Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Paper Plate Umbrellas

Anyone else dealing with a lot of rain lately? It's no fun to be stuck inside all day with the kids, but our theme this week is Weather so it actually works out! Today we learned about clouds and rain and then made umbrellas using paper plates. The kids covered the bottom of the plate with bleeding tissue paper.
Then they sprayed it with water. (Make sure the extra tissue paper is out of the line of spray!)
I set the plates up to dry and believe me, it was messy! Carrying the plates over from the art table to the drying table without getting colored water to drip down was not easy!
You should probably wait until the tissue paper dries before removing it from the plate, because I didn't and my fingers got stained. Just keep that in mind. After peeling the tissue paper off, I left the plates to finish drying. Then I folded each plate in half and cut a scalloped edge. (You can leave the straight edge, too. I was just looking for something a bit more fun.) After cutting the edge, I was left with two plate halves that were identical. So I stapled them together at the top and the two sides. Then I used large pipe cleaners to make the handles, and I just taped them inside the plate.

They turned out so pretty and I hung them from the ceiling!
And after cutting all the scalloped edges, I was left with little pieces of colorful paper plate. I couldn't just throw them away, so at the end of the day, when I only had a few kids, we used them to make flowers.
I cut stems and leaves out and they glued them to some blue paper. I also cut a circle out for the middle of the flower. Finally, the kids glued the paper plate "flower petals" around the circle.
Afterwards, I realized we made April Showers that brought May Flowers (2 days early)!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Handsome Roosters

We are talking about farm animals this week and today we learned all about roosters.
I wasn't sure how they would turn out when we started, but I ended up just loving them! I found a rooster template (here) and traced it onto brown and black construction paper. I drew in a few details with a Sharpie and modified it a bit by rounding out the tail.
They looked a little funny, but the kids needed something to attach their hand print to! So first the kids colored their roosters with oil pastels.
Then they glued on their hand print. I had traced their hands with the fingers kind of close together. I didn't want them touching, but I didn't want them completely spread out either. And they got to choose whatever color they wanted.
You could stop right there and be done. The hand print does look like a rooster tail. But I wanted it to be longer and more flowing, so they added strips of colored tissue paper. They just used a little bit of glue on each fingertip and stuck on the tissue paper.

When it was done, the tail seemed to stick out really far,
but once it was hung on the wall and gravity took over, it looked great!

I titled the display, "Handsome Roosters" of course!

Fun Fact: Roosters will always protect their flock, even if it means attacking a much larger animal.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Roly Poly Bunnies

In the past I've made Roly Poly Penguins and Roly Poly Birdies. So it only seemed natural to make Roly Poly Bunnies!
I cut construction paper into 2"x 6" strips, rolled them up and stapled them. Then I stapled two rolls together. The kids picked the color they wanted and drew a face on the top roll.

This was a bit tricky because if they pushed too hard with the marker, the roll would flatten and crease. I told them to stick their fingers inside the roll to have something hard to write on. You could avoid this by letting the kids draw on the faces before you roll them up. I just wanted as much of the prep work to be done beforehand. I also cut out some bunny ears and the kids decorated those before gluing them to the back of the head.
We had some very creative ears, which you'll see in a moment. Instead of feet, which I tried making but they just looked funny, I cut out a little hole in the bottom of the second roll of paper, so the kids could use it like a finger puppet!

And we even drew tails on the back!
It would be cute with little pom poms for the noses and tails, too!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Peeps Nest

Here is a super simple (and super sugary) treat for your kids to make!
All you need is Easter grass, cupcake liners, jelly beans and Peeps. The kids helped me cut the grass into smaller pieces.
This isn't necessary but it makes it a little easier when you put it into the cupcake liner, which is the next step.
Then come the eggs -- I mean jelly beans. (We used speckled.)
And lastly, the Peep!
Once you cut or pull apart the Peeps, the sides will be white and very sticky. If you care how it looks, you could always dip the sides in colored sugar. The kids really enjoyed making them.
Too bad that they had to wait until they got home to eat them. Last year we painted with Peeps (see it here) and will be doing it again this year!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Cracked Eggs and Silly Faces

Can you stand another egg craft? This one turned out very cool. The kids used washable markers to color a coffee filter and then they sprayed it with water while it was on top of an egg-shaped piece of construction paper.
I let it sit for awhile so the colors would be absorbed into the construction paper. It left a neat design behind.
Colors that the kids didn't even use showed up and the wrinkles in the coffee filter left some cool lines and edges. When they were dry, the kids cut a zig-zag across the upper half of the egg. I wanted the eggs to appear cracked open.

I had previously taken pictures of each of them making silly faces. I printed them out, cut around their bodies and taped them to the back of the egg so it looked like they were popping out of it.
At first I was just going to toss the top of the egg, but they were very pretty so I decided to keep them.

I hung them in the hall with the title You Crack Me Up!
The yellow and pink letters weren't the best choice to put on a yellow-green wall, but I made the letters years ago for a different version of this bulletin board. (I had the kids tell me jokes to write on their eggs. You can see that here.) I didn't want to make new letters for this one, so yellow and pink it is. For most of the eggs, I put the top of the shell alongside the rest of the egg, but for a couple of them, I put the top shell on the child's head!
It turned out pretty cute. I wish you could see all the silly faces!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Fluffy Bunnies and Stamped Eggs

Here are a couple Easter/Spring crafts that we did last week. For the bunny, I traced a template onto white construction paper. The kids painted it with puffy paint (Elmer's white glue and shaving cream) that I mixed with fluorescent paint.
Then they glued on a cotton ball for the tail. (It probably would have stuck right to the paint since there is glue in it, but we used more glue just to be sure.)

When they dried, I cut them out and used a glue gun to attach a jelly bean for the nose!

I think the jelly bean nose would be cuter on a front-facing bunny. I'll have to remember that for a craft next year.
We also used bottle caps to make designs on eggs cut from construction paper.

I had shown the kids that they could overlap the circles to get a really cool design!

It was a fun way to paint! And both crafts added a lot of "spring" to our room!