Thursday, January 31, 2013

Blast Off Rockets - Toddler Art Project

Blast Off Rockets

Age: 18 Months - 5 Years or older (younger ones need more supervision)

Time: 15 min (+ Prep)

Theme: Rockets, Space, Imaginative play

Books: On the Launch Pad: A Counting Book About Rockets by Nancy Atterbury, Not a Box by Antoinette Portis

Card Stock Weight Paper
Colored Cellophane (We used red but any color will do)
Glue Sticks
Small pictures of faces (I found them in old magazines and used a 1” round punch to cut them out)
Adults get to use Scissors or Exacto Knife and a Ruler

Prep: Cut the four primary pieces of the rocket out of card stock. Our rockets consisted of a 3” x 5” rectangle for the body, the side ‘wings’ are a 3” x 4” rectangle cut into 2 triangles, and the point was half of a 4” square, but you can cut them to whatever scale you like. Cut 3-5 strips of colored cellophane to be the jet, and several faces (human or animal) to act as passengers.

Activity: Each child gets a set of pieces: 1 large rectangle, 1 large triangle, 2 smaller triangles and colored cellophane. Using a glue stick, assemble the rocket (adding the jet last so it doesn’t take off before they are ready). Choose some passengers and add them onto the body of the rocket. Time to Blast Off!

Notes/Tips: Putting the 'passengers' out on a large paper plate will help them from ending up everywhere. Choosing passengers after the rocket is assembled will also give the glue a few moments to dry before playing. If you don't have any colored cellophane, party streamers make a fine jet too. Don’t forget to talk about the shapes - its a preliminary math skill.
Working on cutting skills with the scraps.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Simple Science for Toddlers: Magnets

I have seen this science activity in a number of places.
This week we finally got around to trying it ourselves.

First we picked out some pipe cleaners.

Then we cut them into pieces about 1" long
& put them into our bottle.
Then using a magnet we made our
fuzzy caterpillars crawl!
This activity didn't hold the Figlet's attention as long as I thought it would (she's 34 months) so I was pleasantly surprised when she got it out to show her Daddy when he arrived home. Since then she has played with it again & again! Science is fun!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Love Ewe Sheep

I came across a picture of these Love Ewe Sheep we made last year (before I started blogging) and thought it might inspire some Valentines cards.

To make them I cut out blocky "n" shapes for legs and faces shaped like a peanuts with floppy ears out of black construction paper. I also cut out a bunch of different sized hearts from red construction paper. The big sheep body is a crumpled coffee filter, and the smaller one is a crumpled oval of tissue paper. The kids glued all the pieces together on a background color of their choice.

One detail I do recall from making them was that it didn't matter if the legs were glued down first or not because little ones rarely glue edge tight anyway.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Garbage Truck = Snow Plow?! In NYC it does!

Image borrowed from this web site that has lots of neat info about garbage trucks
Did you know that in New York City we don't have many big snowplows? When we get a snow storm, they suspend garbage pick up and put plow blades on the front of the garbage trucks!

Armed with that bit of trivia and inspired by this 3D Snowplow Craft from Reading Confetti, I came up with this activity to share with the little ones at story time.

We started with a coloring page of a city garbage truck. I used this one but I printed it, trimmed the blah blah blah info off the bottom then made copies for the kids.
We used our glue sticks to attach the TP tube plow blade and cotton ball snow. (The little ones really enjoyed pulling the cotton apart.) Then we traded in our glue sticks for crayons and colored them in.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Things That You Can Paint With - Creative Discovery Toddler Style

Painting has been the Figlet's art activity of choice lately.
To keep things interesting, she has been testing out the
marks she can make with all kinds of things....
Sponge, Onion Bag, Marbles & Beads
Fingers & Fake Flowers
Spool, TP Tube, Brushes
Foam Sticker Stamps

Brushes & Burlap
There is such joy in discovery!
"When my daughter was about seven years old, she asked me one day what I did at work. I told her I worked at the college - that my job was to teach people how to draw. She stared at me, incredulous, and said, "You mean they forget?" Howard Ikemoto

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Thank You Streamers - Kid Craft

Thank You Streamers
A fun mail-able alternative to traditional thank you cards

Age: 18 Months and up (younger ones need more supervision)

Time: 10 - 20 min (+ Prep)

Theme: Saying Thank You, Sending Mail

Copy Paper
Crepe Paper Streamers
Glue Stick(s)
Crayons or Markers
Reinforcement Labels (little donut shaped stickers used to reinforce pages in ring binders)
Adults and big kids get to use Scissors and a Hole Punch

Prep: For children who are not yet handy with scissors, precut 5 – 10 shapes (hearts, word bubbles, diamonds, whatever you like) out of copy paper. I found roughly 2” to be a good size. Cut a 24” strip of streamer.

Activity: Each child gets pre-cut shapes, or paper to make their own and markers or crayons to decorate them. Encourage them to write things that they are thankful for, such as a gift they received or an activity they did with the person they are making it for. Put away the Crayons and marker and get out the glue stick. Glue the shapes down the length of the streamer. Place a reinforcement label at the top then punch the hole through it. Add a string for hanging.

Notes/Tips: If you don’t have the labels (or even if you do), you can fold and glue the top of the streamer into a double layer to strengthen it.
Have fun embellishing! I have done this with two different age groups since the winter holiday break. The little ones added stickers and the older ones added snowflakes.
Banners fold flattest (best for mailing) back and forth accordion style
If doing this project with toddlers or pre-school kids I suggest reading Thank You Bear by Greg Foley too!