Friday, November 30, 2012

More Sleepy Sloths

Yesterday I read "Slowly Slowly Slowly", said the Sloth, by Eric Carle. I have done a sloth craft in the past (seen here), but I changed it up a bit this year. I traced each child's foot, with their shoe on, onto brown paper and cut them out. The kids glued them onto green construction paper.
I chose green because sloths spend most of their time in trees of the rainforests, so this would resemble the leaves. Then the kids painted a branch with brown paint. They kept the branch close to their footprint.
Then they glued on arms/legs and a face.
Nothing fancy, just gray and brown construction paper.
They made sure the legs could reach the branch. When it dried, they drew claws on the legs and facial features onto the face.
They are adorable!

Fun Fact: Sloths come down from the trees once a week to go to the bathroom!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Colorful Chameleons

Today's Eric Carle book was The Mixed-Up Chameleon. After teaching the kids about chameleons (like how they actually change color according to their mood or temperature, not to hide!), I read the story and we got to work on our craft.
When I made my example (above), I cut out two chameleons. But when I prepared the craft for the kids, I only cut one out. I traced a chameleon template (from a coloring sheet I found) onto a paper plate.
I left little spots on the head so they would have some place to attach the neon wiggle eye. The kids took another paper plate and painted it with watercolors.
I really like all the colors blending together. I was tempted to have them "paint" the plate with just water first, and then go over it with watercolors, but I didn't.

Once it was dry, I found the center of the plates, used a scissors to poke a hole, and used a brass fastener to attach the chameleon plate on top of the painted plate.

Then the kids could turn the plate to make their chameleon change colors!

I didn't think it was a big deal if I just eyeballed the center of the plate, but if you are a perfectionist you might want to measure. If the fastener isn't in the exact center of the plate, when you spin the plates you will get this:
Eventually the plates won't be lined up anymore. It didn't bother me or the kids, though. I'm glad I left a spot for the eye. I only wish I could have made the tail look more like it was curled up instead of just a ball, but I didn't know how.

Fun Fact: A chameleon's tongue is often as long as its body!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Fingerprint Caterpillars

This project is nothing new, and extremely simple. I probably don't have to use any words to explain it, but you know I will! We started our Eric Carle theme today and our first book was The Very Hungry Caterpillar. I painted two paper plates to make my own ink pads.
This way the kids wouldn't get too much paint on their fingers. They pressed their fingertips onto the plate and made caterpillars on their paper.

When they were dry, the kids used markers to add legs and facial features.
Some even made a background!

They are just darling! I wasn't planning on blogging about this, because it's so simple, but the kids have come to expect me to take pictures of their art and when I don't they seem to get sad. So how could I not?

Fun Fact: Caterpillars have only 6 legs, just like all insects. The other legs are called prolegs and help the caterpillar move and grasp onto branches. When it changes into a moth or butterfly, only the 6 true legs remain.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

YAH: Ribbon Pumpkin

I know I normally don't share Young-at-Heart crafts during the week, but I wanted to get this out before Thanksgiving. I've made paper ornaments many times, but it wasn't until I saw the same technique with ribbon on Crafty Moms Share that I thought, what a great idea! And Carrie made pumpkins out of the ribbon, so I couldn't wait to try something similar. I only had to buy three things -- orange wire ribbon, floral wire and cinnamon sticks.
I made this craft at night (just a couple hours ago, actually) so forgive my poor-lighting photos.
I started by cutting 3 pieces of equal-length ribbon. The length all depends on how big you want your pumpkin. I crossed the pieces of ribbon like so:
(Love the star in the middle!) I pushed a brass fastener through the center of the star. It was fairly easy to do. This was only to hold it in place until I was ready to attach my stem.
Then I gathered all the ends of the ribbon at the top and used another fastener to hold them together.
Since that side was messier, with all the ends of the ribbon, I decided to flip it over and put it on the bottom. Now it was time to find a way to attach my stem -- a cinnamon stick! I knew it would be too heavy to just put it through the hole as is, so my brilliant husband came up with the idea to use a piece of clear plastic. It would be hidden by the ribbon! So I cut a piece from the lid of a veggie tray, punched a hole in it, made a few slits so it would be bigger, and stuck the cinnamon stick through it!
I decided to use hot glue to keep it in place, just in case. I also cut part of the stick off so it wasn't so long.
(Those pictures of my fingers remind me of a comment one of my students said to me today. She said, "Why are you getting so old?" I asked, "How can you tell I'm old?" And she responded, "Your hands look old!" Oh boy...)
Anyway, I had to make the hole in the ribbon a little larger, to accommodate the cinnamon stick, so I used one end of a scissors and kind of wiggled it around. Then I added the stick.
Bet you can't even see the plastic, can ya? To secure it even more, I put some hot glue on the plastic and pressed it to the ribbon. Because the ribbon is sheer, the glue went through all the layers. But keep in mind, because the ribbon is sheer, you can easily burn yourself on the glue! Be careful!
Finally it was time to use the floral wire to add some tendrils. I wrapped one wire around the cinnamon stick a few times, then used another cinnamon stick to make the ends curly.
You could see some of the hot glue next to the stem, so to cover it up I grabbed a couple leaves from my pumpkin planter and glued them on.
I think it turned out great! I plan on giving this to my sister when I go to her house for Thanksgiving. I hope she likes it! (And I hope she's not reading this!)

And the best part is that it folds almost completely flat for storage!
I know she'll appreciate that!

Happy Thanksgiving!

**Linking up to Wow Me Wednesday and Bowdabra's Saturday Showcase!**

Monday, November 19, 2012

Pom Pom Turkeys

Here's another turkey craft for anyone looking for some last-minute ideas. It's very easy. Cut construction paper into 3 sizes of semi-circles. Glue them together with the smallest one on the top.
Fold them accordion style.
These are the turkey's feathers. Cut a square from card stock paper (construction paper would work, too) and use craft glue to attach the feathers to the square so it stands up.
I just used a toothpick to spread the glue along the bottom of the feathers. In the past I've used regular Elmer's glue and it worked fine, but you might have to hold it a little longer. Craft glue only takes a few seconds. (I used Aleene's tacky glue.)
Then take a large pom pom and use a toothpick with glue to attach wiggle eyes, a beak and a snood. Then dip the pom pom into the glue and stick it on the square in front of the feathers.
The kids really enjoyed making these!

And they turned out so cute! I think they would make neat name place cards for the Thanksgiving dinner table.

Gobble, gobble!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Thankful Turkeys {Class Display}

I love how our craft turned out today! I was originally thinking of having the kids make some sort of turkey craft and then I'd write what they are thankful for on the feathers. But then it hit me -- why not have the kids turn themselves into turkeys?! So I took a picture of each child striking a "turkey pose."
Oh, it was cute! Then I put out different colored paint and some sponges. The kids made sponge paintings on white construction paper.
All I had were shape sponges, so I reminded the kids to make a whole bunch and overlap the prints so you couldn't see the shapes.
When they were dry, I traced a "feather" pattern onto their paper as many times as I could.
I cut out the feathers and their pictures and the kids glued their feathers to the back of their picture.
I realized that these turkeys needed beaks! So I made some super quick and the kids glued them over their nose and mouth.
I still thought they were missing something, so finally we added feet! And I wrote what the kids were thankful for on the feathers.
I printed out the words, "I am thankful for..." and displayed the turkeys around it.
Here's an updated picture after more of my students made them:
I just love them!

Ahhh! So cute, right?

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