Thursday, September 27, 2012

Apples Up On Top {counting activity}

While learning about apples this week, one of my students brought in the book Ten Apples Up On Top by Dr. Seuss. As I was reading it, I was thinking of an activity we could do to go along with it. So on my lunch break I photocopied a few of the pages.
Then I taped them to a window to make them easier to trace. I traced 4 of the animals and put two on each page. The kids colored the animals first,
and then used a Colorations dot marker (smaller than the Do-a-Dot markers) to makes apples on the animals' heads.
The reason I left so much room at the top of the page was because I was planning on using corks dipped in paint to make the apples. But the corks were too big and these dot markers were the perfect size. But that left SO much room that some of the kids went crazy and put a whole lotta apples up on top! I told them they could make as many as they wanted, as long as they were able to count them! If they had trouble writing their numbers, I did a quick dot-to-dot for them to trace.

If I had to do it again, I think I would write the numbers first and the kids would have to add that number of apples. Or they could roll dice to figure out how many apples to make. That might be fun!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Q-Tip Painting: Fall Tree

I did another fall tree project with my class.
I traced a tree trunk onto paper and the kids colored it in using several shades of brown crayons.
Then they dipped Q-tips into paint and made little prints all over their tree.

Although they did enjoy doing this, they all surprised me by kind of rushing through it and being done sooner than I had hoped. Most of them only put about 20 or so prints on their paper. Here a couple trees that were fuller:

I have a feeling that if I let them paint with their fingers instead of Q-tips, their entire papers would have been filled up! Next time...

Sunday, September 23, 2012

YAH: Pumpkin Planter

It's time for another Young-at-Heart craft! Fall is probably my most favorite time to make crafts. (Check out my fall wreath from last year here and a fall print I made here.) There are so many ideas floating around out there! But something really caught my eye this year. Lots of people are putting plants and flowers inside pumpkins. I love how it looks, but I didn't want to deal with cleaning out a real pumpkin or having to water the plant. Or having the pumpkin rot. So I decided to use a craft pumpkin and fake flowers. I know most people cringe at the thought of fake flowers in the home, but it's easiest for me and I can enjoy them for months at a time and get them back out the next year. So I went to Michaels and picked three groups of flowers as well as an orange craft pumpkin. Everything was 40% off and I had a gift card from my sister.
(My cats LOVE the smell of the fake flowers from Michaels. I don't know what it is, but they always go crazy for them.)
I really wanted a white/cream pumpkin, but they didn't have any left. I considered spray painting this orange one, but I thought I'd put it together first and then decide. So as soon as I got home from the store I got to work. Actually, that's not true. I took a nap. Then I got to work! I drew a circle around the top of the pumpkin. I wasn't sure how big of an opening I wanted, but I'd rather start small because I can always cut more if I wanted it wider.
Then I used a regular cutting knife from my kitchen to cut it. It was very easy. And mess-free! I arranged the flowers how I wanted them, using two groups as is and cutting up the third group to fill in spaces.
I was pretty happy with it so I didn't cut any more off the opening of the pumpkin. But I thought it still needed something. So I got out my ribbon bin and found a chocolate one that would be perfect. Using my Bowdabra, I made a bow and pinned it on the front.
I thought of putting this on my porch (and putting something heavy inside the pumpkin to weigh it down), but then I glanced at my chocolate wall behind me. I loved the colors of the flowers against the dark brown. So I made a space on our wine bar for my pumpkin planter.
I think it looks great! I might like a cream pumpkin better, but for now this will do just fine. Maybe next year when I get it out of storage I will paint it.
Ahhh, what a beautiful season...

**Linking up to Thrifty Decor Chick and Bowdabra's Saturday Showcase!**

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Caramel Apple Craft

Happy Autumnal Equinox! Finally! I have a very simple craft to share with you that involves a yummy fall treat. Except this one isn't edible -- sorry! I cut out some apple shapes and mixed brown, white and yellow paint to make a caramel-y color. It didn't look too real, but it was good enough. I also added some glue to the paint. You'll find out why in a bit. The kids painted their apples upside down.
When you eat a caramel apple, you actually eat it upside down because the stick gets inserted into the top of the apple. I told them to leave a little bit of their apple showing at the bottom (which is really the top) so it would look like the apple was dipped into the caramel. And just for fun, we added sprinkles. I brought in Halloween sprinkles because I have two big containers of them for some reason.
So while the paint was still wet, the kids shook on some sprinkles. That's why I added the glue to the paint. The sprinkles may have stuck to just wet paint, but I wasn't sure if they would stick after the paint dried.
When they were dry, I taped jumbo craft sticks to the back.
And there you have it -- caramel apples! Even though I am in my late 30's, I still enjoy this treat and make it every fall!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Silly Scarecrows

