Craft 1: Building Sand Castles
- First, choose your site wisely. If you build too close to the water’s edge, your castle will disappear with the first wave. Build too far back, though, and you’ll have to dig forever to reach the water table (the spot where water seeps up from the ground.) Fine-grained sand works best, but don’t despair if your beach is more gravel than powdered sugar.
- Use a shovel to dig down to the water table, then dig out very wet handfuls of sand.
- Spread a few bucketfuls out and level, that’s your foundation.
- Now, dip back into the hole of wet sand and use your hands to gently create round discs for towers and rectangular bricks for walls. Do not squeeze or press the sand, you want it very, very wet.
- Stack the shapes into towers and walls, tapering in size slightly as you go so the upper layers don’t topple over. The weight of the water and gravity will compact the sand, helping it stick together as it dries.
- The pros (yes, there are people who build sandcastles for a living!) purchase tools to build and decorate their masterpieces, but you’ll do fine with plastic flatware, a paintbrush, and some plastic figures. Use a plastic knife or sharp stick to carve windowpanes and brick walls. Dig out a surrounding moat with a spoon and stock it with toy fish. Use a paintbrush to brush away loose sand and debris. Carefully carve turrets on your tower and mark it with a twig flag.
- Let your budding architect use imagination, drip soaking wet sand over the walls for a wet cement look, hollow out an arch, lay a walkway of seashells. Voila! Home, sweet home, at least until high tide.
Discuss: What is the best way to build a castle?
Quiz: Why did kings build castles? Why are we not building castles nowadays?
Craft 2: Making Putty
- Combine equal parts glue and liquid starch, mix well.
- Add Borax solution (plus food coloring and/or glitter if you’re using it) to the glue/starch mixture. Mix very well.
- When the mixture becomes too stiff to mix with your spoon, use your hands to knead it into a rubbery blob. Your putty will probably need to dry a little before you can play with it.
- Cooling the putty slightly should make it more “bouncy,” but if it gets too cold it will shatter. Store your funny putty in a resealable sandwich bag or other air-tight container. Funny putty usually lasts about two weeks.
Discuss: Is Putty a solid or a liquid?
Quiz: Why did we add Borax? What will happen to this putty over time?
Craft 3: Making Candles from old candles
- Use the hammer to break the candle stubs into smaller pieces. Fish out any old wicks, burned bits and debris. Watch out for tiny fingers!
- Invite your child to plop the pieces of wax into the metal can.
- Fill the saucepan halfway with water and place it on the stove.
- Put the can into the saucepan and melt the wax over low heat. Do NOT try to melt the wax in the microwave or over direct heat! This is unsafe and the wax could get too hot and burst into flames.
- Have your child pick a mold and help her cut a stretch of twine. It should be long enough to reach the bottom of the mold with at least one extra inch. Tie one end to the pencil and knot it tightly. When the pencil is lain horizontally across the rim of the jar or can, it will keep the wick in place as the wax cools.
- If you want to add a fragrance or dye to the wax, do it now!
- You don’t have to spray the molds with cooking oil, but it will make it easier to remove the finished candles. Carefully pour the melted wax into your mold. Be careful because melted wax is very hot! Make sure the pencil holding the wick is in place and doesn’t get bumped and roll off.
- Let it cool thoroughly at room temperature. Leave it in the mold, or flip it over and tap it out! You’ve got instant mood lighting and you didn’t have to pay a thing!
Discuss: What is the role that the wick has to play in a candle?
Quiz: Why did we use a water bath to heat the wax? Why does wax become a liquid when we heat it?
Craft 4: Create a Fish Art Print!
- Choose your fish. Pick out a fish—either from a fresh catch you’ve made, or from a local store. Make sure that the fish has a head, tail and fins intact, and has not been skinned or scaled!
- Check it out! Before you do anything else, let your child look over the whole fish, and touch it, too! Kids usually get a kick out of the gelatinous eyes of fish, the weird mouth shapes, and the accordion folds of fins and gills. Identify each of these features with your child, and talk about the way a fish propels itself through water using tail and fins.
- Get it ready. Making sure that your table is well protected with newspaper or plastic, lay the fish flat, with your child’s help. Let her paint it with a thin layer of washable, non-toxic paint. Make sure you paint all top (dorsal) fins, as well as the face of the fish, but don’t make it too gloppy.
- Make a “fish print.” Now take out a sheet of white construction paper, and gently place it over the fish. Pat it down carefully, taking care not to slide it. Then lift it off, again avoiding slides that could blur the edges. You’ll see a fish outline that looks like a cross between a painting and a fossil print, with ridges of scales, fin markings, and even the eye of the fish.
- Dry your print, and enjoy! When your print has dried, hang it up. It makes a terrific framed summer picture, especially if it records a catch you made yourself. It’s also a visual reminder of all the parts of the fish that you and your child discussed.
Oh, and as for the fish itself? Scrub off the paint. It should come off easily with water and a light cleaning brush. Then fire up the grill for a tasty and satisfying meal to end the day.
Discuss: How do fish swim? How do they breathe?
Quiz: Why do you think they have scales?
Craft 5: Make Your Own Piñata!
- Have your child use safety scissors to cut newspaper into several long strips. Then blow up the balloon and set these materials aside for later.
- Make the papier-mâché mixture. Mix 1 cup flour with 2 cups water in a mixing bowl with a large spoon. Continue this until you have mixed about 4 cups of flour and 8 cups of water and get a gluey consistency. If using a larger balloon, you may need more mixture. You can add a few tablespoons of salt to prevent molding.
- Have your child help you dip the newspaper strips into the mixture and place around the balloon. Continue until the balloon is covered in strips. Let dry.
- After the piñata is dry, help your child to paint it using fingerpaint. You can decorate the pinata as a (roundish) animal, such as a bumblebee, pig, or tropical fish, or simply make a creative design. Let dry.
- After the paint is completely dry and the paper has hardened, use scissors to cut a small door in one side of the piñata, and puncture the balloon. Next, fill the piñata with candy or toys. Close the door and tape it tightly shut.
Now you’re ready to party! The kids will love having friends or family over to break the piñata with a bat. It’s a fun way to exercise creativity and practice and fine motor skills, so get started!
Discuss: What Indian festival has a similar concept? What would have happened if we had not added salt to the papier mache binder?
Quiz: Why should we share the goodies?
Craft 6: Design a Diorama!
- Help your child decide on what type of scene he would like to create. Some ideas might include: part of a favorite book, scene from a summer holiday, depiction of my best day ever or my birthday, or what I want to be when I grow up.
- Set the empty shoebox on its side, with the inside facing towards you. This is the set where your scene will unfold. You can set the box inside its top to act as an extension of the scene, if you wish.
- Start by setting up the background, just like a set designer. Help your child to imagine the scene. What was the setting he is trying to recreate? Is it the morning, a sunny day, or night time? Indoors or outdoors?
- Next, begin to create details and props. For example, if you are going to make a birthday party scene, make the table, candles, cake, guests, presents, etc. You can use any number of materials, but crafts supplies such as clay, pipe cleaners, toothpicks, and fabric scraps work well. These should be made to scale and be able to comfortably within the small box.
- Once all elements of the scene are constructed, have your child arrange the items to create the image he had in mind. Is everything there? Does anything need to be added? Is there too much? Encourage your child to evaluate his scene and readjust, add or edit items as he sees fit.
- Help your child to glue the objects in place. If you would prefer to keep it an interactive scene so the objects can move, skip this step.
