Monday, May 30, 2011

Dramatic Play Pyramid

When we learned about ancient Egypt, I put a pyramid in the dramatic play area. I made it several years ago (with the help of my brothers!) and it's still in great shape. We used a refrigerator box. Three sides of the pyramid are all one piece and for the last side, I taped on a half-sized triangle. That way I could see what was going on in there at all times!
I had little lanterns in there and some books about ancient Egypt. Two kids at a time could go in the pyramid to read the books. Later in the week I put paper on the inside walls and the kids drew on them, just like the Egyptians did.

Egyptian Pyramids

The last Ancient Egypt craft we did involved pyramids. I got the idea from here but I thought they were a tad plain as is, so I let the kids color on the paper before gluing on the Life cereal.

I explained to the kids that they were going to make Step Pyramids, which were the first pyramids built by the Egyptians.

And when we were done, there was plenty of cereal to eat with our afternoon snack!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Egyptian Mummy Masks

Oooh, I loved this project! It did take quite a bit of work on my end, though, but so worth it! Here's a glimpse:
I thought of this project after seeing King Tut's death mask. First I ordered some cheap plastic masks from Oriental Trading. Then I traced around them onto posterboard and then drew an oval shape around that.

I cut it out and taped the mask to the inside.
Some of the masks came a bit crushed, but once I taped it to the posterboard you couldn't even tell. I taped it in about 8 places so there would be no gaps. (Sorry these pictures aren't so great.)
After making all 24 (yes, we have a full class!), I took them out to the garage to spray paint them gold.
I wonder what the neighbors thought as they walked by! The first 12 I just sprayed normally, but then I went out and bought a spray attachment and used it on the second set of 12. What a difference! It sure saved my fingers! I have to thank my husband for helping me with the spraying. Even though the garage door was wide open, the fumes were getting to me so he took over.
They dried within minutes. I was able to stack them up right away. This is what they looked like when the kids got them.
I set out some acrylic paint and let the kids decorate them any way they wished.

We had some very surprised and impressed parents at pick-up time! Aren't they great?! And on a side note, later I played "Walk Like an Egyptian" and took pictures of all the kids dancing walking!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Egyptian Scratch Art

Yesterday we talked about all the drawings and carvings the Egyptians did on the tombs and on the inside of the pyramids. I ordered some scratch art paper from Oriental Trading and asked the kids to first scratch their name in it, and then to make a drawing that tells a story. Here are some of the finished pieces:

I love all the pyramids!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Ancient Egypt

We started our Ancient Egypt unit today. We made two small crafts. The first one is a cartouche, which is a name plate. The child's name is written in hieroglyphics and placed in an oval. I printed out the names using this website, cut them out, and put them on colored construction paper.
Then I set out some gems for the kids to glue on around the name. This first one still has wet glue.

I mentioned to the children that they could put them on their bedroom door or on their bed. They were pretty excited to do that!
The other craft was an amulet, or lucky charm. I went to Michael's and found some beads that looked kind of "Egyptian," if you know what I mean. They looked like they had hieroglyphs on them or carvings that Egyptians would have made.
Then I put out a bunch of beads and some elastic string and the kids made their own bracelets.
Sorry about the horrible picture. It's hard to get a good shot when the project is on a flat table that reflects the huge lights from above.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Graduation Awards

Today was the Pre-K graduation. I thought I'd share with you the different awards we give the kids. After the songs and before the diplomas, we hand out the awards. Some are funny, some are sweet. Some are very specific to one of our kids, but they might work for someone in your class.

