Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Edible Rainbows

I saw this cute Fruit Loop rainbow craft on How Wee Learn where they threaded cereal on a spaghetti noodle and stuck marshmallows on the ends. I thought it would be neat to use a pipe cleaner so you can bend it into a rainbow shape!
The kids started by putting a marshmallow on one end of the pipe cleaner, then they put the cereal on in any pattern they wanted.

Then I helped them stick another marshmallow on at the end. If there was pipe cleaner left sticking out, I trimmed it off. Some kids chose to group the colors together and some chose to make several rainbow patterns. Others chose to do their own thing!

We found that five of each color or five sets of rainbows was the perfect fit. It gave us enough room left at the end to add the marshmallow. Most of them stood up by themselves. I ended up wrapping them in plastic wrap to keep them clean. I told the kids they could eat their rainbow at home, but I did warn them the marshmallows might be a little fuzzy!
We also made a handprint rainbow as a class to try to get a leprechaun to leave some gold. And I quickly thought up a poem to go with it.
 Dear Leprechaun,
We have been told
That you leave your gold
At the end of a beautiful rainbow.
With our hands, we have made
One that will never fade.
So please leave your pot o' gold below!

While we were outside on the playground, a couple of my wonderful co-workers put a bowl of Rolos at the end of the rainbow and left a little shamrock trail. The kids were SO excited to see the gold when we came back inside!

The bowl actually had more in it, but I forgot to get a picture before the kids took their pieces and we shared with all the teachers. Oops!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Moving Circus Craft

I'm so excited to share this craft with you. It started off as a small, quick art project but then I kept adding to it. I love how it turned out!
First we made the tent from a paper plate. We used the tutorial from Honey Bee Books. I was just going to leave it at that, but then I thought it would be fun if the kids could draw some circus activities inside the tent. I put a piece of white paper behind the tent and realized it was a pretty small area to draw in. Since the tents could not be any bigger, I came up with the moving circus! It took some trial and error, but once I figured out what I wanted to do, it was quick and easy. I took a big piece of white paper and folded it in half lengthwise. (The paper was thin, so I chose to keep it folded rather than just cut it in half. If you use construction paper, it's probably thick enough you could cut two from one large piece.) Then I took a big piece of black construction paper and made two slits that would mostly be hidden behind the sides of the tent. I slid the white paper through the slits. Here is what the back looks like:
On the front, I taped on the tent using one piece of tape at the top and one on each side, making sure it didn't stick to the white paper.
The paper plate naturally stuck out above the paper, which made it very easy to slide the white paper back and forth. To prevent people from pulling the paper all the way out, I wrote a little "STOP!" about an inch in from either side of the white paper.
When you pull the paper to the left or right, you'll see the STOP in the corner of the tent.
Whether that will really prevent people from pulling the paper all the way through, I don't know. But it was the best thing I came up with. When it was time for the kids to color in their circus activities, they started at one STOP and drew to the other STOP. They did this while the paper was in the tent so none of their drawings would be covered up by the top of the tent.

I got a little worried here that maybe this would be too much for them, drawing all the little details, but they did a great job!

And since we used black paper as our background, we decided it would be a night circus and added gold and silver foil star stickers.

Of course, you can see the paper and drawings on the sides of the black paper when it's pulled to the left or right, but there's really no way around that. The kids didn't seem to mind at all! They loved it as much as I did!

 (Love the lion getting ready to jump through the ring of fire!)
And after all that, I decided to add one more thing. I cut out semicircles on the sides of the black paper so the white paper is easier to grab. And I drew a double arrow on each side as well.

When I hang them up next week, I will put this note up so everyone knows how they work:
I will add a picture of the final display when I get it all up. So, do you love it?!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Horton's Clover Craft

Here is a quick craft to go along with the book Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Seuss. I traced a flower cookie cutter and then enlarged it to make my clover template. I cut out the clover from many different colors of construction paper. Then I cut big squares of tissue paper that matched the clovers. The kids scrunched up the tissue paper, dipped them in glue and stuck them all over the clover.

When it was dry, they cut a strip of green paper to make a stem. I taped it to the back of the clover.
A few days prior I had taken a picture of each child with their hands around their mouth, with their mouth open, to look like they were shouting.
I printed them out wallet size, cut them out and stuck them in the tissue paper using a glue stick.
I displayed them in the hall with the title, "A Person's a Person, No Matter How Small." And I printed out a few "WE ARE HERE" phrases to put up among the clovers.

The kids' pictures are definitely bigger than the Who in the story, which actually was an entire town of Whos on a speck of dust on a clover, but you get the idea.

For another Horton Hears a Who craft, check out what we made a few years ago here.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Cat's New Hat and Dr. Seuss Bingo

We started our Dr. Seuss theme yesterday. I always have so much fun with this unit! It seems the craft ideas are endless. I told my class that the Cat in the Hat called me to say he lost his hat. He was wondering if we had seen it. (Nope.) And if we hadn't, could we possibly design a new one for him? (Of course!) For each child, I drew a tall hat on white paper and put out a bunch of art supplies for the kids to use. We had markers, glitter glue, foam hearts and paper flowers. I also put out scrap paper and scissors. The kids did a wonderful job designing new hats.

There were no two hats alike and everyone really took their time making the best hat possible for the Cat. I think he will have a hard time choosing which one will be his new hat!

I'm tempted to make a big Cat so each child can put his or her hat on its head for a picture. If I do, I'll be sure to update this post.
I also made a Dr. Seuss Bingo game for the class. I did it the same way I made my Polar Bingo a couple years ago, by using the site SEN Teacher. You can search for certain pictures and they appear in a box. You can label them and change the size and borders. So I searched for Dr. Seuss characters. I made 16 different cards and put 8 on each bingo board. I made 8 boards total. Then I printed out the 16 character cards just by themselves, but a little bigger, to be the drawing pile. I laminated everything.
I put the game out with sparkly pom poms as the markers, saying they were clovers from Horton Hears a Who.
The kids are really enjoying it!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Candy Heart Trees

I bought a 2-pound bag of conversation candy hearts a couple weeks ago and then searched for craft ideas. I loved the trees they made at Happiness Is Homemade, so I decided to go that route. Instead of having the kids paint a tree, I traced their hands and arms on black construction paper. (I went with black instead of brown because I thought it looked better with the colored backgrounds we were using). After cutting them out, I glued them to a piece of construction paper. Then I put a bunch of candy hearts in a bowl and we all got busy.

I kept reminding them as they glued, "Dot, dot, not a lot." It really seemed to help!

Elmer's white glue seemed to hold the hearts quite well. I first tried tacky glue and it didn't work that great. They turned out beautifully, but they are quite heavy so I think I'll just send them home instead of hanging them up.

Happy Valentine's Day!