- Share the scene with friends and family by displaying your diorama and telling the story that goes along with it. This is a great way to retell your imaginative or real life experience, and make a fun crafts project to go along with it!
Discuss: What is it that a diorama can do what a painting cannot?
Quiz: Create a story that goes with the diorama.
Craft 7: Pop Art Collage
Watch the “POP” of complementary colors while creating a fun and beautiful collage you can create from magazine clippings. Complementary colors sets are; violet/yellow, green/red and orange/ blue. Have your child choose his favorite set and then it’s time to rip, shred and tear colors out of old magazines while creating a fun gift for loved ones!
- Discuss complementary colors with your child. Allow them to choose his favorite complementary set that will be used for his card.
- Have him fold his white paper in half and assign one color to each side of the paper. An example would be blue on one half of the page and orange on the other half.
- He can tear out colors from magazines that match the color pair he’s chosen. Encourage him to tear the paper into various shapes and sizes.
- Now, he can assemble them onto the white paper as a collage, creating one side at a time until all white areas of the paper are covered.
- If he wants, your child can fold it in half to make a card, and write a special message to a loved one on the inside of the card!
Artists often use complementary colors to make images “pop” because when placed next to each other, the color frequencies cause the eye to literally vibrate. This is where the term “Pop Art” comes from!
Discuss: Why do our eyes love this contrast?
Quiz: How are the complementary colors placed on a rainbow?
Craft 8: Hungry Caterpillar Balloon
- Help your child inflate the punch ball balloon and seal it according to the directions, by rolling up the opening tightly, then pushing the roll into the balloon.
- Then help your child inflate the green balloons and tie them off.
- Hold the red balloon so that the rubber band handle is on the top. Have your child place one adhesive dot in the middle of one side of the balloon. Press a green balloon against the adhesive dot on the red balloon, knot side down, for the first link of the caterpillar’s body.
- Place an adhesive dot on the other side of the first green balloon, and then press a second green balloon against it.
- Repeat step 4 with a third green balloon. You now have a long green caterpillar with a red head!
- Have your child create the caterpillar’s face by cutting out yellow and green construction paper ovals for eyes, and a blue oval for a nose.
- Glue them to the face using adhesive dots or a glue stick.
- Cut out two pieces of floral wire, each about 3 inches long.
- To make the caterpillar’s antennae, draw out four 4-inch strips on blue construction paper, and cut them out.
- Coat the paper antennae with glue, and sandwich a piece of the floral wire between two paper antennae shapes. Press together and let dry.
- Have your child bend the bottom of each antenna at a 90 degree angle to make a tab.
- Stick an adhesive dot to the bottom of each tab and attach the antennae to the top of the caterpillar’s head.
- Have your child decorate the caterpillar with craft foam cutouts, pieces of foil, paper and sequins. Attach the decorations with adhesive dots.
- Place an adhesive dot on the top of a balloon stick and attach it to the bottom of the red balloon.
- Repeat with the other balloon stick and the green balloon on the other end of the caterpillar.
Discuss: What happens in a chrysalis?
Quiz: What is the function of the antenna of a caterpillar?
Craft 9: Paper Chain Caterpillar Craft
- Have your child cut the blue and green construction paper into strips that are 1.5 inches x 6 inches, helping him use the ruler if necessary.
- Alternate linking them and taping the links in place. Let your kid determine the length of his caterpillar—the more paper you use, the longer he’ll become.
- Choose one end to make the head.
- Tell your kid to cut a strip of black paper that is the same size as your links. Help him curl it into a tube shape and tape it into place to create a top hat. Help your budding crafter cut an additional circle from the black construction paper and glue at the base of the black tube to finish the top hat. Glue the hat in place.
- Help your child attach pipe cleaners for antennae, wiggle eyes and a pom for the caterpillar’s nose.
- Finally, glue a pom on the end of each pipe cleaner antennae.
You can use small accordion folded pieces of thin paper for antennae instead of pipe cleaners.
Discuss: How do caterpillars move? What happens to the egg shell of the caterpillar?
Quiz: Why do caterpillars eat so much?
Craft 10: Accordion Book
- Have your child cut a large piece of construction paper in lengthwise, so she has a long, horizontal strip for the book.
- Use a rule and pencil to mark the paper into several evenly-spaced boxes, for each of the pages.
- Now your child can fold the strip of paper back and forth like an accordion, by folding it on the first line, then flipping it upside down and folding it on the next line, and then repeating until the entire strip of paper is folded up.
- Have your child draw or cut out pictures of the different modes of transportation so each one fits on a separate page of the accordion book. As she’s cutting, talk about the noises that each makes!
- Have your child glue one picture onto each page, and identify their names.
- Now she can write the names under the pictures.
- Let the book dry completely before folding it up.
Fold up this book and keep it in your pocket for a fun activity on the go!
Discuss: Why are our textbooks not made this way?
Quiz: How does a harmonium create music?
Craft 11: Directions First: Reading to Draw
Write the following set of directions on the index cards, one direction per card. When you are done, put all the cards into the small box with the crayons, drawing paper, and glue.
- “Draw a long snake. Color it. Give it a long tongue. Draw a fly on its tongue. Draw a large rock by its tail.”
- “Draw a bug. Color six legs on it. Make five dots on its body. Draw tall, green grass all around your bug.”
- “Draw a man. Draw a hat on his head. Draw a coat on the man. Color his pants two colors. Make one shoe black and one shoe green. Draw a long, black cane in one hand.”
- “Draw a tall tree. Color the leaves different colors. Draw a blue bird by the tree. Draw a little boy playing with a ball by the tree. Make the boy’s ball red and blue.”
- “Draw a rocket ship. Color the top of the rocket ship one color. Color the rest of the rocket ship another color. Draw fire coming out of the back of rocket ship. Draw ten stars in the sky. Make a moon in the sky. Draw a face on the moon.”
- “Draw a large circle with a big ‘X’ in the middle. The four ends of the ‘X’ should touch the circle. Draw someone you like in one part of the circle. Draw your favorite animal in another part of the circle. Draw your favorite food in another part of the circle. Draw yourself in the last part of the circle.”
- “Draw a large square. Draw a small square on top of it. Draw two long rectangles that touch the bottom of the large square. Draw two rectangles that touch the left and right sides of the large square. You are making a robot. Add eyes and a mouth. Add other things to make your robot special.”
- Be creative and make up your own!
- Let your child pick a card from the box and read the instructions on it. When he finds a picture he likes the sound of, have him glue the card to the bottom half of a piece of drawing paper.
- After gluing the card down, encourage him to draw the picture according to the directions on the card on the top half of the same drawing paper.
- Repeat this process until all the pictures have been drawn.
- Every artist likes to be appreciated, so when you’re finished, find a way to display your child’s artwork! Create an “art gallery” with the drawings on a wall or refrigerator, for instance, or invite him to put them together into a book and link two or three pictures together into a story.
While this activity sounds simple, reading and following written directions is a complex skill—your child has to decode the words, understand the directions, then turn them into pictures! This process of “seeing” images from text, or visualization, is a strategy good readers use every time they read, and this activity is a good opportunity for your child to practice his visualization skills.
Discuss: Why do the drawings differ even if the instructions are the same?
Quiz: Make students make instruction sets based on someone else’s drawing.
Craft 12: Make Your Own Ant Farm
- Begin this project with a scavenger hunt in your yard or neighborhood to collect at least 20 ants from the same colony or anthill. (They must be from the same colony so that they will work together to form a community rather than fight each other)
- Place a glass bowl or jar upside down in the center of the fishbowl.