  • Pre-K Sidekick (one who sticks up for his/her friends)
  • American Idol (one who sings a lot)
  • Lifesavor (teacher helper)
  • Best Dance Moves
  • Best Storyteller
  • Puzzle Master (one who's great at puzzles)
  • Animal Rescuer (one who saves the bugs that the other kids are trying to squish on the playground)
  • Class Clown
  • Some type of expert (we had Star Wars and Animal experts this year)
  • Miss Manners
  • Teacher's Shadow
  • Most Huggable (one who hugs his/her friends a lot)
  • Social Butterfly

Wow, my mind is just a blank right now. I'll add more when I think of them.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Safari Puppets

I have one last safari craft for you all. I found large craft sticks at Michaels that had animal prints on them.
I bought them without really knowing what I'd do with them. The kids in my class love to make little puppets. Often when they draw pictures of people or animals, they ask if they can cut it out and attach it to a popsicle stick. So I googled coloring pages for different safari animals until I found ones I liked. I had a giraffe, crocodile, zebra, tiger, cheetah, and leopard. The cheetah and leopard would both use the yellow craft stick with black spots. Then the kids colored the pictures and attached the appropriate stick.

Oh, they just loved it!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Giraffes and Zebras

It's been awhile since I've posted. It was a busy week, and when I finally had time to write, Blogger was down. But now I can get back to my safari crafts. These two I found here and here. I changed things just a bit, though. I prepared the footprints a few days before we did the craft. I asked each child if they wanted to be a giraffe or zebra, then I traced their foot (with their shoe on for a rounder look) on either yellow or white paper, depending on the animal they chose. Then I cut out necks and ears in both yellow and white. On our craft day, the kids glued their footprint onto the neck, glued on the ears, and drew on the face. For the giraffes, the kids used brown paint to make a mane and horns on top of the head. Then they used their finger to made the spots all over. Some kids even used their fingerprint to make the round part at the top of the horns.

For the zebras, the kids used black paint to make stripes and a mane.

It took almost the entire length of one wall to display them all.

And look at what our All Star brought in for a treat:
That's layered jello. Almost too pretty to eat!

Giraffe Fun Fact: The adult giraffe's front legs are so powerful it could easily kill a lion with one kick.

Zebra Fun Fact: A zebra's teeth keep growing for its entire life. The teeth don't look long because the constant grazing and chewing wear them down.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Happy Hippos

Hello! Today's safari animal is the hippo. This craft is so cute, but I did not think of it. I found it here. I didn't change a thing because I loved it just the way it was. I cut out hippo heads that I drew by hand. Each one is actually two, with the tops of the heads glued together. The kids drew on the face, then on the inside they glued on the tongues and marshmallow teeth.
A couple of the kids even got extra creative and stacked two marshmallows together to make the longer teeth!
I heard one child say, "I wish this was an eating center so I could eat these marshmallows!" After center time was over, I let them each have one to eat. It would have been cruel not to. After the glue dried, I hung the hippos on the wall.

I love the green letters with the purple hippos against the blue wall. It looks like the hippos are mostly under water with just their heads sticking up. So cute!

Fun Fact: Hippos look like they sweat blood, but actually their sweat has an oily red pigment in it.

Monday, May 9, 2011


It's my week to teach, so I'm back with more art projects! We are learning about Serengeti safari animals. The kids love it and I love to teach about it. And when I say teach I really mean teach. I don't just mean, "This is an elephant. It has big ears, a trunk, and tusks." I use books from the non-fiction children's section in the library that have wonderful pictures and great facts about the animals. As I flip through the pages of the book so the kids can see the pictures, I tell them facts about that animal. I tell them the tusks never stop growing, and they use their trunks as snorkels when walking under water, and they hug by wrapping their trunk around another's trunk, and baby elephants suck on their trunks just like human babies suck their thumbs. And I tell them the not-so-happy facts as well, like the only enemies of the African elephant are people, and that a charging elephant will stomp to death any animal that gets in its way. Many times I will have a little "quiz" at the end of the week and ask the kids questions about the animals. They love these quizzes. And sometimes I even turn the quizzes into game shows, where they win prizes. It's a lot of fun.

