Friday, August 30, 2013

Little Tide Pools

To go along with our beach theme, we learned about tide pools. I read the book One Small Place by the Sea, by Barbara Brenner.
It not only explains what a tide pool is and what lives there, but it describes what happens in a tide pool. I found it very interesting. I had a vision of a tide pool craft in my head so I set out to get all my materials. I needed a plate that had a nice solid rim. I found these at Walgreens:
They were the only ones there that had a rim, so I bought them. But the bonus was that they were tan, like sand. Then I googled coloring pages of some of the things that live in a tide pool. I saved the images on my computer and printed them out in a small size.
We had a hermit crab, sea anemone, snail, mussels, starfish and shells. We ended up not using the larger starfish because it took up too much room on the plate. In the morning, the kids colored the pictures with crayons. They could color as many as they wanted. It was their own little tide pool and they could have whatever they wanted living in it. Then I cut the pieces out (mostly cutting around the object and not following the lines exactly because that would have taken too long) and put them on a plate with the child's name. Later in the day, the kids glued the pieces to the inside of their plate.

Then I used blue cellophane paper to cover the plate. (I bought a roll of it from Michaels several years ago, put it in my closet and never used it. I was so happy to finally have a use for it!) I cut a square slightly bigger than the plate and used a glue stick on the rim of the plate. I then flipped it over onto the cellophane and pressed on the rim.
Then I trimmed it. I wasn't sure if the glue stick would hold, but it worked perfectly.

The kids loved their tide pools and enjoyed showing their parents what was living inside!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Tropical Sunsets

We made some beautiful sunsets to go with our beach theme. They are similar to our desert sunsets from a couple years ago, but we used more colors this time. First the kids used droppers to add colored water to a coffee filter.
We put scrap paper under the filter to absorb some of the water. After a few minutes, I took the filter off the paper and put them on a plastic table cloth. They dried very quickly this way. Then I used a glue stick to attach them to white construction paper. This made the colors stand out more. I also cut the bottom inch or so off.
I cut them out and made a "sandy" bottom -- basically just cut black paper to look like land that went across the bottom. I also cut out two sizes of palm trees and some "v" birds. The kids glued them onto their sunsets.
My template for my palm tree was some clip art from a greeting card software program I have. I cut them out by hand with a scissors and it was quite a pain, but oh so worth it! I love how they turned out!

I wrote "Just another day in paradise..." on mine (by tracing words I had printed out -- my handwriting isn't that nice!).
They look so beautiful on our wall.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Footprint Flip-Flops

It's the last week of summer vacation around here, and a hot one to boot. Our theme this week is the beach, so it fits perfectly. Earlier this summer, one of my daughter's teachers made these flip-flops with the babies:
So cute, right? I knew I had to make them with my class. First I mixed brown and white paint to make a skin-tone color and I painted the kids' feet and made prints. I cut them out and they glued them to a flip-flop shape I made from construction paper. (You could also just cut around your footprint in a flip-flop shape like above.)
Then the kids added the straps. To make the straps, I folded several pieces of neon paper in half and cut the corners off, then cut again making about a half-inch wide strip.

This made the ends of the strips pointy so it could fit between the toes. I helped the kids position them on their footprints.
(Don't worry about the extra part. That gets trimmed later.) If the kids wanted to, they could paint their toenails!
Finally, they added a flower to the strap.
The flowers were cut using my Cricut, which are actually for an upcoming project, but I knew I could spare a few to give these flip-flops the final touch. After trimming the straps, here are the adorable flip-flops:

Ooh, I love them!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Paper Monkeys

I have one more monkey craft for you! For each child, I drew a circle and an oval-ish shape on a piece of construction paper. The kids cut them out as best they could, but I reminded them it didn't have to be perfect.
Then they picked out 5 pipe cleaners (2 legs, 2 arms and a tail) and showed me where they wanted them on their monkey. I used masking tape to secure them to the back of the body. They used glue to attach the head to the body and then they used scrap paper to cut out bellies, if they wished. And they tried cutting out ears but were having problems so I ended up cutting out those for them. They used big neon wiggle eyes and attached them with glue dots. Finally, they drew in a mouth.
To cover up the unsightly tape on the back,
I just traced and cut out another body part so it would fit perfectly and used double-stick tape to attach it.
Now it's nice and clean for when I send them home. But for the next week or so, they will be hanging on our wall.

They are so fun to look at!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Tamarin Monkey Masks

This week, I've been teaching the kids about the monkeys that live in the Amazon rainforest. Yesterday's monkey was the Emperor Tamarin. These are the ones with the white mustaches! (If you don't know what I'm talking about, do a quick google image search. Better yet, I'll do it for you. Click here!) I thought it would be fun for the kids to make a monkey mask, so I found a coloring page of a tamarin (here), cropped it so it was mainly just the head, printed it out, then traced it onto a plain piece of paper using a Sharpie. This way I got a clearer picture and didn't have to worry about the background. I also didn't trace the long mustache. The kids would be adding it later. Then I printed them out on white card stock so they'd be sturdy.
They used oil pastels to color the picture.
I cut up pieces of white curling ribbon and the kids glued them onto the cheeks of the monkey. They used a glue stick and put one end of the ribbon into the glue and pressed down.
They could use as many pieces of ribbon as they wanted, but most used 3 or 4 on each check. I didn't curl the ribbon with a scissors because I thought that would be too much, so I left the natural curl.
Obviously, I made them too long. I ended up trimming them quite a bit. Once the glue was dry, I cut the face out, cut the eyes out and attached elastic string in the back from ear to ear.
I love how they turned out. And the kids loved wearing them...
even though the eye holes didn't quite match up!

Fun Fact: The Emperor tamarin is thought to be named after German Emperor Wilhelm II, due to the long mustache. It apparently started as a joke, but the name stuck.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Simple Banana Treat

Since I turned my kids into monkeys for the week, I thought we should have a banana snack! Today was our swimming day, so we didn't have a lot of time to make something. This banana treat is so incredibly easy! First I poured some cookie sprinkles into bowls.
Then I cut bananas in half and stuck a popsicle stick into each one. I was planning on having the kids just dip their bananas into the sugar, but I was worried the banana would fall off the stick or get smashed. So, after all the kids washed their hands really well, they picked up the sugar with their fingers and sprinkled it over their bananas.

That's it!
We made sure to make these right before lunch so the bananas wouldn't turn brown before we had a chance to eat them. I know it might seem silly to take a healthy snack and add some sugar, but the kids gobbled them up with their lunch!
To go along with our banana snack, I read The Boy Who Loved Bananas by George Elliott.
After seeing monkeys at the zoo, Matthew eats nothing but bananas. Pretty much all day, every day. Soon he starts feeling a little bit funny. Does he turn into a monkey? Read the book to find out!