- Mix together sand and loose soil. Fill the space between the overturned bowl or jar and the sides of the fishbowl with this sandy mixture. Leave the soil and sand loose so that the ants can dig easily.
- Mix a small amount of sugar and water together and place several drops on the soil.
- Carefully place the ants in the fishbowl. Again, it is crucial that they are from the same colony in order to get the result you are looking for: teamwork, not fighting.
- Cover the mouth of the fishbowl with the cheesecloth and secure the cloth with a rubber band. This will prevent the ants from escaping into places where they are not welcome.
- Cover the outside of the fishbowl with the black construction paper and tape the paper in place. This will block out the light and make the ants think that they are underground.
- Keep the fishbowl in a quiet area in your home at normal room temperature.
- Each day, open the cheesecloth lid and place a few drops of water on the soil. Once a week, feed the ants a few drops of sugar or some bread crumbs. Within just a few days, the ants will begin to build a nest, digging tunnels and making rooms in the sandy soil.
- Remove the black construction paper for a short time each day to observe the ants at work.
Making an ant farm is exciting enough to engage just about any kindergarten kid, but you can also add to the fun by having her create an “Ant Observation Journal” in a notebook or composition book. To practice observation—that key step in the scientific method—have her date each entry, draw a picture of the ant farm that day, and either write or dictate a sentence or two. As time passes, you may also want to begin to ask her to predict or “hypothesize” what the ant farm might look like the next time. It’s all great practice for those future scientists!
Note: You may want to consider setting up your ant farm outdoors in order to avoid any ants escaping into your home!
Discuss: Describe their homes? Do ants sleep at night? What is the role of a queen ant?
Quiz: What happens when a queen ant dies?
Craft 13: 100 Days of School Project
- Before your child begins his collage, go on a scavenger hunt to track down school-related paper items that he’d like to use in his collage. You don’t need to have exactly 100 pieces; you can make up the balance by cutting items into several pieces. Remember: anything school-related goes!
- Have your child assemble the 100 pieces he has chosen for his collage in front of him.
- Cut up the collage pieces into artful geometric and organic shapes such as circles, triangles, hexagons, clouds, hearts, or clovers.
- After he has finished cutting, ask your child to count the pieces again to make sure he has 100 (a great math exercise!).
- Help your child glue his collage items onto the large piece of cardboard, overlapping them as he goes. Encourage him to be as creative with the placement as he likes!
- Set the collage aside to dry completely.
- Once the collage has dried, look over it with your child and discuss the last 100 days of school. Ask him to describe what specific items in the collage mean to him. Did he include the hardest spelling test of the year, or a quiz he aced?
Discuss: How do we define achievements?
Reflecting on his past achievements and the hurdles he has overcome will help your child develop his sense of self as he experiences both personal and academic growth.
Quiz: What have been your achievements this year?
Craft 14: Make Patterned Shamrock Art
- Have your child draw several shamrocks on the white and green paper. She can either draw free hand or use a template or stencil. To make the template, draw a shamrock onto the cardboard and cut it out. Trace around it to use.
- Have our child cut out the shamrocks from the construction paper.
- Ask your child to arrange the shamrock cut-outs in a pattern on the light colored piece of paper.
- Help your child glue the shamrock cut-outs in place. Set aside to dry completely.
Discuss: Collect different types of compound leaves around your neighbourhood.
Quiz: What function do leaves perform in a plant?
Craft 15: Weave Paper Thanksgiving Placemats
- Fold one piece of construction paper in half horizontally. Starting at the fold, make parallel line cuts in the paper, 1 inch apart, leaving a 1-inch border at the edge. You can cut straight, or we especially recommend doing curvy lines. Just make sure that you leave at least 1” at the ends of the cuts.
- Take a piece of construction paper in a contrasting color, and cut it horizontally to make strips 1” wide and 12” high.
- Help your child weave the strips over and under to create a “placemat” for the table. If this is your child’s first weaving experience, you’ll probably want to start just with over/under alternating strips. But as soon as your child is comfortable, encourage variations: curvy lined placemats, placemats with more than one contrasting color; or designs in which a child develops a weaving “pattern” with, say, a strip that goes “over two” and “under one.”
- When your child is finished, seal off the design by placing it between layers of contact paper, or run it through a laminator. You have created a protective table placemat that can be used again and again…while giving your child practice in those key first grade math and social studies skills.
Discuss: How can we make different designs in weaving?
Quiz: How do you think your shirt cloth is made?
Craft 16: Create a Clay Garden Relief Sculpture
- Go outside! If you do not have a garden, try taking the art making to a local park. This is also a project you can do yourself right along with her, so that each of you can share in the creative process!
- Ask your child to take some time and observe the natural surroundings. Ask her questions like, “What do you see?”, “What shapes and colors can you find in the flowers and plants?”, or “How do you think you could draw those plants?”. Ask her to think of different words to use to describe what she sees around her.
- When your child is ready, give her a pencil to sketch a garden landscape or even a single memorable flower if she prefers. Make sure the sketch is large enough so that she can use it as a guide to make her relief sculpture.
- Using the modeling clay, your child will create the relief portion of this project. Have her mold the clay into shapes that follow the lines of her garden sketch, making a three dimensional version of her drawing.
- Then help her firmly press the clay onto the drawing once she is satisfied with the shape she has made. The clay should stick to the surface of the paper. If it does not, or if it is too dry, try adding some glue underneath.
- Ask your child to add some different textures to her relief sculpture by using the clay tools to create some details (just as artists have done for centuries!) Encourage exploration and experimentation.
- Let the clay dry and then enjoy the homemade sculptural masterpiece!
When your child is done, she’ll have made her very own sculpture of the world around her. With this project she’ll be building her writing skills and fine motor skills through sketchwork and the manipulation of clay, while expanding her vocabulary and learning to observe and record the natural world. This is a great way to introduce your child to a different art form while getting some outdoor play time in. Try repeating this activity in different seasons. Ask your child to make some predictions about how the garden/outdoor surroundings will change from Spring to Summer to Fall, and then Winter.
Discuss: Why does sand not stick together as well as clay?
Quiz: Which of the following is NOT a relief sculpture?
Craft 17: Spooky Science Experiment
Option 1: Water Color Mixing Potion Lab
- Pour a small amount of red, yellow, blue, and white onto a palette or washable art tray.
- Fill three cups halfway with water.
- Have your child use the paint brush (or a craft stick) to scoop the paint into the water, mixing two colors at a time. Ask him to stir gently, and watch the colors swirl and mix together.
- If you have test tubes, fill one a quarter of the way full with water, one with vegetable oil, and leave one empty. If you don’t have test tubes, simply use small clear plastic cups.
- Add one of the paint mixtures to each test tube. Cover and gently shake to see what happens. Ask your child how each one looks different in the test tubes. Then have him try to paint with each color concoction on the construction paper. Do the colors look different? Do they dry differently?
- Repeat with different colors and different amounts of the added substances.
Option 2: Shaving Cream Lab
- Scoop a small amount of tempera paint into the shaving cream.
- Ask your child to use her hands to make a gooey, colorful mixture.
- Use the mixture to paint with, or simply allow her to explore. Add new colors and more shaving cream to see what happens.
Option 3: Exploding Color Lab
- Place a large cup onto a covered surface.
- Mix a very small amount of paint with approximately two tablespoons of water.
