Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Crafty Side of Things

Ok so its been awhile since I have shown the crafty side of things around what I've been doing. No I'm not showing the house yet. Instead, I'm going to show some of the things I've been doing at the school. We have been talking about sea life for the month. So everything is built around the sealife theme.

Paper Plate Port Hole: For this, we cut out the inside of a paper plate. Painted the outside with brown paint and then hot glued brown buttons to it. It could be done in greys (or any color you want you port hole I guess) as well. We attached the sticky backed precut sea life foamies to blue construction paper. To make it look more like we were looking through glass into the water, we covered the construction paper with saran wrap. The back has a rectangular piece of thin card board glued to the back to make the whole thing a little more sturdy. We then took pop tops from drink cans, slightly bent them and hot glued them to the cardboard so it can be hung with ease.

3-Dimensional Sea Star (NO they are NOT Star FISH): This was one of the easiest projects we did--I won't say the messiest as we had a LOT of messy projects this time--but definitely one of the easiest. This is sea star that was printed from one of the preschool coloring book sites (no I don't remember which one) that we then cut out. As sea stars are not flat, we took a cotton ball and glued it to a piece of construction paper. Then we glued the cut sea star over it, making sure that all around the center of the seastar was down around and sealed over the cottonball, giving it a puffed up middle. Each leg also glued down. Glue was then smeared (yeah, that's the fun part, you get to smear it with your fingers!) to cover all of the area in white (ok so some of ours didn't cover completely). We sprinkled (NO, we POURED) a light-orange colored sand over the glue making sure every bit of the glue was covered. We tipped it over so the excess sand could be reused on the next one and VOILA--a sea star, complete with the texture somewhat resembling a real sea star.

Fish Bowl: This is another easy project. And as you can see, again it uses paper plates (No, I didn't take stock in paper plates). We painted the backside of the paper plates blue then cut them in the shape of a fish bowl. We painted green and orange squiggly lines to make it look like grasses and coral. Along the bottom of the plate, we spread glue and sprinkled colored sand for the bottom of the fish bowl. Unfortunately our glue didn't dry properly and it didn't turn out as we'd hoped. Now for the fun part--as we enjoyed eating as well as glueing the next pieces to it. We used colored, baked goldfish crackers, whales crackers and the Finding Nemo jelly candies. We glued them onto the plates (as well as ate some of them). After covering all with saran wrap you have a fish bowl that you don't have to worry about finding dead fish floating at the top the next morning.

Paper Plate Sea Turtles: Once again, with this craft idea we started with two paper plates and thin cardboard cut roughly into shapes that resembled legs, a head and a tail. The cardboard shapes were hot glued to the inside (the side most people eat off of). The second paper plate was then hot glued on top of the first plate and cardboard pieces. The end result should be that of two plates bottom sides out with cardboard pieces sandwiched in between them. We painted one side totally green, the plate and all cardboard pieces. After it dried, we painted the other side so that everything was green. After everything is thoroughly dry, we got glued precut foam pieces to make somewhat of a symmetrical design (and no two of ours were alike just as it is rare to find two sea turtles with the same markings) to one side of the plate turtle. Gluing on googly eyes was the finishing touch this turtle needed to come to "life" for the students. They loved being able to pick out the colors and shapes for their turtles, not to mention painting them. I don't know if we have any green paint left in the bottle--but there was plenty all over the tables and disposable aprons they wore!

On to the the next project, and final one using paper plates for this unit, the Paper Plate Crab: This picture does NOT due this cute thing justice. The legs and claws were from a preschool site (no I don't remember which one). It originally had a body and face that the legs and claws were to be colored and glued together. Instead we painted both sides of the legs and claws and the bottom of a paper plate red. After everything was dry, the paper plate was folded in half. The legs and claws were then sandwiched in between the folded plate and all was glued together. Once the glue was totally dry and we knew the legs would NOT fall off, we glued fluffy red pipe cleaners to each of the legs to give them a little bit of depth and some texture. In addition, we took red leaf shaped "sequins" and glued two onto each claw. Once again we glued googly eyes to the paper plate and drew on a mouth with paint. We had used LOTS of glue on the legs so it took several days (in our humidity) for the legs to dry where we could hang them up. Just be aware of that in case you don't have somewhere flat to lay it until it dries.

Shoe Fish: I think I lied earlier. This was the EASIEST by far of all the projects we did for the month. This simple fish is made from a tracing of the student's shoe. Trace the shoe onto construction paper. Cut it out exactly to the shape of the shoe to begin with. After it is cut, then decide where the mouth will be. Cut a v-shaped slit for the mouth. Then cut the heel into the tail fin. Make it the shape you want for the fish. from the remaining construction paper that was cut from originally, make fins and glue to the body of the fish. Use any scrap construction paper to add "distinguishing marks" to the fish. Glue on a googly eye and the shoe print is now a fish!

Coffee Filter Fish: This craft was made by simply coloring a coffee filter with wash off markers. Be sure to cover as much of the coffee filter as possible with color. Also (as a word to the not so wise like me) be sure to have SOMETHING UNDER THE COFFEE FILTERS when coloring!! The coffee filters are thin enough that even the washable markers go through and will leave marks on your table. Luckily they ARE washable so they come up fairly easily. After they are colored, sprinkle with water--do NOT soak them totally or the color will fade out completely. The colors will meld together into very unique patterns. Allow to dry overnight. Once they are totally dry, begin cutting the coffee filter into a fish shape. We didn't use a pattern so each of our fish were different shapes. Use the left over filters to make extra fins, designs on the fish, or save to use when you need colored tissue paper for a collage later. Glue on a googly eye. We covered ours in saran wrap on both the front and back as they are working in our building and we have come in to find water has dripped and changed some of our art projects. As these have already been "water bled" on purpose, we didn't want any more water getting on them.

And for the final project that I'll show, I have saved our favorite project for last. It may not be the cutest; but it could possibly be termed the most original of the works we did. This one did not come from another teacher nor a search through the internet. My assistant and I came up with this one on our own. It is our version of Jellies: This jelly (not jelly fish, as they are NOT fish) started out as a full piece of newspaper that was painted and allowed to dry over night. The next day, we took a second full sheet of newspaper and filled it with torn and crumpled up pieces of newspaper. We pulled the corners in and tucked in all the sides and then bunched them tightly in the middle. that was then all taped together securely. The painted newspaper was then placed over this and the corners were brought together and then scrunched together over the first layer of newspaper. Again it was taped securely together. Crepe paper streamers were then cut into lengths of about two feet. We used two shades of pink and two shades of yellow. Each streamer was cut down the middle in half (well approximately--we weren't real accurate with things on purpose). These were were all glued randomly around the bottom of the newspaper . We made sure that several pieces covered the area we'd scrunched up so that it was hidden. Once hung, they resembled jelly blobs with their "stingers" floating in the water. The breeze that comes through our hallway's end door helped with the "illusion" as the crepe paper streamers gently fly on the breeze.
This is a general idea of what it all looks like when hung in the hall. Of course several of the things were hung on the wall as well. But this is what people see when they first come into our end of the hallway. Hope this gave some of you that have little ones an idea of ways you can help teach them about sea life.


Barb said...

your room looks awesome....I am sure you are such a fun wonderful teacher.....

jaya pratheesh said...

wonderful room.. i can see that lots of love went into it.
keep happy,