Thursday, July 31, 2008

Foot Fun!!


Today was library day! I love taking the girls for story time and crafts. We absolutely love books in our house. I can't stress more the importance of reading to our kids! The craft that was connected to the stories that were read today was a bumble bee foot! After tracing their feet with their shoes on, the kids decorated the bee, glued on wings, and added pipe cleaner antennas. All of the kids were buzzing around the library with their homemade bees!! Too cute! Below are some other ideas for crafts with FEET!!!

Feet Chicks

Paint your child's foot with yellow paint and have them press it on a piece of paper. Add a beak with orange marker to the heel of the foot. The toes are the feathers. Once the foot dries, have your child add on an eye with black permanent marker and little legs. (googly eyes would work,too) Next, glue on a little bit of oatmeal for chicken feed. (Optional- decorate the rest of the page)
I did this activity with Kindergarten students, but we created a large mural with all of their feet. If you have more than one child, a poster or mural would work, too. If I can find a photo of this craft, I'll post it at a later date!

Butterfly Feet

My sister gave me a great idea for a foot craft that she does with her students. With socks on, trace both of your child's feet onto colored paper. Let them decorate or collage the wings with a variety of materials, such as stickers and pieces of tissue paper. Use a tongue depressor in the middle and use pipe cleaners for the antennae. I'm going to do this craft with the girls tomorrow, so I'll test it out and display a photo!!

Here's Sunshine's butterfly that she created!! She chose to make a collage with her feet wings.

Funny that I'm writing about feet crafts! I had to go to the Foot doctor for a sore foot today!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

More Puppets!


Today ended up being a very messy day! Paint all over my kitchen floor! My advice is if the kids are going to paint a puppet theatre that you be sure to supervise or throw down a plastic table cloth. I gave the girls a little too much freedom today, so that I could get some work done. After their puppet theatre dried, they folded it, grabbed their bag of puppets, and went off to a neighbor's house to create shows!! This was a fun end to our creative day!! I was the audience, but they easily twisted my arm to participate in some of the shows. I'm a big kid at heart!

Puppets, Puppets, and More Puppets!

Over the years, I've been collecting puppets for the girls- hand and finger puppets. One of their very first puppets was a birds nest that had little baby birds sticking out of the top. I've found the best puppets at flea markets for pennies! A couple of my favorites include a bright colored dragon and a little girl that looks like one of the Muppet's. I also enjoyed having my students and girls create their own puppets. My students would use balloons and papermache to create the head. If kids don't mind getting their hands dirty, they love this! I have had a couple of students who didn't want to put their hands in the papermache mush!! (This great idea for making puppets came from my teaching partner!) Anyways, the students would make the puppets first and then work in a group and write a puppet show together. The challenge was to see how they would fit all of their characters into the story! I've also had older students create puppet shows about topics of study (for ex: endangered species) to share with younger students.
I told my youngest daughter what I'm blogging about and she is all gung-ho about creating a puppet theatre today! "We'll just tape cardboard together and paint it and cut out a hole, Mommy! Let's do it now!" It is 7:00am, so I did tell her she would have to wait until after breakfast!! I've been tempted to invest money into a fancy puppet theatre for them, but decided that they have more fun creating their own. Also, it is very easy to fold up and store and it's FREE! Below are some ideas for making puppets with your little ones and a few links to websites! Have fun and Mommies- don't forget to create your own puppet!!

PaperPlate Puppets: very easy to make with very little materials needed!

Materials: Lg. or sm. paper plates, markers or crayons, lg. craft stick, other fun materials such as googly eyes, yarn, feathers (optional), glue

Directions: Have child create face on front of paper plate and glue on fun materials if handy, attach to stick

Lunch Bag Puppets: Same materials as above- minus the craft stick. They put their hand into the puppet to make it talk!

Directions: Be sure they decorate the right side of the bag where it is folded for the face. Other than that, they can be creative about what they want to add. Scraps of material for clothes and buttons would be fun! My girls like creating animal puppets with lunch bags.

PaperMache Puppets: Go to links for details instructions on how to create this fun puppet. I haven't tried this with my little ones yet, but my oldest is probably about the right age for this one now!


Well, I guess I better get the craft materials out! Looks like we are going to have fun today playing with puppets!!



http://www.dltk-kids.com/type/papermache.htm
http://www.sunniebunniezz.com/index.html
http://www.bobbrownpuppets.com/paperplates1.html

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Homemade Instruments

This morning, I woke up to the sound of Bongo drums. I know who the culprit was, but couldn't figure out what she was using to make this sound! My oldest daughter revealed to me that it was the back of her guitar that she was pounding on at 8:00 am. At least it wasn't 6:00am!! My daughter loves making music with whatever she can get her hands on. A couple of days ago it was a metal strainer and wooden spoon. I think she was performing for the neighbors on the back porch. Well, Sunshine's music this morning not only woke me up, but gave me the idea for today's posting- creating music with whatever you have around the house!! My kids love to make homemade instruments! Here are just a couple of ideas!