- Mix in one tablespoon of baking soda.
- Add a tablespoon of vinegar, stand back, and watch it explode!
Choose one or more of these awesome options based on your young scientist’s age or use this as a Halloween party activity for some spooktacular fun!
Discuss: How do water colors look different compared to oil colors?
Quiz: What would be the advantages of painting in layers?
Craft 18: Art Like Michelangelo: Looking Up!
- Share pictures of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling with your child and discuss how Michelangelo had to lay on his back in order to paint the ceiling over a period of four years!
- Michelangelo painted many angels on the ceiling. Ask your child to describe what an angel looks like. (Make sure she includes wings and a halo.)
- Help your child by drawing large wing shapes on the butcher paper using oil pastels. This will help give her an idea of the size she’ll draw her angel. Tape the start of the drawing under the table. Make sure there is light under the table so the drawing can be seen.
- Help situate your little one under the table and make sure her arms can easily reach the drawing.
- Encourage her to draw her angel using the wings that you already created. She can add a face, clothing and a halo.
- If she’s not too worn out from reaching up to draw, she can add in a background and show where her angel lives.
- Carefully help your child remove the tape from her masterpiece from the table and hang it on the ceiling of her room, just like Michelangelo would!
Fun Fact: After Michelangelo finished painting the Sistine Chapel in 1512, he switched art forms to sculpture and didn’t make another painting until 1536!
Discuss: Why is art on ceilings not so common?
Quiz: If you were to paint using a ball pen on the ceiling, would it work? Why?
Craft 19: Dancing Chinese Dragon
- Have your child draw a profile of a dragon’s head on a piece of white construction paper. Encourage him to draw a head at least twice the size of his hand and include a little bit of neck, which will be needed to attach it to the body.
- Encourage your child to decorate the dragon’s head by coloring it a variety of different colors and give it a fearsome appearance. We used blue, orange and yellow. Explain to your child that the eyes of the dragon are what best communicate the dragon’s temperament, so he’ll want to focus on those.
- Then, have him cut out the head and set it aside.
- Cut a sheet of red construction paper in half lengthwise, creating two long strips. Tape the strips together so they become one strip of red paper.
- Help your child begin folding the strip of paper accordion-style. Start by folding the paper at least one-inch wide and make a strong crease. Fold it on top of itself the other way and make another strong crease. Repeat this until the entire strip of paper is folded.
- Hold the paper that is folded into an accordion in one hand and cut a design into the edge using scissors.
- Release the accordion fold and lay it out on a table. Glue the wooden sticks using white glue onto one side of the accordion. Make sure they’re spaced out so one is toward the front and one is toward the back. This will be what he holds so the dragon can dance! Set the project aside to dry. You can reinforce the glued sticks with a strip of paper tape.
- Have him draw out a dragon tail on separate sheet of red paper and cut it out with scissors. Then, he should color the tail so that it matches the head.
- Help your child staple the head from the neck to the front of the red accordion paper. Use one staple at the top of the neck and one at the bottom to hold it securely. Then, staple the tail at the opposite end of the accordion body. The staples can be reinforced with tape.
- Now your child is ready to dance the night away with his very own Chinese Dancing Dragon!
Discuss: One popular myth behind the Chinese New Year celebration is how a beast called Nien, which was similar to a dragon, would come and steal from the Chinese people each year on New Year’s Day. One day a child wearing a red outfit scared the beast away. This is why the color red is often associated with good luck in China!
Quiz: Which animal most closely resembles a dragon? What are the similarities?
Craft 20: Paper Bag Puppet People
- Discuss with your child what the parts of the face are, and what color her hair is.
Help her to draw the shape of her face in three parts with a pencil on flesh-colored paper:
- The top of her head to the bottom of her UPPER lip
- From her bottom lip all the way to the chin
- Both of her ears
- She can now cut out each of these parts. She may require a bit of help from mom or dad to cut on the lines with safety scissors.
- Flip the closed paper bag over, so the “bottom” of the bag, is at the top with the folded-over side facing up.
- She can glue the top of the head starting at the top of the bag. Her paper chin can be glued under the fold of the “bottom” of the bag. Finally, she can glue her ears onto either side of her face.
- Now she can draw out her hairstyle on construction paper, cut it out and glue it so it overlaps the ears!
- Help remind her of the parts of her face and she can draw and color them onto the face of the bag. Make sure the top part of the face ends at the fold of the bag.
- After drawing the eyes, nose, lips (bottom lip on chin piece), she can draw lines or hair ornaments on her paper hair and add final lines inside the ears.
- Carefully have her lift up the “bottom” of the folded part of the bag and color in what the inside of the mouth looks like – teeth, tongue, darkness…
- Finally, she can draw in any clothing she would like to wear on the bottom part of the bag.
Tip: If you have time and materials, your child can add on arms and hands from behind the bag to create even more personality!
Discuss: Use these puppets to tell a story – a puppet show.
Quiz: Why are self portraits (selfies) so popular with mobile phones?
Craft 21: Make a Bedroom Planetarium!
- Start by decorating your Starfinder: Have your child glue or tape sheets of construction paper around the outside of the container, and decorate it with as many of gold stars as he would like (you might even encourage him to mark out a few constellations right on the container).
- When he’s finished, help him to cover the whole design with clear contact paper (later, you’ll be pulling tape on and off, and the contact paper will protect the design).
- Now help your child cut a hole in the plastic lid with scissors or an X-acto knife, so that the flashlight can fit through.
- Tape the lid around the edge so that the flashlight is secure.
- Cut the round cardboard bottom out of the oatmeal can. Now use it to mark several circles on your black paper. Your circles should be larger than the original circle being used as a template. Trace a circle that is about ½” wider (all the way around) than the original circle cut from the oatmeal container.
- Look up some key constellations in a science book (constellations like the Big Dipper, Little Dipper, Draco, Andromeda, and Orion or you can surf the internet to find pictures of constellations. You can make copies or print these templates out and then have your child trace them onto white paper. Cut around them to fit the inner circle of your Starfinder, and glue them onto one of the black circles you and your child cut out. Then take a thumbtack and lightly poke a hole where every star in that constellation appears. Help your child do this several times on several different circles.
- Now put your whole starfinder together. Tape one black constellation circles to the end of your starfinder, and then pop the plastic lid onto the top, with the flashlight inside, facing toward the constellation end of the Starfinder. Each time your child wants to look at a new constellation, you can replace the constellation circle on the Starfinder with a different one.
- Turn all the lights off in your child’s room, turn on the flashlight in the starfinder, and see what you can see! Be prepared for oohs and aahs. With this activity, you and your child can bring the giant night sky into your very own home and do some star gazing from the comfort of your beds!
Discuss: Observe the night sky. How many stars can you count?
Quiz: This is a kaleidoscope image. How do you think it works?
- Help your child decide what she would like to carve. Perhaps she would like to try and imitate a famous piece of sculpture, or maybe she feels like creating her own original work. Popular choices include animals, cars and people.
- Have her use a marker to trace the basic shape of the idea onto the soap.
- Using a plastic knife, gently scrape away the soap to create the desired shape. Be sure to work over newspaper.
- Once your child is satisfied with the results, have her wrap her soap art with the ribbon. Save it for a special occasion, or give it as a gift!
It’s possible that your child may become frustrated if her original artistic vision does not pan out. Urge her to remember that ideas often change once an artist begins to work. What started out as a dog carving may actually turn out to be a great boat!
