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!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Love Bugs and Valentines

I love when a craft opportunity is found right under my nose. That's how these love bugs came to be. For afternoon snack on Monday, the kids had little cups of ice cream. As they were eating them I started thinking about the possibilities these little styrofoam cups had. On my lesson plan for the week I had "Love Bugs." I was going to bring in a few different recyclables for the kids to decorate. But these little cups were the perfect size so I rinsed them out and saved them until Wednesday. Then I put out every pink, red and purple craft supply I had and the kids got to work making their bugs.

I sat at the table with the kids helping with glue dots and double stick tape. This way we didn't have to worry about glue dripping down the sides of the cup. Because they were styrofoam, it was very easy for the kids to poke holes with the pipe cleaners to make legs and antennae. They used one pipe cleaner and weaved it through two holes for the antennae.

And they did the same for legs.
I put all the bugs on a little table in front of our mailbox folders. They are adorable!

I didn't have a styrofoam cup so I used an old fruit cup. It worked just as well except the Sharpies didn't show up so great so I had to trace over that smile several times. And I had to use a scissors to poke holes in it. But still cute, right?
I also wanted to share with you the valentines that me and my daughter will hand out. Since my class is crazy about Olaf, I just had to include him in my valentines. I saw several online that had the line "Some people are worth melting for." And when I saw the ice pop idea at Poofy Cheeks, I was sold. I decided to make my own tag, though, because I wanted it to say, "You're worth melting for, Valentine." I just taped the ice pop to the tag.
And my daughter, who is about 23 months, loves the applesauce pouches. So I decided to have her give those to her class for Valentine's Day. I saw several sites that had the tag "awesome sauce" but I also wanted to include something about squeezing, so again I made my own tags. It reads "You're awesome sauce Valentine! Give me a squeeze!" I attached the tag with some elastic string I received from
And she's giving her teachers mini take-out boxes filled with kisses and heart-shaped chocolate. The tag says, "Love and Kisses from Elise."
I should have one more Valentine craft to share with you tomorrow, if all goes well at school!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Valentine Birdies and Silhouettes

I saw this cute door display at Life In First Grade. It was a bunch of birds on tree branches and the teacher called them her "tweethearts." I decided to do something similar with the kids. I found a bird template here, enlarged it and traced it with different colored markers. The kids painted the birds with glitter watercolors.
When they were dry, the kids added a heart folded in half for the wing and a smaller heart for the eye.
Then I cut them out.

I displayed them in the hall with some small hearts and titled it Ms Betsy's Tweethearts.

I also wanted to show you the silhouettes we made last week when we had our shadow theme. I cheated and took pictures of the kids instead of trying to trace their shadows. (I've done that in the past and it's really hard to do because they are always moving!) Then I printed out the pictures as 8x10s (in draft mode to save ink), cut them out and used them as templates. The kids used heart cookie cutters to decorate white paper and then I put their silhouette on it.
I like how it looks like they are thinking lovely thoughts.

To see other silhouette ideas, go here and here.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Polar Animal Crafts

This past week my class studied polar animals. Since my crafts were mostly "reruns" that I tweaked a bit and ones I copied from other people, I thought I'd quickly show them all in one post. I will link back to my original posts if you would like further instructions.
I decided to add some color to our crafts this week. Some by choice, others not so much. First up is the penguin. I used this craft, but cut the body and flippers from all different colors of paper, just for fun.

When we learned about polar bears, I used a craft I found at Mrs. Nessman's blog. I loved it! The kids used crumpled up waxed paper to make ice for their polar bears. They did all the tearing and crinkling and gluing themselves. I had already cut out the polar bears for them. They just added eyes and noses with a black marker. So cute!

I think next time I might try having them watercolor the background before adding the waxed paper.
For our seal pup craft, I had planned on making the same craft we made last year, but I forgot my fake snowflakes at home. So instead I found colored sand and asked the kids if they would mind making colorful seal pups. Of course they loved the idea! So they painted with glue and sprinkled on the sand.

Then came the snowy owls. We used the same technique as our puffy paint owls, but we just used regular white paint instead of making puffy paint. The kids used little porcupine balls to stamp an owl shape on their paper.
And then they added yellow eyes and brown beaks. I was low on blue paper, so we had colorful backgrounds instead.

I love all the colors!
I added in one more polar bear craft that I found at Mrs. Payton's Precious Kindergarteners. We made huge polar bear paws! The average polar bear's paw is 12 inches across, so I got the biggest white paper I could find and drew a paw shape on it. Kind of like an oval, kind of like a rounded rectangle. The kids cut them out themselves.
 I cut the claws and paw pads out for them and they glued them on.

But I took this craft one step further and added their footprints!
Then, similar to when we studied gorillas and we made our hand prints on top of a gorilla's hand print, I asked the kids what they would do if they ever met a polar bear. A friendly polar bear. I wrote their responses down and displayed it in the hallway.

And all week long, the kids could play with polar animals in water beads! The clear is the ice, the blue is the water.
I hope you enjoyed my polar animals recap!