Thursday, January 31, 2013

Another Twist on Silhouettes

Last year for our Groundhog/Shadow theme, we made Silhouettes with a Twist. Instead of a black head and colored background, the kids had a very colorful silhouette with a black background. I loved it, but I wanted to do something different this year. Here's what we did:
I got the idea for the "halo" look from Housing A Forest, but we did things differently. (Mainly because it had been so long since I read the post that I forgot how they did it.) First I traced the kids' heads onto pink construction paper. This was a little tricky, as they move and giggle quite a bit! Then I cut out all the heads before we started the project. At the art table, I used that sticky blue gooey stuff for hanging things on walls to attach the head to a piece of white paper. Then the kids used oil pastels to make lines from the pink paper to the white paper, all around their head.
They could use one color or several colors. I told them to keep the lines close together so there wouldn't be any huge spots of white.
Then they used a tissue to smear the oil pastels, again starting on the pink paper and moving to the white.
The smearing actually worked better when the kids drew their lines lightly, instead of pressing really hard. When all the smearing was done, I removed the pink paper.
I kind of wish I gave all the girls ponytails or something so they wouldn't look so bald, but they all turned out very cool, in my opinion.

I might use this technique again for other things. It was pretty easy for the kids to do by themselves. A few of the younger ones had trouble smearing with a tissue, but they eventually got the hang of it.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Snow Painting {Fail?}

I hate to use the word fail when it comes to art because it's about the process, not the final result. But it just didn't turn out how I had hoped. I saw these beautiful snow paintings at Happy Hooligans. Seriously, you need to check them out. I was so excited to try it with my class during our Winter theme, which was last week. Well, the first two days of the week it was below zero so we couldn't go outside. The third day I wanted them to actually get to play outside since it had been so long. So on the fourth day I thought we'd give snow painting a shot. We had just received a light dusting of snow, which I thought would be perfect. It would give everyone a fresh white canvas. So I filled some cups with washable paint and we headed to the park.
Big mistake. It was maybe 4 degrees out with the windchill. And the new snow just stuck to the paint brushes.
I told the kids to clear away the new snow and paint on the old, hard, frozen, dirty snow. It didn't seem to help.
The paint was freezing and the bristles on the brushes were freezing as well. But the kids did seem to enjoy doing something different.

I probably won't attempt this again with my class. Paint got everywhere, and even though it was washable, I felt bad sending it home that way. So I scrubbed a bunch of mittens and hats and boots in the sink when we got back. Spray bottles might be a better option. But after seeing those paintings at Happy Hooligans, how could I resist trying it myself?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Dancing Snowmen

I got this snowman craft idea years and years ago from some book. You're supposed to use paper plates, but I find the kids have a hard time gluing things to the ridges of the plates. Glue sticks aren't strong enough. So whenever I do this craft with my class, I just use white paper circles. I cut out boots, carrot noses and hats from construction paper. And this year I cut out circles for buttons, since I didn't have any. One of my sisters gave me a big book of wallpaper samples, so I cut the mittens from that. The kids glued on all the pieces and drew eyes and a mouth.

Then I used a hole punch and some yarn to attach the head to the body. This is what makes the snowmen dance. They wiggle when you hold the hat and move the snowmen a little bit. It's very cute.

I hung them from the ceiling so they can dance around whenever the vents blow air.

The snowman book I read during circle time wasn't about a dancing snowman, but rather a very cold snowman.
Sneezy the Snowman by Maureen Wright. This book is ADORABLE! The snowman is cold and tries to warm himself up, but always ends up melting himself! The kids have to keep building him. And there are two cardinals that are hilarious!! They are my favorite part of the book. They end up taking a bath or swimming in his puddle or roasting marshmallows by the fire. You can see inside the book if you look it up on Amazon. SO CUTE! My kids always like finding the cardinals on each page and end up giggling like crazy! Maybe next time we'll have to make a sneezy snowman craft.

**Linking up to Two Succulent Sisters!**

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Coffee Filter Snowflakes

I've been a little quiet this week, but that's because this project took a few days to complete. We started by folding a coffee filter in half, then in half again, then in half one more time. The kids cut out little designs in the sides and ends, being careful not to cut all the way across.

They were so excited to open up the filter to see their snowflake! I added their picture to the middle and laminated them so they wouldn't be so fragile.
Then I used glitter glue to add some sparkle around their picture. The kids then decorated their snowflake with sequins.
And lots and lots of glue, as you can see above.
For those kids who weren't in school on the day we did this, I put the sequins on mini glue dots for them. Then they just peeled them off and stuck them on the snowflake. That way I didn't have to wait another day for them to dry. I was eager to get up my display! I wrote "Every one different, every one special." And I explained to the kids that no two snowflakes are alike, just like no two people are alike.

We are learning about winter this week so I brought in pictures of real snowflakes that I found online here. I cut them in half and laminated them so the kids could play a matching game.
 Some were easy. some were hard.
But they enjoyed it and were surprised to see what snowflakes really look like!
Check out our Rainbow Snowflakes from last year!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Arctic Foxes, Water Beads and Bingo

The last polar animal we learned about was the arctic fox. We learned how they are brown in the summer and white in the winter. So we started with brown foxes. I found a coloring sheet I liked, printed it on brown construction paper and cut out the fox. (I used this one.) The kids glued the brown fox to white paper, for a "snowy" background.
Then they used a glue stick to cover their fox with cotton balls so it would blend in with the background.

They stretched and peeled apart the cotton balls before gluing them on. And boy, was it a sticky situation!
But they loved it.

I also want to share with you a couple things we had going on this week. In the sensory bin I put blue water beads in a small container and filled the rest of the bin with clear water beads. The blue is the water, the clear is ice and snow. Then I put in some polar animals.

Of course, after I bought the clear water beads, I learned about square water beads from a few other bloggers. That would have worked better for the ice.
And I also made Polar Bingo for the kids. I found this great site where you can make cards with pictures on them. I printed several copies of the cards and put them in groups of 8 onto paper. Then I laminated them.
I printed out another set from which the kids would pick, and also laminated those.
I set out our counting bears to use as markers. The kids took turns picking a card and if either of them had it on their Bingo card, they covered it with a bear.
It really was a lot of fun and I think I might visit that site again and again to make different things for my classroom! It's free!

Fun Fact: Arctic foxes have a great sense of hearing. If they hear an animal under the snow, they will leap up and pounce, thus breaking the snow right where the prey is.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Roly Poly Penguins

I have a cute penguin craft to share with you today! I cut paper into 3-inch strips and rolled them up. Then I stapled two rolls together.
We used glue dots to attach wiggle eyes to the top roll.
Then we added paper beaks, white bellies, feet and flippers.
Most of the penguins were able to stand on their own because of the big feet!
The only reason we made purple and pink ones is because I was running low on black paper, but I actually really like the variety! They are all so cute!
I also brought in some plastic eggs so the kids could try to walk while balancing the eggs on their feet, just like Emperor penguins!
Needless to say, it didn't work so well. And some of the kids were actually disappointed that there wasn't a baby penguin in their egg! I'll have to remember that for next year.
Fun Fact: Most penguins live in the southern hemisphere. The Galapagos penguins are the only ones that might cross over to the northern hemisphere.