Monday, April 30, 2012


We started our Weather unit today and our first topic was rain. And what goes perfectly with rain? Umbrellas, of course! The kids colored a coffee filter, but instead of using markers they used these:
They are like the generic version of Do-a-Dot markers, but skinnier. The kids made designs on the coffee filters,
then I sprayed them with water.
When they were dry, I cut umbrellas out of them. I got the template from a book I found on one of my shelves. Then I cut handles out of construction paper and glued them on.
On the handles, I wrote what the kids like to do when it rains. I also made a duck (from a coloring sheet, found here) and umbrella and wrote on a cloud, "Waddle you do if it rains?"
Get it? I totally stole that from the genius over at A Cupcake for the Teacher!

Sorry about the pictures. We have skinny halls and bright walls. It looks great, but not the best for taking pictures!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Colorful Cows

Colorful what? Cows. You wouldn't think those two words would go together, but today in my class, they did.
I printed out a coloring sheet of a cow, without any spots. I found it here. The kids used crayons to color parts of the cow, like the tail, horns and feet.
Then they dipped their fingers in fingerpaint to make the spots. But instead of just making small spots, they put a bunch of fingerprints together to make larger, more cow-like spots.
They turned out very colorful. The fingerpaint is so bright!

Fun Fact: Contrary to popular belief, cows do not have four stomachs. They have one stomach with four chambers.

**Happy Blogiversary to me!**

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Little Piggies!

We learned about pigs yesterday and did a simple (but cute!) craft to go along with it. I cut out circles in two different sizes for the head and body. I also cut out ear shapes -- basically rounded triangles. And I set out pink pipe cleaners, pom poms and cotton balls.
The first thing the kids did was glue the ears to the back of the little circle. Then they glued on either a pom pom or a cotton ball for the snout.
The reason we used both pom poms and cotton balls was because I didn't have enough of either one. But I am glad that happened because now they don't all look exactly the same! Then the kids glued on wiggle eyes and black dots for the nostrils. I made the black dots with a hole punch.
Finally, they wrapped a pipe cleaner around their finger to make a curly tail. Then we let the heads dry for awhile.
See? So cute, right? When the glue was dry, I used masking tape to attach the tail to the back of the big circle.
Then the kids glued on the head and added a mouth with a marker. I also bent the ears down a bit.
As cute as they were (don't you love their sweet faces?), they didn't seem complete. So this morning I quickly made some legs by cutting out small rectangles with a tiny triangle cut out of the bottom. Then I colored the bottom black.
There -- much better! I hung them on the wall with the quote, "And this little piggy cried 'wee wee wee' all the way home!"
Each pig seems to have its own personality! So cute!!

Fun Fact: Pigs are actually clean animals. They only roll around in the mud to keep cool. So if a pig is always in a cool or covered environment, it will be clean!

**Linking up to the parties on my sidebar!**

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Craft-Stick Barns

We started our farm unit yesterday and did a three-part project over two days. I put out glue, red paper and a whole bunch of popsicle sticks. The kids "built" barns on their paper. They didn't do any gluing at first, only setting the sticks on the paper.
When the barn was complete, they picked up each stick and put a drop of glue at each end.

In the afternoon, when the glue was dry, they painted the sticks white.

This may have been a bit backwards, but I thought it would be easier if the sticks weren't a-slippin' and a-slidin'. It took two coats to get them white. And then today the kids added some farm animals. I printed some clip art out from my computer and they glued the animals to the barn.

And that's how we made our barns!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

YAH: Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

This evening's Young-at-Heart craft isn't really a craft, but I still wanted to share it with you.
I encourage the kids in my class to bring in books from home so I can read them during storytime before lunch. One day last Fall, one sweetie brought in this princess cookbook:
I was excited to find this on the inside:
I love lemonade, and the thought of a cupcake tasting like lemonade made my mouth water. So I copied down the recipe to save for a summer day. Well, I couldn't wait any longer so I made them today. Some of the lemonade goes in the batter and some goes in the frosting. The batter seemed extra fluffy to me.
When it was time for the frosting, I used a new technique I learned for filling up a decorating bag. Put it in a cup!
Oh. my. goodness. How did I not know about this before?! Was I the last to know? It was so much easier! Anyway, I did not have the jumbo tip that was recommended, so my frosting swirls were a bit skinny, but I still like how they turned out. Oh, I should add that I was out of red food coloring so I used pink from my neon pack. And then I used yellow sugar cookie sprinkles and candy lemon fruit slices to decorate the cupcakes.
I tried to take a "pretty" photo for you all, but the sun was setting fast and I was losing light.
And then after that photo was taken I thought, I should have made some lemonade with the leftovers (because there was quite a bit)! So I did that quickly.
How did they taste? Well, for starters, the lemon slice was rock hard, but they were generic ones from my grocery store so I wasn't expecting much. As for the cupcake, I enjoyed the one I ate, but it wasn't "to die for" or anything. (UPDATE: So I just had another cupcake, the day after I made them. They taste much better than last night! Really, really good!) The frosting definitely made me pucker up like I do when I drink very sour lemonade. I think next time I'd rather have a pink lemonade cupcake with cream cheese frosting. Or a strawberry cupcake with pink lemonade frosting. Ooh, strawberry lemonade! Yum! My husband likes the cupcakes, and I am sending the majority of them with him to work tomorrow. (His co-workers get a lot of my "experiments" unless we both really like it and don't want to give any away!) The book has some other delicious-sounding recipes, like Strawberry Milkshake Cupcakes and Raspberry Cocoa Freeze, so I may have to try those someday. Here's the recipe for the lemonade cupcakes in case you are interested:

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes
1 pkg white cake mix (without pudding in the mix)
1 cup water
3 egg whites
2 tbsp oil
1/3 cup thawed frozen pink lemonade concentrate
4-6 drops red food coloring

Beat everything in large bowl with mixer at medium speed for 2 minutes or until well blended. Spoon batter evenly into prepared muffin cups. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-22 minutes.

4 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup thawed frozen pink lemonade concentrate
1-2 drops red food coloring

Beat everything except the food coloring in medium bowl with mixer at medium speed until well blended. Beat in food coloring until shade of pink is desired. Frost and garnish with lemon candies if desired.

**Linking up to Wow Me Wednesday and Kitchen Fun and Crafty Friday!**

Thursday, April 19, 2012

April Bulletin Board

So I took brown paint and painted the bottoms of some little feet...
...and some little hands.
Little fingerprints also showed up, and splatters of paint.
Then I added:
And I hung it in the hall for all to enjoy!


I saw this Litterbug museum at First Last! and the critters were so cute! I knew we had to try something similar during our Earth Day/Recycling unit. So I asked the kids to bring in recyclable items from home. Then I set out pipe cleaners, wiggle eyes, glue dots and scrap paper. I'm sorry I don't have any pictures of the making of these little litterbugs, but I was so busy helping the kids! I had my glue gun on hand for any hard-to-glue parts. The kids did a great job! We have some adorable creatures:

The kids were so proud of their litterbugs! In past years I've asked for recyclable items during my robot unit and the entire class would build a giant robot. Again, I have no pictures of the building process, but when it was done I covered the whole thing in aluminum foil and the kids posed for a picture. This was last year's robot:

(Sorry about the picture quality, but this was pre-blog so I was really only taking the picture for my own archive.) We kept "him" in our room for a couple weeks, then hauled the entire thing to the recycling bin. The kids loved it!

**Linking up to Weekly Kid's Co-op and Sharing Saturday!**