Oranges offer a host of craft project possibilities for preschool-age children. A favorite among youngsters, the citrus fruit is valued for its nutritional power and its sweet, tangy flavor. Serve sliced oranges at snack time before creating orange crafts, to spark preschooler's interest. From paper crafts to simple sculpture projects, orange fruit crafts bring a touch of sunshine to any classroom.
Cut two, 6-inch-diameter orange construction paper circles to make each 3-D orange. Before passing the circles to preschoolers, cut a slit halfway into the center of each one. In the weeks before the children make 3-D oranges, save and dry the seeds from oranges you serve to the class at snack time. Let the children glue seeds to the orange circles. Allow the glue to dry. Help preschoolers slide the two circles together by lining up the center slits and easing the circles together, to create the 3-D effect. Apply transparent tape to the spot where the two circles meet in the middle, to hold the orange together. Staple a loop of green yarn to the top of each craft, for a hanger.
Mix up a batch of salt dough so preschoolers can roll the dough into balls to create an orange fruit craft. Find a simple salt dough recipe in children's craft books at the library. The Easy Child Crafts website also contains free salt dough recipes. Give each child a handful of the dough to mold into a round shape. When the balls are formed, let each child stick a 1-inch piece of green pipe cleaner in the top for a stem. Let the salt dough balls dry. When the balls are dry, paint them orange. Glue a green fabric leaf near the stem of each orange when the paint dries.
Make orange fruit collages from a variety of orange-colored items. Before children make the craft, stockpile orange craft pompoms and feathers, beads and sequins. Collect real orange peels, then dry them and add them to the other items. Snip orange fabric and felt into small geometric shapes. Place all of the orange items on a table for preschoolers to use to make the collage. Give each child an 8-inch diameter, orange craft foam circle shape and liquid glue. Children can select orange-colored collage items from the table to glue to the orange-foam shape.
Slice oranges in half and allow the preschoolers to dip the cut fruit into orange paint and stamp it onto construction paper. Give each child a 12-inch diameter circle, cut from heavy-duty, white construction paper. Pour orange tempera paint onto paper plates for dipping the oranges before stamping them onto the paper. Provide different hues of orange for the craft by adding a drop or two of red, yellow or white paint to the orange paint on some of the paper plates.