Monday, March 10, 2014

Circus Train and Carnival Games

Last week when we had our Circus theme, my class made a train with animals. I was searching around for some good pictures they could color and paint when I realized it would be more fun if they drew the animals themselves!
They could draw whatever they wanted and I cut it out for them. Then they glued it onto a colored rectangle and glued on some black strips of paper for the bars.

Then they glued on two wheels. Among the animals on the circus train, we had a lion,
some tigers,

a seal,
an elephant,
and an octopus!
I printed out a train engine with a clown and hung up all the train cars behind it.
The kids really did a great job! And we had a little Circus Carnival! All week we've been playing these games, but on Friday I put all the games out at the same time and even set up a ticket booth.
The kids earned tickets for good behavior during morning free-play, circle time, snack time, and ZYLAR time (Zip Your Lips And Read). But they could also buy more tickets by answering questions from me about things I've taught them in the past. I printed out tickets from here. (I printed the white ones onto colored card stock paper.)
And I quickly came up with names for the games and made signs. Here's Juggling Ball Spectacular, where you throw little plastic balls through holes in cardboard:
And Quiet-as-a-Pin Drop, where you drop clothespins into a plastic container:
This one was my favorite. Clown Nose Toss, where you throw big pom poms (or clown noses) into little cups:
And we did Pin the Nose on the Clown (which I talked about here):
And finally, the kids' favorite, Bottle Knock-Out, where you throw little rubber prickly balls at some plastic containers and try to knock them off the shelf:
(Side note: those plastic containers had Puffs baby snacks in them. My daughter loves them and I've been saving the containers to make her a bowling pin set!)
Anyway, the kids had a great time! It was so fun, in fact, that we invited the 3-yr-old class to come over in the afternoon. My kids ran the booths and showed the younger ones how to play the games. And then everyone got to pick a prize! It was a wonderful way to end the week!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Class Clowns

Here come the clowns!
I took pictures of the kids and used the Pencil Sketch editing tool on Picasa before printing them out as 5x7s. I forgot to print them on card stock paper, so I ended up cutting them out and gluing them to the card stock instead. I put out markers, pom poms and scrap paper for the kids to use to make themselves into clowns.
To make the big collar that some clowns have, the kids could cut it out themselves or they could use the ones I started for them. I just took a rectangle and cut a "dip" where the neck would be.
They just had to cut the bottom in a silly way and glue it on.

Then when I cut the whole picture out, I rounded out the collars a bit at the shoulders. They could also make hats with the construction paper and pom poms. They turned out very cute!

I hung them in the hall with the title Class Clowns.
We also played Pin the Nose on the Clown! I drew a big noseless clown onto poster board and hung it on the wall. Then I blindfolded the kids one at a time, spun them around and they had to stick a pom pom on the clown!

I used masking tape and it went on and came off without any trouble at all. Tomorrow I'm going to try a different game with it. If it works out, I'll be sure to let you know!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Circus Treats

Our theme this week is The Circus! Today we talked about all the yummy treats you can get while you are there and we made two crafts to go along with it.
Cotton candy and popcorn! For the popcorn craft, I cut out a shape that resembled a little box or bag of popcorn and drew a red line near the top. I also cut up strips of red paper. The kids glued the strips of paper to the white paper, by lining them up along the red line. (I trimmed the ends off later.)

When they were done with their stripes, they added glue to the top part (we used a glue stick) and scrunched up yellow and white tissue paper squares and stuck them on.
So simple! I got the idea to use tissue paper from an Oriental Trading Company craft. It actually looks kind of real from a distance. I could almost smell it!
The cotton candy craft was just made with puffy paint (Elmer's glue, shaving cream and food coloring). You could easily draw a triangle on a piece of paper and have the kids paint above that, but I wanted them to be able to make a huge thing of cotton candy, so I added a triangle to the bottom of a piece of paper. Then the kids painted on their cotton candy.
It turned out that most kids didn't make a big one, so I guess it wasn't really necessary. When it was dry I cut around it. But I think I mixed my puffy paint too soon. I made it in the morning, then we had circle time and snack. By the time we did art the paint was a little stiff. Not a huge deal, but after painting with it, it mostly ended up drying lumpy instead of nice and puffy.
The kids didn't seem to care, but in the future I think I will wait to mix the shaving cream and glue until right before we are ready to do the project.

It was hard looking at these treat crafts all day, knowing we couldn't eat them. So I promised the kids I would bring in popcorn tomorrow. I wish I would have done that today. It would have been a great surprise for them!
UPDATE: This year we also made lollipops! Found out how by clicking here!