Paper Plate Tambourines
Materials: Large or small paper plates, small pieces of colored paper or stickers, markers, stapler or tape, glue, streamers(optional), beans(be careful for little ones under 3, small funnel

Directions
1. Staple or Tape two plates together. Leave a small opening to pour beans after
your child decorates.
2. Use markers, stickers, or glue small pieces of paper (collage) to outside of
plates. (Just got an idea- a photo of your child in the middle would be cute!!)
3. Use a small funnel to pour beans into the opening left. Seal.
4. Add streamers to bottom.
5. Shake, Shake, Shake!!!

My sister and I did this activity with over 100 kids at Kidz Kamp last year. They seemed to really like it!


Paper Towel Roll Rainsticks
Materials: Paper towel or toilet paper roll,tape- something strong, markers or crayons or paint, and rice

Directions
1. Have your child decorate the outside of the paper towel roll with markers,
paint, or crayons.
2. Tape one end of the tube with tape.
3. Fill with rice.
4. Tape the other end of the tube.
5. Shake slowly back and forth. (I'm not sure how to do this, but if you want it
to sound like a real rainstick, you would need to add something across the
middle of the tube for the rice to hit up against. If anyone knows a simple way
to do this, let me know!

Have fun making music!!!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Science Fun!

The girls are always creating little experiments around the house. I love when I hear them making predictions. When the house is a little too quiet, I need to search and see what they are getting into now! They are now using this as an excuse when they misbehave. "I'm just doing an experiment, Mom!" Below is a fun science article with a couple of ideas. I also listed an experiment book that we enjoy in the top 5 list!

Fun Summer Science Activities by Sara Jones
While being on summer vacation can be a fun time for kids when they get out of school, it is also important to encourage the learning process even outside of the classroom. Planning cool science experiments is a great way for parents and children to spend time together, while making it interesting and productive.
Taking field trips to local science museums can turn learning into an exciting field trip, and also a way to get out of the house! Girls and boys can be exposed to many different learning subjects, but often, girls lose interest in science while boys find it much more interesting. The key to involving girls is to make it fun for them, using the things they like or subjects they may be interested in.
Science can affect or explain many things that are used day-to-day, so showing how it works can be relevant and exciting for any child in school, especially those in the younger elementary levels. Encouraging your child's interest in science, even if you, the parent, aren't "good" in the subject, is important.
Planning trips to the park to do explorations or scavenger hunts can help girls and boys identify items in nature, or even serve as a potential source for many fun summer projects or science experiments. A great activity that can be done outside is creating a unique leaf collection. Even parents who are not "experts" can help with this one.
Together, parents and children can learn to identify each of them, using reference sources. Girls and boys can go exploring, finding leaves that interest them and then laying them between wax paper. They can then add heavy books on top of the paper, pressing them for about a week. Once the leaves have dried, they can glue them into a fun scrapbook with their common and scientific names.
Another great outdoors activity that many kids (and adults) would like would be creating their own fossils. Most kids are really interested in dinosaurs, so showing them how fossils are formed is not only interesting, but also informative. Make a fossil by shaping a sheet of aluminum foil into a bowl, and then fill it with plaster of Paris. Take rocks, shells or other hard objects and press them into the plaster, wait about 30 minutes to remove the item from the plaster and kids then have their very own fossil!
Taking a field trip to the local science center can also be a fun trip that incorporates learning with each exhibit. Many of these exhibits are hands-on, which can help a child put an idea into perspective. Activities about weather, astronomy, botany, and chemistry are all covered, with not only informational pictures and writing, but also their application in real life.
It is really important to keep children learning, even when they are out of school. It is up to the parents to keep children busy with educational activities, especially those ideas that may have not been covered in the classroom. Involving both girls and boys can make any subject fun, especially science. Encourage children to try their own experiments, which can teach valuable information as well as increase creativity in younger kids. Parents don't have to be experts in science but like children, they should always be open and willing to learn.

Sara Jones was a fine student but science was a source of frustration she didn't want her kids to suffer. She met Rick and Amanda Birmingham and realized their grasp of everyday science was the secret to making science fun. To learn more about the solution to science visit http://SupeFunScience.com
Article Source: http://www.article-buzz.com

Indoor Golf with Recycled Materials??

Yes, this is my life with two very curious and creative kids! The days are never boring as they push me to come up with new ideas to help nurture their creative minds. Some of the best ideas are created on a whim like the golf game we played with left over ping pong balls and foam tubes. We numbered the balls and tried to hit the other balls with our master ball that we colored one color. The foam tube was our golf club. Other ideas come from the many magazines and books scattered around my cluttered home. Also, others from my years of experience as an Elementary teacher. I hope to share our story with you and hope that we will inspire others to have fun being curious and creative!!

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