Discuss: How is soap made?
Quiz: What can we do with the left over soap peelings?
Craft 23: Make Sand Candles!
- Start by helping your child prepare a “mold.” Have your child fill a bucket with some damp sand. He can use sand from the beach or he can use sand from a sandbox. Either way, you and your child will need to do this activity at home, as you will need the use of the stove top. But that doesn’t mean that you have to do this project indoors. You can definitely do most of this activity with your child outside.
- Have your child pat the top of the sand smooth and flat, and then dig a hole about 3” deep, in whatever shape he likes. This will be his candle mold.
- Check the sides of the mold—they should be smooth and firm. If the sides begin to crumble, use a spray bottle filled with water to spray the sides so that they hold steady.
- Have your child place the wick in the mold so that the metal piece is on the bottom with the wick standing straight up out of the mold, pointing toward the sky.
- Melt your wax (this is definitely a step where the grown-ups can take the reins). Place it in a clean, empty tin can, and then place the can in a water bath in your old saucepan. Bring the water to a boil, and melt the wax until it is completely liquid.
- Pour the wax into the sand mold your child has prepared. Fill the mold almost to the top, leaving at least an inch of the wick exposed. Note: try to leave a little bit of wax in the can, to use for later. As the candle cools, you’ll notice that a “well” or depression in the wax forms near the wick. When that happens, melt some of the leftover wax, and pour just a little bit of it into the well to make the top surface even.
- Depending on the weather, your candle will be hard enough to remove from the sand mold in about two hours (maybe sooner!). Help your child to gently lift it out, revealing the light coating of sand on the outside of the candle. He can place his homemade candle on the dinner table, or beside his bed. He can display his homemade candle anywhere, and he’ll always be reminded of those fun summer days spent at the beach.
If your child really loves this activity, here are a few extras you can do to expand the project. First off, when your child is preparing the “mold,” invite him to place some small seashells all around the sides – they’ll become embedded in the hot wax once it has cooled, making for a extra special beachy touch. Also, when you melt the wax, consider melting more than one color and making layers in the candle. Your child can choose some of his favorite colors or colors that remind him of the beach. Just give each layer a few minutes to harden before you add the next one and get ready for some stunning results! You can also adapt this activity to certain holidays, like Fourth of July, by using red, white and blue wax, for a patriotic nautical theme.
Discuss: The process of casting metal.
Quiz: Can you melt sand? If yes, what happens when you melt sand?
Craft 24: Craft a Guatemalan Worry Doll
Ancient Guatemalan tribes believed that if they told their worries to tiny dolls and placed them under their pillows at night, the dolls would take care of all the worrying for them and then their dreams would come swiftly and be care-free. Your child can make his own out of clothespins and fabric, and then set his own troubles away!
This project blends a unique sense of history and tradition and teaches your child about a different culture and belief. He will be using his own imagination in creating these dolls and perfecting his artistic skills at the same time.
- Start by asking your child whether his worry doll is going to be a boy or a girl. Let him then decide what colored clothing his person will be wearing.
- Let your child cut out a shirt, pants, or a skirt for his doll, and then help him to glue these pieces of clothing to the clothespin. Remind your child that the prongs will be the ‘legs’ of their doll.
- Let your child cut out arms for his person and glue those to the shirt.
- Ask your child if his doll will have any hair. For long hair, he can glue on pieces of colored string. For shorter hair, he may want to color the top with markers.
- Now it is time to let your child draw a face on his worry doll! Let him decide what kind of expression his person will have.
- With his doll complete, when it comes time for bed, ask your child just what is on his mind that he would like to tell his worry doll. Let him whisper it into his doll’s ear and then tuck the doll under his pillow.
Let your child know that he will now have dreams filled with only happy thoughts, just like the Guatemalans of the past!
Discuss: Why do we worry so much?
Quiz: What is your biggest worry? What can you do about it?
Craft 25: Make Pop-Up Puppets
Everyone enjoys puppet shows, and now your child can host his own! Using plastic cups, dowels, and fabric, you can make a fun puppet that pops up out of its cup when in action and hides out of sight when not in play.
- Start by cutting a hole in the bottom of the plastic cup. Next, let your child guide the wooden dowel through the hole, leaving the dowel poking out both ends.
- Ask your child what kind of puppet they want to make. Will it be a boy or a girl? What kind of outfit will it be wearing? Help your child create the puppet’s shirt by cutting a large circle out of a piece of fabric. Drape the fabric round over the top of the cup (let the fabric drape over the dowel as well). Glue the edge of the fabric to the inside rim of the cup. Let the glue dry.
- After the glue has dried, cut a small hole in the middle of the fabric round just large enough for the dowel to fit through. Gently feed just the tip of the dowel through the hole, then glue the dowel to the fabric so that the fabric shirt rises with the dowel when the dowel is pushed up.
- Next, carefully glue the wooden ball to the top of the dowel right above the shirt. This will be the puppet’s head.
- Let your child cut out fabric arms and hands for his puppet and glue those to the shirt.
- Have your child draw a face on the puppet’s head with markers. If your child wants the puppet to have hair, glue pieces of string to the puppet’s head. Encourage your child to think of fun accessories to add to his puppet such as a hat, bowtie, or scarf. Set the puppet aside to let the glue dry.
- Once the glue is dry, it’s time to test out the puppet! Show your child how the puppet hides when the dowel is pulled down and reappears when the dowel is pushed up again. Let your child try it for himself!
Discuss: Make a story using these puppets and enact it.
Quiz: Here is a toy that has a joker that jumps out when you open it. How do you think it works?
Craft 26: Create a Two-Sided Opposites Painting
Create a colorful painting—twice! Transform a single sheet of card stock into a double-sided painting of opposites: on one side, a bright daytime landscape, on the other, a dusky evening scene. Not only is this a great way to let your kids dive into art and explore their artistic side, it also provides an excellent lesson on the concept of opposites and the differences between night and day. And as always, any hands-on art project like this also helps strengthen little hand muscles for writing.
- Sit by a window (or outside if possible) and have your child make a pencil sketch of what he sees on the card stock. This is a great time to introduce him to art terminology such as landscape, horizon line (where the earth meets the sky), foreground, middle ground, and background. Ask him to really look at the area he’s drawing. Do trees that are further back look bigger or smaller than the ones that are closer to him? What colors and shapes does he see? Is it sunny, rainy, or cloudy?
- Take the drawing to a suitable workspace such as a flat table or an easel. Lay small puddles of paint onto the palette or tray. Try using just the primary colors (blue, red, and yellow) and white. Use this opportunity to talk about the color wheel: encourage him to mix the primary colors together to get new colors, and use the white paint to make lighter shades.
- Now start the painting. Invite him to color in his landscape sketch by painting over it with the tempera paint. Once he’s finished, set the painting aside to dry.
- At dusk, have him sit in the same spot he was in for step 1, and ask him to sketch what he sees on the reverse side of the painting (if you started the activity in the afternoon, wait until the following day to do this step so the front side has time to dry completely). Talk about the landscape: does it look different now than it did earlier in the day? Do the shapes still look as sharp? Is there more or less to see? What does the sky look like?
- Bring the drawing to the workspace and encourage him to paint his new nighttime landscape. Talk about the colors he’ll need for this painting. Once he’s done painting, set the work aside to dry.
- Once the painting is completely dry, punch a hole in the top of the painting with the hole punch. Cut a piece of ribbon or yarn, thread it through the hole, and tie a knot just above the edge of the painting.
