trucks, Deborah. My kids love to cut and stick tape…and it seems yours do, too.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. October 7, 2011 at 10:24 pm - Reply

      Thank you Scott – This was a first for this class and they REALLY loved using the tape. We will definitely do more tape art throughout the year!

  2. Holly clouse October 8, 2011 at 7:23 am - Reply

    Now this is art. This is truly their own creation. I love it!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. October 8, 2011 at 9:49 am - Reply

      I do too Holly:)

  3. La-La's Home Daycare October 8, 2011 at 9:51 am - Reply

    This is so cute! I love this idea!

  4. Amy October 8, 2011 at 9:57 am - Reply

    What a great idea! I am always looking for new ways to develop those fine motor skills.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. October 8, 2011 at 3:56 pm - Reply

      Well this will definitely do it!

  5. kristin @preschool daze October 11, 2011 at 7:51 am - Reply

    yeehaw! i’m going to remember these for our “fire safety” week in a a could weeks.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. October 15, 2011 at 2:19 am - Reply

      Great:) That’s what they are there for!

  6. Rita Baah December 16, 2018 at 5:58 pm - Reply

    I find this to be very useful

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