Category Archives: 15 Minutes

Clothespin Caterpillars

clothespincaterpillarsCreate cute clothespin caterpillars that can be used to hang art work or be given as gifts.

Goals:

  • To practice fine motor skills
  • To explore different color combinations
  • To express creativity

Before You Start:
Gather materials needed: clothespins, tacky glue, pom-poms and wiggly eyes.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Set out all materials and provide children with 1 or 2 clothespins each.

Step 2.
Apply a line of tacky glue along the entire length of one side of a clothespin.

Step 3.
Place a row of pom-poms close together on the glue. Use however many can fit on the clothespin (3-5 is usually a good number).

Step 4.
Apply two dots of tacky glue to the pom-pom on the opening side of the clothespin. Apply wiggly eyes to the glue.

Step 5.
Allow the glue to dry, then place wherever you like!

Furthermore:
Use the Clothespin Caterpillars activity to supplement learning about real caterpillars, or for when reading about The Hungry Caterpillar. Or, use brown pom-poms to make clothespin worms. Then read the book Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin.

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Flying Sharks

flyingsharks

Submitted by: Chandra Reyer

Children make their own “flying” sharks!

Goals:

  • To create a uniquely-designed flying shark
  • To explore the concepts of aerodynamics and physics
  • To explore cause and effect

Before You Start:
Gather materials needed: construction paper, markers, crayons, glitter or metallic glue, glue sticks, scissors and transparent tape. Also, find images of shark profiles online or from magazines for reference.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Fold a piece of construction paper in half the long way.

Step 2.
Using the reference images, draw an outline of a shark and cut out, except on the bottom. Add tape to the front end and to the tail end.

Step 3.
Using the construction paper scraps, fold and cut two triangle fin pieces at least two inches or longer. Tape to the outside of the shark on each side so that the fins are able to flap up and down.

Step 4.
Using more scraps, fold and cut a large triangular dorsal fin. Glue or tape to the inside of the top of the shark.

Step 5.
Decorate the shark as desired.

Step 6.
Take the shark for a test flight. Try to determine adjustments that can be made to make the shark fly farther.

Furthermore:
The sharks around South Africa’s Seal Island have developed the unique hunting technique of flying out of the water the catch prey. Find videos of these sharks online to encourage discussion about these and other types of sharks. Consider why these particular sharks have developed this method of hunting, which is different from how most other sharks hunt.

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Glittery Salt

glittersalt

Create bright, three-dimensional collages or fill glass jars with layers of sparkling color! Turn flat surfaces into imaginative, tactile, sparkly works of art, with salt as your main ingredient! Add rich, vibrant color, and great texture to any collage.

Goals:

  • To observe cause and effect
  • To have fun with a sensory art activity
  • To develop fine motor skills

Before You Start:
Gather sand art bottles or recycle, small clean empty glass jars or bottles with lids from home. Set out funnels, rock salt or table salt, Liquid Watercolor™ paints, a 1/4 measuring cup, a tablespoon, BioColor® Shimmer Powder and paper towels.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Add 1 Tbsp. of Colorations® Liquid Watercolor to ¼ cup of regular table salt or rock salt, and mix.

Step 2.
Spread mixture out on a paper towel and microwave on high for 2 minutes.

Step 3.
Using fingers break up the dried pieces until the consistency is granular again.

Step 4.
Try adding baby oil or Metallic Powder for a shimmering effect. Adds rich, vibrant color, and great texture to any collage. (Does not work with gold, silver or white.)

Furthermore:
Salt teaches children about science. It’s very absorbent and reduces the freezing point of water. That’s why rock salt is sprinkled onto roads after a snowstorm: it lowers the freezing point of water and makes driving safer. It’s also used to make homemade ice cream. Think about it!

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Tape Art

tapeart

Submitted by: Alison Busby

Toddlers use tape to create amazing effects in their art.

Goals:

  • To explore cause and effect
  • To practice fine motor skills
  • To participate in a hands-on sensory activity

Before You Start:
Gather materials needed: paint in multiple colors, masking or painter’s tape, cardstock or heavy painting paper, paint brushes.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Apply tape to the paper in the desired design.

Step 2.
Use fingers or painting tools to paint over the tape.

Step 3.
Carefully remove the tape from the paper.

Furthermore:
Try adding additional layers of colors. After painting with one color and removing the tape, put down more tape and paint a second color. What happens in the areas where the paint colors overlap?

