If you have a toddler or preschooler and want to set up a beautiful and simple preschool Christmas craft, Candy Cane Still Life is for you. It’s easy to set up, low mess, and encourages children to exercise visual thinking skills to connect the mind with the hand as they draw what they see.

candy cane still life preschool winter craft

At least half of the art activities that happen in our home are improvisations. Today was another rainy day, and after setting up a marble run, sommersaulting off the couch, playing with neighborhood friends, and jumping in puddles, I pulled this Candy Cane Still Life out of my rabbit hat.

It’s an invitation to create that encourages independent thinking skills and choice-making. No cookie-cutter crafts here.

Candy Cane Still Life Winter Craft for Preschool

It was a short activity, but totally worthwhile and applicable, I think, to a wide variety of ages. In terms of creating a still life, my toddler (is 2.5 still a toddler? I’m not so sure.) isn’t at all interested in depicting objects realistically, but at her age we could take inspiration from the colors of candy canes. Szukasz najlepszych kasyn w Polsce? Jakie jest najlepsze kasyno online w Polsce? Poznaj najlepsze polskie kasyna online!.


  • Black paper
  • Silver Sharpie
  • Red and White Chalk

I started by placing a black paper in front of her and asking, “What color are candy canes?” After a silent pause, I brought out the glass full of canes for further investigation, and we saw that they’re red and white!  This was my cue to “dig up” some red and white mark-making tools. I also asked if she’d like the silver sharpie. Um, yeah, have you ever met a toddler who didn’t want to draw with a Sharpie? Not likely.

candy cane still life

After drawing with the Sharpie, she played around with the red chalk, and became fascinated with how it broke apart when she made forceful polkadots on the page. The smearing was pretty interesting, but after getting covered with a handful of red dust she was done. Fair enough.

Candy Cane Still Life Winter Craft for Preschool

I like how the vivid colors pop off the black background. While my child art projects generally have a focus on process over product, as this one does, I also really like how it turned out.

The coherency of the final product seems to be the result of working within the constraints of limited materials. Professional artists work well with constraints, and I believe that children benefit from a similar approach to art making. So there you have it…a Candy Cane Still Life, of course!

Happy Drawing, and Happy Holidays!


  1. Love it! The process and the product! Will definitely try this out next year 🙂

    • We will too! It’ll be fun to see how her drawings change over time. Hope you had a good trip.

  2. wow N! I see a candy cane form in your drawing. we are definately going to use this as a project this week. I need every project possible with this rain!!

    • You know, it wasn’t until I read this that I saw the candy cane too…thanks for making me look at it more closely. Good luck with all the rain. I think we have at least four more days of it. Sigh.

  3. I just bought 2 silver sharpies yesterday! Maybe we’ll try this out in some form, too…Love the colors and contrast of the materials and the colors black, silver and red.

    • Silver Sharpie are pretty irresistible! Have fun.

  4. Thank you for stopping by my blog and now I have found your blog too! I love this process! I love the brilliant colors too!

    • And thanks for stopping over here, Deborah! Look forward to keeping in touch.

  5. I am a painter and the youngest of 3 kids in my family (16) and being youngest out of all the cousins and not having a job I end up baby sitting most of my cousin’s children or my 6 year old nephew, Conner on my off time. This leaves me with no time to myself to paint. this actually gives me a chance for them to show their artistic skills and for me to have some down time drawing the same thing.
    now every week we go to the store down the street and pick out one thing to draw.

    • Hi Amber!
      Thanks for sharing your experience with this. I love how you make a ritual out of choosing an object from the store each week — I bet that my kids would love that. Happy new year!

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