Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Handprint Crayon Boxes

We are reviewing our colors this week and today I read The Crayon Box That Talked, by Shane DeRolf. The crayons don't get along at the beginning of the story, but after a child draws a picture with them, the crayons realize how special each color is. To go along with this book, my kids made crayon boxes with their handprints. I saw this on Pinterest here, but it only links to a picture. I mixed a little orange paint with the yellow to make it look more like a crayon box and painted the child's palm. Then I added some green paint to the sides. The kids picked four colors for their fingers, which would be the crayons.

When it dried, I added two green lines on each side, just like a box of crayons. However, I kind of wish I didn't do that. I think it looked better without them.
I asked the kids (individually) what their crayons were saying to each other and I wrote it down next to their handprint. I did remind them that our crayons liked each other, just like at the end of the book. And to finish the box off, I added their names in a green oval, just like my inspiration photo.

 This one made me laugh:
If you can't read it, it says, "Purple, I love you so much, I want to swim in purple water with you!" and "I want you to eat plums with me after swimming in all that purple water!" :0)
I hung them up around a sign that said, "The Crayon Box That Talked."

This would also work as a back-to-school activity since crayons and school go hand-in-hand!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Back-to-School Buses

Although my center is open all year long, my kids still get a "back-to-school" feeling because they start 4K at the school. They spend the morning with me and bus to 4K for a few hours in the afternoon. So I thought they'd enjoy making little school buses. I drew a very basic school bus shape on yellow construction paper. It's all straight lines. The kids cut out the buses all by themselves.
Then they glued on black rectangles and black circles (that I had previously cut out for them) to make the windows and wheels of the bus.
I also cut out red octagons and they glued them on the bus as well. They used a silver metallic Sharpie to write STOP on it.
If they wanted, they could use a black marker to write a number on their bus and the words School Bus.
I took a picture of each child and printed them out using the Contacts option, which provided me with the perfect size photo for the window.
I printed five of each kid and cut around the heads, although leaving them as rectangles would have worked as well. Then each child glued their own picture in the first window and glued their friends' pictures in the remaining windows.

I told them to glue the pictures at the bottom of the windows to avoid "floating heads." :o) The kids loved seeing their pictures on the bus!

Monday, September 1, 2014


I have one last "summer" craft I'm trying to squeeze in before the new school year starts tomorrow. A few weeks ago we did a Pirate unit and I had the kids make little faces with paper plates. We used the small paper plates and I made skin-toned paint by mixing white and brown. The kids painted the plate and when it was dry, the boys had the option of making a beard with fingerprints. (They drew in a little mouth first.)
Then they all made little hats for their pirates. I cut out really small skulls and bones for them to glue on.
For the girls, I decided to give them all pig tails that matched their own hair color and style. I stapled them on to the sides of the plates and covered the staples with glitter glue (to look like rubber bands).
Then they finished drawing the face.
Finally, they added a wiggle eye and a patch, which was cut from black construction paper. They drew two lines coming from the patch to look like it was wrapped around the head. They turned out so cute!

I put them on my door with a sign that says, "My Students Aarrgh Great!"
It's been a fun summer with these seven kids of mine!

Thursday, August 28, 2014


This is the first mermaid craft I've ever done with my kids and I love how it turned out!
I had three inspirations that I combined to make ours. I liked the handprints for hair that I saw on Pinterest (without an active link), the body is from Follow the Stray, and the long twirling tail is from Let's Play Music. I did have to change it a bit, though, to fit the bigger body. I made the waist bigger and had it dip down in the middle. I traced my new template onto colored paper. It's just regular paper because I didn't know if thicker paper would hang down after cutting it. For the fish scales of the tail, I had the kids paint bubble wrap with glue.
Then I flipped it over onto the back of the colored paper. (This way when I cut it out, I'd be able to see my lines because it wouldn't be covered in glitter. I was thinking ahead!) They gently pushed down on the bubble wrap to transfer the glue to the paper.
Then I carefully peeled the bubble wrap off and placed the paper into a box. (Again, thinking ahead!) The kids picked one color of glitter and dumped a whole bunch into the box.
Then I took the paper out and very easily dumped the extra glitter back into the container. Of course, we still managed to get glitter all over, but it wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been had we not used the boxes.
After a few kids made these, I realized we didn't need that much glitter. We could just shake the box a bit to make sure the glitter moved around and covered all the dots of glue.

You can reuse the same bubble wrap for each child. Just have them add a fresh layer of glue!
When they were dry, I cut them out. Glitter went EVERYWHERE! And it was a little tough to cut through the glittered glue. My hand was getting sore. But it was worth it.
Now for the body. I used the template I shared above, but cut off the hair and tail. I traced it onto cream-colored card stock. The kids decorated them with markers. I showed them how to easily make a bikini top.
They picked out seashells from this sticker book that I got for one dollar at Michaels.
They added them to the bikini top. They could also make necklaces and other jewelry if they wanted to. And they added a little hair on top of the head so the mermaids wouldn't be so bald in front!
As for the hair, each child picked out a hair color: yellow (blonde) or red/orange. I also had brown and black available, but no one chose those. I painted the child's hand (minus the thumb) and made several prints by just moving the hand slightly each time. (I found that just one handprint didn't really look like hair.)
I cut it out and glued it to the back of the head so it looked like it was floating in water.
Then I glued on the tail.
The back looked a little undone,
and since I was planning on hanging these, I decided to add a little piece of paper to the back to give it a more finished look. I just glued on paper of the same color, with a little "scoop" at the top, and trimmed it to fit the tail.
Here are our finished mermaids (and one merman!):

For the merman, I just used one handprint and glued it on straight up. It was the child's idea to add the nipples. After all, he said, "Boys have nipples, too."
That's mine (with kid handprints for hair) because I couldn't resist getting in on the fun, too! Besides, I had to make sure the glue-on-bubble-wrap thing worked before the kids went through all that trouble.
I hung them from the ceiling with our cupcake liner jellyfish. They look so cool twirling around!

The kids oohed and ahhed when I showed them their finished mermaids. I think the glitter-dot tail really sets them apart from any other mermaid craft I've seen out there.