So anyway, today was elephants, obviously. Our art was simple but a huge hit. I found elephant finger puppets online here. I cut them out and cut a hole where the trunk would be. The kids colored them with crayons.
Then instead of using their finger for the trunk, I let the kids pick out a party blower! We put that in the hole and the kids could blow the trunk out.
Now, I know that elephants don't curl their trunks under when not in use, but the kids loved this. I didn't know it when I bought them, but if you blow hard enough, they make a noise. So really, these little elephants can trumpet! (I was apologizing to the parents at pick-up because it can get very loud, especially when a bunch of kids are doing it at the same time!)

Oh, what a fun time the kids had with these today!

Fun Fact: An elephant's trunk has two finger-like parts on the tip. This allows them to pick up small objects, like a berry on the ground or a leaf on a tree.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Graduation Songs

For our graduation ceremony, we usually sing 3 songs on stage. There have been a couple times where we only sang two and then did a dance number -- Macarena and Thriller. Yes, Thriller! The parents and kids loved it. Today I would like to share with you some songs I made up over the years. Maybe you can change them a bit and use them in your school.

All Star (this has been a favorite ever since Shrek)

Somebody once told me I gotta learn the rules
If I wanna get outta this place
So I learned my ABCs and then my 123s
About dinos, sharks, and space.
Well, the year started off and we had a lot of fun
Singing and dancing, and now we're almost done
We learned all we could and even then some
Watch out kindergarten, HERE WE COME!
So much to do, so much to see
Trying so hard to be the best I can be
You'll never know if you don't go, oh
You'll never shine if you don't glow, oh.
Hey now, you're an all star,
Get your game on, go play.
Hey now, you're a rock star,
Get the show on, get paid.
All that glitters is gold,
Only shooting stars break the mold.

Yes, it's a long one, and quite fast, but we did this song 2 different years and it was a big hit. Take it slow and practice everyday, and the kids will pick up on it quickly.

Another song I made up goes to the Toys R Us commercial theme song. We are singing it this year.

I Don't Wanna Grow Up

I don't wanna grow up
I wanna stay a Pre-K kid
They got a million toys that I can play with
I don't wanna grow up
I wanna stay a Pre-K kid
They got the best teachers that a class ever had
From blocks to trains to frog-flippin' games
It's the best classroom there is (gee whiz!)
I don't wanna grow up
'Cuz baby if I did
I wouldn't be a Pre-K kid
More games, more toys, oh boy!
I wanna stay a Pre-K kid

We've also done the song "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" for graduation. I didn't make it up, of course, but I want to mention it because it is so cute! If you have the CD that goes along with the book, you know what I'm talking about. We didn't sing the entire book, but we did sing the beginning where all the letters go up the tree, and then we did the "skit skat skoodle dat, flip flop flee" part, and then skipped to the end where A double dares everyone. It was a big hit.

That's all I can remember right now. If I think of any more that I made up, I'll add it later.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Graduation Invitations

Hello! I hope you all had a great weekend! Can you believe it's May already? Since it's my wonderful fantastic AMAZING co-teacher's week to teach, I thought I'd share our graduation ideas with you. I'll be back next week with more art projects. I want to keep things in real-time as much as possible. After all, this is a blog, people! Now and then if I get my co-teacher's permission, I will share some of her ideas as well, but I'd like to focus more on my own ideas and crafts. Now back to graduation. We do the whole shabang. Caps, gowns, diplomas, and more. We've been practicing songs for a good month or so and soon we will begin practicing on our little stage. I made the invitations over the weekend. They are quite simple, but oh so cute!

"Join us in celebration...of our Pre-K Graduation!" Then I have the date, time, and place (which is blurred out.) I even put in a little RSVP card by using photo corners. (This was my husband's idea, and it works fabulously!)
The parents just fill it out and bring it back to us. For years I was just throwing a little card in there loose, but this is so much better. This invitation is very similar to the one I made last year. I really liked it, so I copied it using different paper. Here's last year's:

They are both so fun and bright, and might I add bubbly?