Thursday, September 18, 2014

Scarecrow Silhouettes

If you've been following me for awhile, you know I'm a sucker for sunsets and silhouettes. With my class I've done desert, wild west. and tropical sunsets. I've always used coffee filters and food coloring, but I wanted the scarecrow sunsets to be a bit bigger. We used regular watercolors to make ours this time and they are beautiful.
The kids painted back and forth over their paper using yellow, red and orange paint.
(Yes, I taped over the other colors. Was that wrong?) Before the paint had a chance to soak into the paper too much, I went over it with plain water to blend the colors.
This is something the kids could do themselves, but I was helping them out. I also noticed when we used regular white construction paper, the colors didn't blend very well. The paint soaked in really fast. Maybe we should have painted with water first, then used the water colors.
But for half of them, we used this paper:
I found it at Michaels. It was very easy to blend the paint colors using that paper.
I didn't have enough of either kind, so some kids used that and some used the regular construction paper. But anyway, back to the project. Once dry, the kids added on a scarecrow that I had cut from black construction paper. It was a little time consuming to cut out all the details, but I didn't need many.
I found the templates here and here. (I just copied the picture and saved it to my desktop, then printed it out in the size I wanted.) Once the scarecrow was on, they used black Sharpies (thin and regular) to make corn stalks in the field around the scarecrow. I told them to just make a straight line down and then add some curvy lines on each side coming out from the straight line. They did a great job!

You could use black tempera paint, too, but I think the pens give the children a little better control.
I had told them when they painted not to worry about going all the way to the edges of the paper because I was planning on framing them. But I regret that. I tried making a couple frames and it wasn't working well because each one had to be a different size depending on how much white was left on the sides. So I cropped them all to the size of a regular piece of paper and taped them to a piece of black construction paper.

A couple kids didn't understand the whole silhouette thing and drew faces on their scarecrows.

Still cute, though! Another regret I have is not making some sort of ground, like grass. It looks like the scarecrow is floating in midair. Oh well! I learn as I go!
I had three kids out sick today so I only have a small display of these :( But they sure are pretty to look at.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Handprint Crayon Boxes

We are reviewing our colors this week and today I read The Crayon Box That Talked, by Shane DeRolf. The crayons don't get along at the beginning of the story, but after a child draws a picture with them, the crayons realize how special each color is. To go along with this book, my kids made crayon boxes with their handprints. I saw this on Pinterest here, but it only links to a picture. I mixed a little orange paint with the yellow to make it look more like a crayon box and painted the child's palm. Then I added some green paint to the sides. The kids picked four colors for their fingers, which would be the crayons.

When it dried, I added two green lines on each side, just like a box of crayons. However, I kind of wish I didn't do that. I think it looked better without them.
I asked the kids (individually) what their crayons were saying to each other and I wrote it down next to their handprint. I did remind them that our crayons liked each other, just like at the end of the book. And to finish the box off, I added their names in a green oval, just like my inspiration photo.

 This one made me laugh:
If you can't read it, it says, "Purple, I love you so much, I want to swim in purple water with you!" and "I want you to eat plums with me after swimming in all that purple water!" :0)
I hung them up around a sign that said, "The Crayon Box That Talked."

This would also work as a back-to-school activity since crayons and school go hand-in-hand!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Back-to-School Buses

Although my center is open all year long, my kids still get a "back-to-school" feeling because they start 4K at the school. They spend the morning with me and bus to 4K for a few hours in the afternoon. So I thought they'd enjoy making little school buses. I drew a very basic school bus shape on yellow construction paper. It's all straight lines. The kids cut out the buses all by themselves.
Then they glued on black rectangles and black circles (that I had previously cut out for them) to make the windows and wheels of the bus.
I also cut out red octagons and they glued them on the bus as well. They used a silver metallic Sharpie to write STOP on it.
If they wanted, they could use a black marker to write a number on their bus and the words School Bus.
I took a picture of each child and printed them out using the Contacts option, which provided me with the perfect size photo for the window.
I printed five of each kid and cut around the heads, although leaving them as rectangles would have worked as well. Then each child glued their own picture in the first window and glued their friends' pictures in the remaining windows.

I told them to glue the pictures at the bottom of the windows to avoid "floating heads." :o) The kids loved seeing their pictures on the bus!

Monday, September 1, 2014


I have one last "summer" craft I'm trying to squeeze in before the new school year starts tomorrow. A few weeks ago we did a Pirate unit and I had the kids make little faces with paper plates. We used the small paper plates and I made skin-toned paint by mixing white and brown. The kids painted the plate and when it was dry, the boys had the option of making a beard with fingerprints. (They drew in a little mouth first.)
Then they all made little hats for their pirates. I cut out really small skulls and bones for them to glue on.
For the girls, I decided to give them all pig tails that matched their own hair color and style. I stapled them on to the sides of the plates and covered the staples with glitter glue (to look like rubber bands).
Then they finished drawing the face.
Finally, they added a wiggle eye and a patch, which was cut from black construction paper. They drew two lines coming from the patch to look like it was wrapped around the head. They turned out so cute!

I put them on my door with a sign that says, "My Students Aarrgh Great!"
It's been a fun summer with these seven kids of mine!