Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Kool-Aid Fireworks

Here's a quick and fun craft for Independence Day. You'll need Kool-Aid, Q-tips, a spray bottle filled with water, and thick white paper. We used construction paper, but it curled when it got wet so card stock paper might be better.
I chose red and blue Kool-Aid for the holiday, but any colors would look great. First you take pinches of Kool-Aid powder and drop them on your paper in small mounds.
Then you use a Q-tip to spread the powder out into several small lines.
Just start in the center and pull it out. Add a slight curve to the line to make it resemble a firework bursting. Then spray your paper with water from about a foot or two away. The colors burst to life! (Pun intended.)
The more water you use, the more it will blend and dissolve so it's up to you how much you want to use. I don't like using a lot because the powder gives it some texture. I have a mixed age-group in my care so for the older ones (3 and 4 years), I told them to try to make the bursts. They did great!

This was after one spray:
This was after two:
I ended up doing about four sprays, making sure all the powder got wet.
For the younger child (2 years old), I just let him sprinkle the Kool-Aid on his paper and then I sprayed it with water. Still cool!
And it smells great! But it will stain the fingers, so keep that in mind. Because it's made with Kool-Aid and it's summer, this isn't a project you want to hold on to for long. It's sticky and ants will be sure to find it. So enjoy it for awhile and then toss.
Here are some other projects we made with Kool-Aid!
Kool-Aid Art
Kool-Aid Rainbows

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 CraftProjectIdeas.com 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 CraftProjectIdeas.com!) 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.