- Hang the painting mobile style so both sides are displayed.
Discuss: Explore other “opposite” concepts for more art activities. Try themes as simple as inside/outside or beginning/end or as complicated as Impressionism/Realism or classical art/pop art.
Quiz: Why do we have night and day?
Craft 27: Pencil Topper Craft
- Have your child draw a different shape on each piece of foam, one for each topper he’s making.
- Have him carefully cut out each shape with a pair of scissors.
- Help him cut two 1/4″ horizontal slits on each foam shape.
- Now have him decorate his shapes using buttons and markers. If he wants, he can give his topper the power of sight and glue on some googly eyes.
- Show him how to carefully slide a pencil through the cut slits to add the foam shape onto his pencil.
Discuss: What is the difference between the way insects fly and birds fly?
Quiz: Why do you think they have lighted a fire in the balloon?
Craft 28: Make a Kid-Friendly Egg Carton Kinara
During Kwanzaa, seven candles are held in a special candle holder called a Kinara; each candle represents one of the seven principles of Kwanzaa and each color corresponds to those in the Bendera (African flag). Until now, it has been difficult to involve little ones in this celebration because of the dangerous flames involved. Here’s how to create a clever flameless Kinara, and boost your child’s creativity and fine motor skills in the process!
- Cut the egg carton cups down the middle to create one row of cups. Cut the strip of 6 cups in half. Cut one single cup from the other row. You should now have two sets of three and one single cup.
- Trim the cups to remove any excess styrofoam or cardboard, making them neat and ensuring that they will sit flat on the table or counter.
- Use the glue gun to fit the single egg cup between the two single sets.
- Help your child use scissors to cut a small slit into the top of each cup.
- Invite your child to paint the cups brown, and let them dry thoroughly.
- Have your child paint the craft sticks (which will be used as candles for the Kinara). Paint one stick black, three green and three red. Be sure to paint both sides of the sticks. Allow them to dry thoroughly. Take this opportunity to explain the symbolism of the colors to your child; black represents the people, red represents their struggles, and green represents the future.
- Create some flames to attach to the craft sticks by having your child draw a simple flame shape onto the yellow construction paper. Draw a smaller flame shape onto the orange sheets; make sure it is small enough to fit onto the yellow sheet. Have your child cut them out and make 14 of each color.
- Glue the yellow flame onto the craft stick, with one on each side. Then, glue the orange flame to the yellow flame.
- Have your child insert the candles into the Kinara. The black candle goes into the middle; the green sticks are placed on one side and the red on the other.
Discuss: Lighting the Kinara candles is a significant honor that is bestowed on different people depending on each unique family. Sometimes the task is given to the youngest child, while other families reserve the honor for the eldest family member. If they wish, every family member in your home can take a turn “lighting” this kid-friendly Kinara!
Quiz: Why do we have a tradition of lighting lamps in our festivals?
Craft 29: Homemade Playdough
- 1 red beet (½ cup blueberries or ½ cup onion skins also create wonderful natural dyes)
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup flour
- ½ cup salt
- 1 tablespoon cream of tartar
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- Small saucepan
- Medium saucepan
- Rubber spatula
- Help your child get started by simmering 1 cup water over medium heat. Invite your child to help trim and dice a small red beet and add to the hot water. Any fruit or vegetable of a dark color creates a vibrant natural dye. Your child can experiment with blueberries, and even onion skins, to create several colors of play dough!
- Now your child can set the kitchen timer for 20 minutes and watch as the clear water turns a deep red.
- Strain the red water over a medium saucepan, collecting all that wonderful red water! Your child can hold the strainer while an adult pours the hot liquid.
- Invite your child to measure and pour the flour, salt, cream of tartar, and oil in the saucepan along with the red water. He can use a rubber spatula to mix the ingredients together. The mixture will resemble thick pudding.
- Now turn the heat to medium under the saucepan and hold the warm pan while your child stirs and stirs. Within a few minutes, the mixture will begin to thicken and resemble play dough!
- Turn out the hot play dough onto a lightly floured surface and allow to cool for 1 minute. Now invite your child to kneed the play dough and then enjoy squishing and squeezing his colorful creation!
Discuss: The role of the different ingredients.
Quiz: Contrast the structure of salt and flour. What are the differences?
Craft 30: Make Plastic Bottle Boats!
- If your child wishes to add some designs to her boat, have her do so with a few colored permanent markers. She can draw images or try to make it look like a real boat. Remind her to avoid coloring on her hand, since she is using permanent markers.
- With the black marker, have her outline the area she plans to cut out. She should cut out an area that is approximately 2″ x 5″. Have her make sure the doll fits in an opening of that size; she can enlarge it if need be.
- Cutting the bottle can be a little dangerous, so parents should help with this step. The scissors tend to slip across the surface of the bottle. To prevent this, remove the cap and hold the bottle on a cutting board; use a craft knife to punch a hole through the center of the area you will cut out. Insert the scissors into this hole and make your larger cut. Don’t forget to replace the cap, or the boat will sink!
- Have her tape the two bottles together using electrical tape. She can run one strip around the bases of the two bottles and another strip closer to the top. Take a moment to talk about recycling and reusing. Explain that she is doing her part to help the environment by reusing a couple of empty plastic bottles.
- Just in case things get wet: Have her put her dolls in some beach wear.
- Help her fill a basin, pool, or bathtub several inches deep. Let the fun begin!
Discuss: Be sure to talk about your boats. What makes one float better than another? Can your child adjust things by using lighter dolls, or changing what’s mounted on her boat? This is a fun way to talk about physics, as you spend an afternoon “boating”.
Quiz: Why does a steel cup float in water, while a steel coin sinks?
Craft 31: Beautiful Bubble Iridescence
The iridescent colors of a bubble enchant children of all ages. Pink, green, and blue colors constantly swirl on their surface. Your child has probably noticed how bubbles quickly lose their colors and pop. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if those swirling colors could last and even be made into a piece of art? Well, with some assistance, your child can do just that
- Help your child cut the dark construction paper into several 3″ x 3″ pieces. She can cut or tear the pieces, depending on the look she wants to create.
- Protect the table with newspaper, in case of any stray drops of nail polish.
- Have your child fill the pie dish with about an inch of water.
- Help your child drop two or three drops of clear nail polish on the top of the water, making sure the brush does not touch the water surface.
- Ask your child to place a piece of construction paper where she dropped nail polish.
- Let the paper float to the count of five.
- Pick up the paper from the water surface.
- Some of the nail polish should have stuck to the paper, creating a beautiful, iridescent pattern.
- If there’s too much polish, pinch away; if there’s too little, re-dip the paper.
- Use the stick to clear out leftover polish, then dip the paper again.
- You might want to empty the dish and add fresh water if it’s getting full of polish.
- If your child wants, she can glue her paper to a bigger piece of light-colored construction paper (for a pleasing contrast) and make a card.
Discuss: Why did you get the rainbow colors?
After your child has made a couple of designs, you can explain some of the science behind this activity. First of all, the nail polish floats in the water because it is less dense than the water, which is surprising. You might mention that oil also floats in water. The beautiful colors of a bubble and this nail polish art come from the different thicknesses of the material, which bend light and produce different colors, similar to how rain makes a rainbow.
Quiz: Draw a rainbow.
