Friday, January 23, 2015

Polar Animal Crafts

This past week my class studied polar animals. Since my crafts were mostly "reruns" that I tweaked a bit and ones I copied from other people, I thought I'd quickly show them all in one post. I will link back to my original posts if you would like further instructions.
I decided to add some color to our crafts this week. Some by choice, others not so much. First up is the penguin. I used this craft, but cut the body and flippers from all different colors of paper, just for fun.

When we learned about polar bears, I used a craft I found at Mrs. Nessman's blog. I loved it! The kids used crumpled up waxed paper to make ice for their polar bears. They did all the tearing and crinkling and gluing themselves. I had already cut out the polar bears for them. They just added eyes and noses with a black marker. So cute!

I think next time I might try having them watercolor the background before adding the waxed paper.
For our seal pup craft, I had planned on making the same craft we made last year, but I forgot my fake snowflakes at home. So instead I found colored sand and asked the kids if they would mind making colorful seal pups. Of course they loved the idea! So they painted with glue and sprinkled on the sand.

Then came the snowy owls. We used the same technique as our puffy paint owls, but we just used regular white paint instead of making puffy paint. The kids used little porcupine balls to stamp an owl shape on their paper.
And then they added yellow eyes and brown beaks. I was low on blue paper, so we had colorful backgrounds instead.

I love all the colors!
I added in one more polar bear craft that I found at Mrs. Payton's Precious Kindergarteners. We made huge polar bear paws! The average polar bear's paw is 12 inches across, so I got the biggest white paper I could find and drew a paw shape on it. Kind of like an oval, kind of like a rounded rectangle. The kids cut them out themselves.
 I cut the claws and paw pads out for them and they glued them on.

But I took this craft one step further and added their footprints!
Then, similar to when we studied gorillas and we made our hand prints on top of a gorilla's hand print, I asked the kids what they would do if they ever met a polar bear. A friendly polar bear. I wrote their responses down and displayed it in the hallway.

And all week long, the kids could play with polar animals in water beads! The clear is the ice, the blue is the water.
I hope you enjoyed my polar animals recap!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Snowy Day Art

I've always loved the artwork on the inside cover of Ezra Jack Keat's The Snowy Day.
The colors are so beautiful. And the other day after we made our snow cone snowmen, I was cleaning off the snowflake stamps by rubbing them on a piece of paper. I loved what was left behind. It reminded me of The Snowy Day. So I used some foam blocks from our building center, dabbed them on the ink pad and then rubbed them across my paper. Then I used the snowflake stamps on top.
Not quite the same, but I liked it! So I called the kids over to try it.

I love when I accidentally discover a new way to create art!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Snow Cone Snowmen

The inspiration for this craft came from Oriental Trading. They have a snow cone snowman ornament craft that is flat and made out of craft foam. I thought it would be fun to make a 3D version. I was planning on using some snow cone cups that I had, but they were huge and I would have needed really big styrofoam balls to fill them. I didn't want to spend that much. So instead I opened up one of my cups to use as my template. Then I just rolled them smaller. While they were still flat, I had the kids decorate them with snowflake stamps and ink.
To make the snowmen, they took two styrofoam balls, one big and one little, and attached them together using a toothpick. Then each child picked a hat for their snowman. I brought in some of my daughter's old baby socks and cut them in two. The toe part would be a regular hat. For the ankle part, I cut strips for fringe on one end and used a rubber band to make a little poof.
They were adorable! I had cut strips of felt to make scarves, and I cut up some pipe cleaners for the noses and arms. We also used wiggle eyes and buttons and attached them with glue dots.

I set out a bunch of permanent markers for the kids to make smiles. They pushed the tip of the marker into the styrofoam a bunch of times to make little dots.
Ta-da! So cute!

Then I rolled up their snow cone wrapper to the perfect size, taped them closed, added some glue to the rim and set the snowman in it. I pushed down along the rim to make sure it would adhere to the ball. You want to make sure the ball fits snug inside, not just rest on top. I had to open up and re-roll a few because there wasn't enough of the ball for which the paper could attach. After doing that, I had to find spots around my classroom for the glue to dry while the snowmen were in an upright position. It was kind of fun seeing these guys all over.

I decided to add a drop of glue between the big and small balls, just in case. I was planning on hanging them from the ceiling so I wanted them to be secure. The scarves and hats clung to the styrofoam easily, so there was no need to glue them on. When they were dry, I hung them from the lights by sticking a paperclip right through the hat.
 Here are some close-ups of these cuties:

And of course we had to have snow cones (in little dixie cups) with our snack!
The snowflake stamps inspired me to make something else. I'll share that soon!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Icicles and Snowflakes

We are discussing the season of Winter this week. Yesterday we made icicles with glue and salt. I got the idea from Inner Child Fun. The kids made a line of glue at the top of their paper, tipped it up to watch the glue drip, and then added salt.

We used coarse Kosher salt. I thought the bigger salt looked better than regular table salt. And the more salt, the better. Here is one with a little salt:
After encouraging the child to add lots more salt, this is how it looked:
I like the chunky look better.
I will warn you, though, when I was hanging these up on the wall, chunks were falling off. You probably wouldn't have that problem with regular salt. But if you're not handling them much, it's not a big deal. I hung them up with a poem: I drip drip drip, From my tip tip tip, Like a tooth tooth tooth, From the roof roof roof.
The kids love that poem!
We also made snowflakes by cutting up folded coffee filters. I saw this wonderful door display at The Butterfly Jungle of a polar bear blowing snowflakes instead of bubbles. I knew I would never be able to make a polar bear sitting like that, so I decided to make a snowman instead. And since my class is crazy for the movie Frozen, I made Olaf.

I cut everything free-hand. It was nice that it didn't have to be perfect. And the kids were so excited when they saw it!
We are also doing our styrofoam snowman activity from last year.
Check it out here!