Last year my class my huge scarecrows. I loved them but I wanted to do something different this year. I used the same template as my big scarecrow, which is from a coloring sheet I found many years ago.
I traced the different clothing parts onto construction paper and cut them out.
Then I took pictures of the kids and cut out the heads and put them "in" the hats.
They selected what color they wanted and I glued the heads in. I cut a slit in the hat so the top of the head was covered up by the hat. I left a little part of the picture below their heads so they would have something to which they could glue the scarf. I also cut small squares out of felt in case they wanted to glue on patches or a pocket.
At the art table, the kids put the rest of the body parts together themselves.
Then I asked what color yarn they wanted for a belt and tied that around the waist for them.
It was looking a tad boring so I found some straw-colored construction paper, cut some fringe, glued it to the arms and legs, and roughed it up a bit.
That's exactly what our scarecrows needed -- straw!
I hung them all on our door.
Three of my kids were gone today, so they will add theirs tomorrow. I was trying to think of a fun title or saying, but nothing came to mind (other than "Happy Fall, y'all" which is everywhere). I do like that they are personalized with the children's faces, but I miss the big ones!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Pretzel-Stick Trees

I am so excited to share today's project with you! I thought of it just a couple days ago and hoped it would work. And it did!
I made my own this morning and as soon as I glued the first "branch" on, I was excited! It turned out better than I imagined! Even without leaves it looks cool.
But the tissue-paper leaves give it that extra somethin'.
Once mine was done, it was time for the kids to get to work. We used blue and light green (just for fun) construction paper for our background. The first thing they glued on was a big pretzel stick for the trunk. They ran glue all along one side of the pretzel.
Then they glued on small pretzel sticks for the branches. For smaller branches, they easily snapped the pretzel sticks in half.
They kept adding branches until they were happy with their tree. Check out these amazing trees!

Then the kids headed over to another table to put on the leaves. They just scrunched up tissue paper squares, dipped them in glue and stuck them on their tree! Or they glued them to the bottom of the paper to represent fallen leaves.
We had some beautiful fall trees!

I hung them up with the words, "Welcome Autumn!"
I just love them!! And although I'm not a huge fan of pretzels, they actually smelled good so we had them as a snack later!

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

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Blue B's, Purple Collages, and Rainbow Rice

I decided to lump together our last couple projects that we did for our Color unit last week. They are very simple and didn't seem to need their own post. On Thursday we discussed the color blue and also our letter of the week was B. So I printed out a big B from my computer and traced it onto paper for the kids.
Then I put out three shades of blue paint and different brushes and foam rollers.
The bowl without any brushes was for finger painting. The kids had a great time decorating their B's!

Friday was Violet/Purple day. I found a bunch of random purple things from my craft drawer.

The kids glued whatever they wanted on their paper.

I also made rainbow rice for our sensory tub. I've wanted to color rice for the longest time and this was the perfect time to do it. There are directions out on the web which say to use something like 2 tbsp rubbing alcohol with a few squirts of food coloring and 2 cups of rice. But I never measured. I just poured some alcohol into a big ziploc baggie, added some food coloring and poured in some rice. If it didn't seem to cover it all or if the color wasn't dark enough, I just added more alcohol and coloring. I mixed up the rice just by squishing it around in the bag. I used neon and regular food coloring. Then I dumped the bags out onto cookie sheets that were lined with paper towels so the rice could dry. (I didn't have to drain the bags like I did when I dyed pasta.) I was in love with the vibrant colors!
(My first photo collage!)
I mixed all the pastel colors together first (those from my neon pack) and really liked that combination. It would be great for a spring or Easter project.
Then I added the rest. I could tell immediately that I didn't have enough. When I got to school and dumped it in the sensory tub, it was just a thin layer that barely covered the bottom. But it will do for now and someday I'll make more. I added some little bears that the kids could bury.
Then we used a spinner from our Candy Land Bingo game. Whichever color it landed on was the color of bear they had to find in the rice.
So yes, more rice would have worked better so the kids could dig around a little more. I also put our sand toys in there so the kids could just play.
They really liked that!
So that is the end of our Color week. I hope you got some good ideas!