Craft 32: Patriotic Pinwheel
- Have your child color both sides of the 8″ x 8” square of paper. On one side, use a pencil to draw five-pointed stars, and then color around them in blue crayon or pen. On the other side, use a ruler to mark out thick red stripes, alternating with white space. To reinforce the history behind these designs, pull out a small American flag, or a picture of one, and point to the “Stars and Stripes.” Then, remind your child that this flag was one of America’s first symbols of independence. An easy-to-understand way to introduce the reasons for the colonists’ rebellion against England is to compare it to an older sibling telling you what to do and demanding that you give him your allowance. The colonists wanted to make their own rules and provide for their own needs. They wanted to become an independent country. We celebrate the 4th of July because it’s the anniversary of the birth of the United States of America.
- Use the pencil and ruler to draw lines from corner to corner of your paper, and point out how this turns your square into four equal triangles. Then cut on the lines towards the middle, stopping about ½ an inch from the middle. You will have made four cuts across the square. If your child wants to “do the cutting,” make sure to draw horizontal “stop lines” on the corner lines to show him where to cease cutting!
- Have your child draw a small “x” on the right corner of each of the four sections. With your child’s help, bend the marked points of each section toward the middle and push a pin through them at the middle. If you find this step difficult to complete, here’s another way to do this. Work with one corner at a time, pushing the needle through the paper to hold each section until you’ve bent over each of the four sections.
- Slide a bead onto the pin and then push the pin into the eraser of the unsharpened pencil. Have your child blow on the pinwheel. Explain to him that the power of wind makes it spin. Happy 4th of July!
Discuss: Why do we have wind? How can we make the pinwheel rotate if there is no wind?
Quiz: Why do we celebrate Independence day?
Craft 33: Make a Basket
- Start by cutting your construction paper. You’ll need 8 strips, each about 12 inches long and three quarters of an inch wide.
- Now, arrange the strips, two at a time, so that they form an X. Use glue to secure each X in the center. You should end up making four of these.
- Once the glue is dry, arrange the Xs fanned out in a stack so that they look like a star or an asterisk. Keep the spaces between each arm of the shape as even as you can. Use glue to connect all the Xs together. Let dry.
- Use your paper plate to trace a circle on a sheet of construction paper. Cut out the circle and glue it carefully in the center of the star shape to make the bottom of your basket. Let dry.
- While you’re waiting, prepare your weaving strips. You’ll need to cut four strips about 16 inches long and half an inch wide. If you’re using standard-size construction paper, you’ll need to glue two pieces together at the edges to make the size you need.
- Once the circle has dried, fold up the long arms of the star from the edge of the circle one by one to make the body of the basket.
- Take one of the long strips and use a piece of tape to secure it to the first of the arms and begin weaving over and under all the way around the basket until you reach the tape. Carefully remove the tape and use glue to attach the beginning of the long strand to its end. Hold in place to dry.
- Repeat for each of the four long pieces, then let basket dry.
Discuss: Weaver bird nests.
Quiz: What would happen if all the arms are done using the same weave style? (All go in and come out at the same style)
Craft 34: How to Make a Cat Toy
For cats that love to run and pounce (and what cat doesn’t?) this fabric chase toy is likely to be a huge hit! It’s so easy to make that even young children will be able to construct them, using a not-too-sharp needle. Your little one will improve her important hand-eye coordination skills as she cuts and sews! If you don’t already have leftover fabric scraps, consider rooting through your Goodwill bags or visiting the inexpensive scrap section of a local fabric store.
- Ask your child to thread her needle with a long piece of thread, around 2 feet, and tie a knot securely at one end. This activity is an appropriate time to introduce your amateur seamstress to the basics of sewing. If she’s unfamiliar with how to thread a needle or other beginning sewing techniques, use this opportunity to teach her how!
- Using the needle, have her carefully pierce each fabric square in the approximate center of the square. She should slide each square down the thread.
- Have her continue this process until the string of fabric squares reaches her desired length.
- Lastly, help your child tie a knot to secure the fabric scraps and keep them from moving around too much on the string.
Discuss: Why do adults not play as much as children?
Quiz: Why do we like to play?
Craft 35: Making a Paper Boat
Making paper boat and sailing it in water. (Do it on a rainy day)
Discuss: What determines the speed of the boat?
Quiz: Make an origami elephant like shown below:
Craft 36: Paper Crushing Art
Kids draw a picture and fill it in with crushed paper balls. Example given below:
Discuss: What is the best way to make a crushed paper ball?
Quiz: How would you make this?
Answer over here: https://buggyandbuddy.com/crumpled-paper-art-for-kids-inspired-by-ish/
Craft 37: Papier Mache Mask
- Tear off a sheet of aluminum foil that is a little more than twice as long as your child’s face. If you want to make a half mask, measure the foil from your child’s hairline to his upper lip and double that length.
- Fold the foil in half to create a double layer. Center the foil over your child’s face and, starting with the nose, gently press it in so the foil takes the form of his face. Once the nose is formed, pause a moment and have your child very carefully poke holes in the foil over his nostrils with the cotton swab so he can breathe while the mask is being formed. Make sure all the facial features are impressed into the foil, including his eyes, lips, jaw line, chin, etc.
- Gently remove the foil from your child’s face, taking care not to disturb the facial impression, and lay it on your workspace. Place some crumpled newspaper under the foil mold to give it support.
- Create the paste by mixing three parts water to one part flour in a large bowl. You can experiment with the thickness of the paste by adding more or less water. The more flour added, the stronger the paste will be.
- Dip a strip of newspaper into the paste so that it is completely coated, then run it between two fingers to remove excess paste.
- Place the strip on the forehead of the foil mold so that it is smooth, taking care not to disturb the mold.
- Continue adding strips to the mold until it is completely covered with a single layer of newspaper, making sure the strips overlap slightly. Allow the mask to dry completely, at least 24 hours.
- Repeat steps 5-7 until the mask has 4-5 layers, making sure each layer dries completely before adding the next one.
- Once the final layer of papier-mâché is dry, carefully cut holes in the mask for the eyes. If making a full mask, poke holes for the nostrils. If making a half mask, cut away any parts that cover your child’s nose; the mask should rest on the bridge of his nose.
- Use paint to decorate your mask in whatever theme you choose. You can also add hair, eyelashes, or other three-dimensional features.
- If desired, poke a small hole in each side of the mask at the temples and thread a piece of ribbon or elastic through. The ends can then be tied together to hold the mask on your child’s face.
Use the mask to put on a play and hang it as art when you’re done!
Discuss: Describe a character who you would like to make a mask for.
Quiz: Where do we use masks?
Craft 38: Magazine Paper Cutting
Make a design by cutting a magazine.. Sample shown below
Discuss: Who would you like to portray in this design?
Quiz: Make something like this:
Teacher Hint: Check how many students folded the paper before cutting.Craft 37: Cotton Dabbing Painting
Use cotton dabs to color a scenery. Example show below:
Discuss: Where does cotton come from?
Quiz: Which of these is a cotton plant?
Craft 38: Traffic Signs
Draw these road signs:
Discuss: What do each of these signs mean? Why do people break traffic rules?
Quiz: What do you think these signs mean?
Craft 39: Hand Puppets
Making hand puppets using leaves for eyes, nose, ears. Use a string/play dough for whiskers and roll a rope/twigs to make tails.
Discuss: What bird / animal would you like to portray? Google for designs.
Quiz: Write a short story featuring your puppet.
Craft 40: Newspaper Bags
Start by sketching design
Here is a possible sample design
Discuss: Why are paper bags better than plastic?
Quiz: Which design of bag did you like the best? Why?
