Thursday, June 16, 2016

Popsicle Craft -- Father's Day

The kids made Father's Day cards today and I wanted it to include a little craft. So first they used watercolors and painted the middle of a paper plate. (You don't have to use a plate, but I wanted something thicker than regular paper and the plates worked very well.)

I think if I was still in my classroom with older kids (4 and 5 years), I would've had them pick three colors and paint stripes. But for these young kiddos, I just let them paint it however they wanted. When it was dry, I cut a popsicle shape out of it and taped a craft stick to the back. Now, they are pretty cute all on their own,
but I glued them to the front of a card and wrote, "You are one cool Pop!"
On the inside I wrote "Happy Father's Day" and the kids decorated it.
My daughter made a second one for her grandpa. She calls him Pop Pop and his birthday is in a couple weeks, so we made it as a birthday card.
They turned out so cute and were very simple to make!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Two Cherry Blossom Crafts

I've been waiting to do this craft since the fall. I had bought a pack of foam tree cut-outs from Target and it came with some brown ones and some green ones. My daughter made a fall tree with buttons (read about that here).
But I thought the green tree would be perfect for cherry blossoms! First we glued the tree to a piece of blue paper. Then my daughter scrunched up pink tissue paper squares, dipped them in glue, and added them to the tree.

She put some on the foam tree and some on the paper around the tree.
I also had these self-adhesive butterfly jewels that I received from so I let her add some to her paper.

I love how the green and pink look together!
I also made cherry blossoms with the kids I care for. I painted their hands and arms brown to make a tree and they put scrunched up tissue paper on that.

They turned out very cute!

Monday, February 29, 2016

Pants With Nobody Inside Them

This is an activity my class did last year, but I never posted about it. It was during our Dr. Seuss week, which is probably happening in many centers and schools right now in honor of his birthday on March 2nd. I read the book, What Was I Scared Of? and then gave the kids a cut-out of a pair of pants. They had to first decorate the pants any way they wished, then draw a picture to go with the pants.
At the top of their papers I wrote two lines from the book ("I saw a pair of pale green pants, with nobody inside them!"), but I changed "pale green" to whatever the kids wanted to call their pants. We had tomato pants, rainbow pants, ghost pants, blueberry pants and flower pants, as well as others. It was a very fun activity! During group time, the kids came up and described their pictures to the class.

I'm not sure why I didn't blog about this last year when we did it. I think I had thought of ways to do if differently so I was waiting until this year when I could do it again. But since I'm not in a classroom this year, I decided to share this instead. Maybe it will inspire you!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Valentine Whale

Here's what my little group of kids made for Valentine's Day!
First I cut out a simple cartoonish whale shape, without the tail, and glued it to a big piece of white paper.
(I would recommend construction paper, but I didn't have any. I used pieces cut from a roll of paper, which is why it's taped down on the corners.) I then used the kids' handprints to form the tail.
When the paint was dry, I put a heart sticker at the top of the whale to indicate where the blowhole was.
(Sorry about these horrible photos. I never remember to bring my camera so I have to use my phone for pictures.) The kids added more self-adhesive foam hearts (given to me by!) above the whale.
Then they added a big wiggle eye and drew a mouth.
I wrote the words, "Whale you be my Valentine?" by tracing over printed words because I don't have great handwriting.
The crinkled paper is yet another reason to use construction paper. I really wish I had it for this craft. The little one's handprints were a little tricky to get right, but it's still cute!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Footprints in the Snow

This project was inspired by an ornament craft I saw in an Oriental Trading magazine. It was very simple to do. First the kids used a Q-tip dipped in white paint to make snow falling from the sky on blue paper.
Then I cut white paper and glued it to the bottom half of the blue paper. I helped the kids make thumbprints on the paper with blue ink. We started at the bottom and worked our way up.
Then they glued on a little person at the top of the hill. I had a "boy" cookie cutter that looked like a kid in a snowsuit, so I just traced that. And I added a little point to the hood. We also added a tiny white pom pom to the tip of the hood.
And that's it! They turned out cute, even if all of our little people apparently walk like a duck!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Penguin Chick Craft

I read in the news the other day that January 20th is Penguin Awareness Day, so I knew I wanted to make a penguin craft with the kids today. I've done a few penguin crafts in the past, but this time I decided to make a baby penguin. My goal was to make something that resembled this cutie:
I kind of used this coloring sheet as my template, but made it more symmetrical. I traced a body onto black paper. I cut out a white face, a black beak and black toes.
Then I made puffy paint by mixing glue and shaving cream and added in some white and black paint.
If I had to do it again, I wouldn't bother with puffy paint. The kids used porcupine balls to paint the body of the penguin and you can't really put it on thick when using those. It didn't dry puffy at all, so it wasn't necessary. They dabbed the ball all over to create a fuzzy-looking texture. I covered up the head with a paper towel so they wouldn't paint it, but I'm sure older kids wouldn't need that.

Then they dabbed on some plain white paint right over the gray paint.
Next it was time to glue on the white face and beak. We turned the paper upside down so they wouldn't have to lean over the wet paint. And because a black beak would have been lost on the black part of the face, I made them three dimensional by folding the paper before cutting them out.
Then wiggle eyes were glued on. When the paint was dry, I cut them out and the kids added toes to the bottom of their penguins. They turned out so much cuter than I imagined!

I love the crooked white face on my daughter's above. Totally adorable!

Fun Fact: When a penguin chick hatches, it immediately starts calling so its parents recognize its voice. This is important so that when the mother or father return after getting food, they can find their chick just by the sound of its voice.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Snowman Suncatcher

I've always liked how paper towels look after cleaning up after a painting activity, but I've never done a project with those paper towels before. After seeing the suncatchers on Simple Fun For Kids, I just had to have my little ones make one. For this craft I had the kids deliberately paint the paper towels. I wanted to use watercolors, but didn't have any with me. I ended up using tempera paint and told the kids to wet their paintbrushes often.
I reminded them to press gently with their brush so they wouldn't rip the paper towel.
And then I even sprayed the paper towel with water when they were done painting so the colors would blend even more.
The hard part was waiting for them to dry. They took a really long time so I ended up finishing this craft the next day. I found a simple snowman silhouette that I liked and used it as my template. I cut out the snowman from black construction paper and used a glue stick to apply glue all along the edge of the now missing snowman.
Then I flipped it over and pressed it onto the paper towel. Once it was set in place, I added some more glue to the corners just to make sure it was secure. They actually looked really good before they were even in the window!
And I love the design from the paper towels. I didn't think anything of it at the time we were painting them, but it added a whimsical touch to our snowmen!
Finally, I taped them to the window so they could catch the light. When we started this craft it was a very sunny day. So of course when we finished it, it was cloudy and even snowing. But they still look beautiful!
This is when I miss teaching in a classroom. I think a big window filled with these would be so pretty. I'd probably have the kids cut the snowman shape out themselves. And older kids could draw their own snowman shape first and then cut it out so each one would be unique. And if I was smart, I would have cut the snowmen out carefully so we could use them for another craft. But instead I stabbed each one right in the middle to get it started so it was easier to cut. Lesson learned!