Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Egg Carton Forest Creatures

I saw these adorable animal finger puppets made from egg cartons in the April issue of Family Fun. I knew immediately I wanted to make these with my class. They turned out so cute!
We used the egg cups at the ends of each carton because they made the best faces. I let the kids pick which animal they wanted to make and what colors they wanted their animal to be. First they painted the whole thing one color.

If another color was needed, we waited for the first color to dry completely, then painted the second color. I outlined where the paint needed to go, then the kids filled it in. I cut ears from construction paper that matched the paint they used. We attached them to the back of the rim using mini glue dots.
We put some Elmer's glue into each egg cup and dropped in a wiggle eye, and glued a pom pom on the nose. The kids made a deer,
a raccoon,
a skunk,
and a fox.
I wanted to make an owl, so first I painted it,
then added a paper beak.
I used big wiggle eyes and added feather tufts.
To use it as a puppet, the kids could stick their index finger into the nose part and hold onto it with their thumb and middle finger.

SO CUTE! It works best with animals that have eyes in front instead of on the side of the face. When I first saw these puppets in the magazine, I had planned on making bunnies this way for Easter, but after looking at an egg carton I knew it wouldn't work. So I did it as part of my Earth Day theme, by upcycling egg cartons!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Rockin' Robins

Tweet, tweet, tweet...

We studied birds last week and the kids noticed we have a bunch of robins that hang around our playground. So although robins weren't on my lesson plan originally, I had to add them in. And of course I couldn't resist doing a robin craft. I painted the kids' feet brown and made prints. When they were dry, I cut them out leaving a big "belly" on the inside of the foot. The kids painted glue on this belly and applied crumpled-up orange tissue paper squares to it.
Then they added yellow beaks and brown feet. I decided to make these birds rock stars, so I drew in sunglasses.
I printed out some guitars and microphones for the kids to color and hung them up with the birds. I also made some musical notes.
I had planned on putting the guitars on the birds to make it look like they were playing, but it wasn't working so I just hung them up next to the birds. The microphones were a nice touch, though.
And you can't help but get the song stuck in your head every time you see my door.
Tweet, tweedle-lee-dee!

Fun Fact: Robins are known for their running and stopping behavior.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Pretty Peacocks

I've done peacock crafts in the past (here and here) and loved them, but I wanted to try something different this year. If you remember my turkey craft from tissue boxes, I said I was saving the blue boxes for peacocks. I loved the design.
For this craft I cut really long rounded feathers, which means I didn't get as many feathers from each box as I had hoped. So I also cut some feathers from construction paper. First the kids glued the feathers onto a semi-circle.
Then they dipped their thumb in glue and made prints on the feathers. I received some teal glitter from and sprinkled it on the glue prints. It was the perfect finishing touch.
The body of the peacock was made the same as the other crafts.
Blue cocktail toothpicks were added to the head for the crest and the body was glued onto the feathers.

The kids didn't fill out their peacocks the way I did, so I probably would have had enough tissue box feathers, but I like the mixture anyway.

Fun Fact: The train of a peacock can be up to six feet long!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Angry Tornadoes

We had a state-wide tornado drill today so I thought it would be a good idea to share a tornado craft my class made last week.
Way back in February when I was looking for ideas for a Valentine's Day display, I found the perfect one at Life in First Grade. I ended up using her idea for my display, but I also liked the tornado craft her kids did. I changed it up a bit when my kids made them for our weather unit. On their paper I squirted a little bit of black paint and a little bit of white paint and they mixed it together with their fingers.
Once it became a gray color, they continued swirling it around, but also dragged the paint down.

If needed, they'd go back up and drag some more paint down, all the while swirling their fingers.
They also made two arms that extended out from the sides. When it was dry, they glued on wiggle eyes and black fists (heart-shaped pieces cut from black paper). Then they used a Sharpie to draw in angry eyebrows and a mouth.

Some looked mean, some looked funny,
but they all looked cute!

Monday, April 13, 2015

3D Hot Air Balloons (And an Elephant in the Bathtub)

My classroom recently went through a big change. Almost all of my kids were 5-years-old, so we opened up a new classroom for them and I got a new crew of 4-year-olds. I had to do some sort of send-off display, and I had to think it up quickly. I decided on hot air balloons.
I've seen many 3D balloons online and I've loved them. I knew I wanted to display them on the wall in the hallway, so I kept the back flat and just made the front 3D. Each child decorated three balloon shapes cut from cardstock.

They decorated them with dot markers. Looking back, I wish I had made them all from white paper so the colorful designs would've shown up better. But at the time I was thinking I wanted a very bright display. To make the balloons, I folded the three pieces in half and glued two halves together and another two halves together. (It's hard to describe, but you'll be able to figure it out when you see the picture. It's very easy to do.) I also drew a little basket on the paper and the kids decorated that with markers. You can kind of see them in the bottom right corner in the picture below.
I originally took pictures of the kids to put in the baskets, but when they got printed they didn't look so great. They all looked a little ghostly. And most of the kids had their hands up in the air and cutting around all those fingers was a pain! So I changed my mind, drew an outline of a person and had the kids color it to look like them.

Then I cut them out and put them in the baskets. I used yarn to attach the balloon to the basket.
I displayed them in the hall with the title, Up Up and Away. (Although I was tempted to use the Dr. Seuss title Oh, the Places You'll Go.)
I also printed out the poem from Rook No. 17.
In the whole wide world
With everyone in it,
You're one of a kind
And the sky is the limit!
And to welcome the new kids into my classroom, I made a display on my door. I copied a bulletin board I found years and years and years ago. An elephant in the bathtub, with the title Off to a Clean Start! The names of the kids are on the bubbles.
I drew it by hand while looking at this picture from Adventures of Room 129. But when I found that picture, I don't think it was attached to a blog. It was several years before that post was even written. I had printed it out and hung on to it all these years. I've always loved it and was glad to have a reason to finally use it!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Peeking Bunnies and More

Here are some more of our Easter and Spring crafts that we worked on this week. The first is the peeking bunny.
I've seen this craft many places online, but I wanted each child's to be a little more unique so instead of gluing pre-cut pieces, I had the kids paint their own bunny head and ears by dipping pom poms into paint.
Then they dipped a smaller pom pom into pink paint for the inside of the ears and the nose.
When it was dry, they drew in whiskers, eyes and a mouth. I also hot-glued a jelly bean to the nose. Then they painted their fingers green and made prints for the grass.

So simple, and each one is different. I hung them up with our Easter wreaths.
We also made egg chicks. I did this a few years ago, but this time I had the kids do more of the work themselves. I provided the egg-shaped body and the kids cut out everything else. They could do whatever they wanted to turn their egg into a chick.

Love how unique they are! Our last art project was fork tulips, which I first saw at Kids Play Box. I added a little bit of white paint to different colors and the kids pressed a plastic fork into the paint. They had to roll it back and forth a bit in the paint and again when they made their prints.

Most kids made all their tulips first, then added the stems with a brush, but some made a few tulips, added stems, made more tulips, added more stems, etc... They turned out so beautiful!

This will definitely be a project I do every year from now on. They add so much color to my room!
We also did an alphabet matching activity using plastic eggs. I wrote uppercase letters on the top halves and lowercase letters on the bottom halves. The kids had to match the letters together.
I made it a little easier on them by having the top and bottom be the same color.
Once all 26 eggs were put back together, they got a jelly bean! And the neat part was I was able to use a permanent marker to make the letters, but after the activity I just scribbled over them with a dry erase marker and wiped it clean with a tissue! Now I can easily use the eggs for something else.

Happy Easter!