Craft 40: Yarn Art
Design a Velcro board on which you can make yarn designs. After that is done, make a design using old yarn from home. Make it on Velcro, so that we can reuse the yarn. Sample shown below:
Discuss: Where does yarn come from?
Quiz: Which of the following animals give us yarn?
Craft 41: Pulses Ganpati
Make a Ganpati. Fill it up with different colors using pulses, rice and wheat.
Discuss: Why are pulses important in our diet?
Quiz: Which of the following is not a pulse?
Craft 41: Funny Painting
Make funny paintings – for example fishes on trees.
Btw, that is a mudflapper fish. A very interesting video on that can be seen here:
Discuss: Why is the painting above funny? What makes something funny?
Quiz: What makes the painting below funny?
Craft 41: Making cardboard boxes
Let students sketch their own design and make a box
Discuss: Get empty boxes from home and look at the design used. Which design do you like the best. Why?
Quiz: How would you transport empty boxes?
Craft 42: Film making
Experiment on making films using cell phone. Bhawna’s group made one on a growing plant. Arjun’s group went to the garbage bin – and made one highlighting the danger of plastic and how it was being eaten up by cows. Liked the assignment – though it would be a good idea to have external speakers attached to the phones so that the audio feed can be listened in to. Advised Arjun’s group to script it out better next time.
An example which looks interesting..
Discuss: What is the importance of a script in a film?
Quiz: Now that you have made the film, tell us of ways it could have been improved?
Craft 43: Miming Game
Guess what the guest means!
Students are divided into groups of four or five. One, a guest staying at a hotel, is given a card on which is written something they want or need. The guest is in a foreign country, so s/he must make him/herself understood to the others in the group – the collective hotel receptionist – entirely by the use of mime. For elementary students it is enough that they grasp the general idea of what the hotel guest is trying to get across. Some suggestions are given below for the sorts of things that might be written on cards:
Where is the nearest bus stop?
Could you call me at 7.15 tomorrow, please?
Is there a restaurant near here?
Could I possibly have an extra blanket tonight?
Can you change my room? This one is too noisy.
The tap in my room isn’t working.
Is there a doctor in the hotel?
Discuss: How do you think deaf-and-mute communicate?
(Teacher tip: Take them through some basics of sign language)
Quiz: What gesture would you use to indicate that you are upset
(Holding the hand to the forehead)
Craft 44: Drawstring Bag
Stitching / Embroidery. Make this drawstring bag –
Discuss: What are the different uses of this bag?
Quiz: Suggest improvements in the design of this bag.
Craft 45: Rope Tricks
Rope tricks and knots. Go through this video
Discuss: What is magic?
Quiz: How many colors are there in this image?
The answer is 2.
Get kids to make this in class.
Discuss the importance of context in color.
Craft 45: School Flag
Design and make a school flag for flying on the mast
Discuss: Why do we need a flag?
Quiz: Match the flag with the country:
Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal
Craft 46: Scrap Book
Make a scrap book of your childhood photos / memories
Discuss: How are grandparents different from parents?
Quiz: What is the first thing that you remember about yourself?
Craft 47: Balloon Art
Draw a face/scenery on a balloon.
Discuss: What happens when you release the knot of a balloon? Why?
Quiz: Why do some balloons fly to the roof when you release them?
Craft 48: Display Boards
The student made objets d’art is something that we need to think about. The options – a formica board, which is pasted over the cement board sheets. It will also make the room more colourful. This can be in the form of a mosaic. Pankaj had suggested that we can also use the roof – for painting displays. This cloth will also serve as insulation – so that the roof heat does not radiate down. Another option is to use cloth boards. Finally we can also use clips attached to the walls for holding on to cardboard sheets on which we can display the artwork.. Or maybe we just have sliding window channels running around, on which we can slide in the cardboard sheets.
Discuss: How long should we keep a painting before changing it?
Quiz: What according to you is a good painting?
Craft 49: Film Appreciation
Watch this film: ‘I will be a Humming Bird’
Quiz: What did you learn from this movie?
Discuss: How can we apply this in our life?
Craft 50: Drama
Theme: Enact this Homework themed drama.
Monday morning. Scene in Class VIII of a school. The English teacher is in the class and is asking children whether they have done the home work he had given them last Saturday.
Sunil: “Sir, I could not do my home work as I lost my text book.”
English teacher: “Not good enough. Stand up on your bench.”
Ravi: “Sir, I could not do my home work as I had to go out of station with my parents on Sunday.”
English teacher: “Not good enough. Stand up on your bench.”
Anjali: “Sir, I did my homework but I forgot it at home.”
English teacher: “Not good enough. Stand up on your bench.”
Sunita: “Sir, I did my homework but my brother spilled ice cream on it.”
English teacher: “Not good enough. Stand up on your bench.”
Vinita: “Sir I did my homework but in another notebook.”
English teacher: “Not good enough. Stand up on your bench.”
Manish: “Sir, I did my home work but I dropped it in a puddle filled with rainwater.”
English teacher: “Not good enough. Stand up on your bench.”
Sheela: “Sir I have completed the homework and I have brought my notebook.”
English teacher: “Not good enough. Stand up on your bench.”
Sheela: “Sir, I have done my homework.”
English teacher: “Only those who give me a good excuse for not doing their homework will not be punished. Please stand up.”
Sheela stands up on the bench. She is seen shaking her head in exasperation.
Shirish: “Sir, I did not do my homework as I was playing all day on Sunday.”
English teacher: “I am proud of you. I am glad you remember the saying, ‘All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy.’ Please continue to sit and do not stand up on the bench.”
The other students: “Sir, we will also not complete the homework you give next saturday.”
English teacher: “The rules would have changed by next week. But keep trying. You may succeed.”
Discuss: What can be done to make HW more interesting?
Quiz: Design your own HW for today. Do it before the class gets over ☺
Craft 51: Tea Leaves Painting
Use wasted tea leaves and make a color out of it.
Get that along – and fill in the drawing with a brown themed scenery with tea leave paint.
Discuss: Is drinking tea good? Why?
Quiz: Which of these represents a place where tea is grown?
Craft 52: Kite Making
Kite making. They can either decorate their class or the trees outside with the kites they have made.
Discuss: What is a festival when kites fly in the sky. Try flying the kite you made.
Quiz: Watch this cycle kite video:
How do you think the pedaling is happening?
Craft 53: Origami Butterfly
Here are instructions for the same –
Discuss: What are the different stages in the life of a butterfly?
Here is masala for discussion –
Quiz: Why do you think this insect is called a butterfly?
Teacher Hint: Butter is yellow
Craft 54: Making a Kulhad
Clay moulding. Making a Kulhar. In clay moulding there should be no thin walls, no uneven walls and no large chunks.
Discuss: What happens when you heat mud to make a kulhad?
Quiz: Why do you get thick curds when you set it in a kulhad?
Craft 55: Making a Rakhi
The brief: You can make it only from waste material.
Discuss: What is the purpose of tying a rakhi? How is a brother-sister friendship different from other friendships?
Quiz: What happens to the stuff the raddi-walla buys from our house?
HW: Make Friendship Bands
Craft 56: Making a Jigsaw Puzzle
Get along an old cardboard carton.
Break it up into triangles to create a jigsaw puzzle
Get students to exchange their puzzle and solve.
Discuss: How can we make a 3d jigsaw puzzle
Quiz: Draw a shape, different from a triangle, that makes it easier for us to fit back a bigger jigsaw puzzle?