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Gobble Gobble Jar of Thanks

jarthanks

Submitted by: Audrey Meidl

A great way to give thanks and to share what young ones are thankful for.

Goals:

  • To reinforce social/emotional development
  • To encourage creativity

Before You Start:
Have on hand craft foam, felt or construction paper in brown, red, yellow and orange. You will also need a papier-mâché flower pot or glass jar, scissors, tacky glue and wiggly eyes. You will also need sentence strips (or strips of cut-up lined paper) and pencils.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Using felt, foam or paper, cut out two ovals of the same size. Glue the two ovals to the outside of the flower pot or jar. This will be the turkey head. Allow the young ones to be creative with this; there is no “right” or “wrong” way.

Step 2.
Using felt, foam or paper in fall colors such as red, yellow, orange, etc., cut out more oval shapes (one of each color) and glue them to the opposite end of the flower pot or jar, on the outside.

Step 3.
Glue on wiggly eyes and use leftover felt, foam or paper to create the waddle and beak.

Step 4.
After the children are finished creating their turkey pots, have them write down things they are thankful for on the strips of paper and place them into the pot.

Step 5.
During circle time, have each child take turns sharing what they are thankful for.

Furthermore:
Tip: you can also use craft feathers instead of felt or foam for added texture. Also, add more details such as feet, or, you might want to paint the pot or jar to give it more color.

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Circle Prints

circleprints

Submitted by: Maria Langis

Children use cups to make circle prints on paper.

Goals:

  • To explore various painting techniques
  • To identify the shape “circle”
  • To practice hand-eye coordination
  • To use fine motor skills

Before You Start:
Gather materials needed: plastic or paper cups, various colors of paint, white finger paint paper, construction paper, scissors and glue sticks.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Fill the bottom of trays or plates with a single color of paint (make several colors available). Provide plastic or paper cups to the children. If possible, provide cups of different sizes.

Step 2.
Have the children take their cup and dip the open end into a color of paint. Then, have them press their cup onto their finger paint paper. Repeat using different colors and placing each circle in a slightly different location to create unique patterns.

Step 3.
When the painting is dry, cut around the perimeter of the painting (help the children as necessary).

Step 4.
Using glue sticks, mount the finished painting onto a contrasting color of construction paper.

Furthermore:
Discuss circle shapes with the children. What attributes do all circles have in common? What are some everyday items that are shaped like circles?

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Giant Golf Ball Painting

golfball

Submitted by: Jamie Toriello

Go BIG and take marble painting to a new level!

Goals:

  • To introduce and practice teamwork skills
  • To practice coordination

Before You Start:
Gather materials needed: a plastic kiddie pool, used/old golf balls (check local golf shops) and a variety of paper and BioColor® paint colors.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Place sheets of paper at the bottom of the pool, somewhat in the center.

Step 2.
Squirt multiple colors of BioColor® paint around the edges of the pool. Try to be aware of and use colors that will mix with each other to create new colors.

Step 3.
Place multiple golf balls in the pool.

Step 4.
Have the children line up around the pool and grab the side. Encourage them to work together to get the golf balls to run into the paint and over the paper.

Step 5.
When finished, display your beautiful masterpieces and use a hose to rinse the pool!

Furthermore:
Do this activity several days in a row to see how the children’s improves given more practice. Ask them what they’ve learned about mixing colors. What are some of their favorite colors to make?

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Father’s Day Collage Cards

dadcards

Create a decorative holiday ornament while reinforcing knowledge of geometric properties.

Goals:

  • To create an original collage that is also a card
  • To make a special memento/keepsake for a loved one
  • To encourage creativity and fine motor skills

Before You Start:
Gather Colorations® Heavyweight Construction Paper (12″ x 18″) in a variety of colors. Set out small bowls with glue or glue sticks, scissors, Colorations® markers and crayons, glitter, craft sand, pom-poms, foam shapes, stickers and other collage materials. Have old magazines, newspapers and/or catalogs also available for children to cut out pictures and/or words for their collages.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Provide each child with construction paper and have them fold in half so it resembles a card. Explain to children that they will be creating cards for their fathers (or uncles, grandfathers, friends they know.) The outside of the cards will be collages of pictures they draw or cut out from magazines and newspapers provided, words they write (or cut out) and any other items they’d like to decorate with. The teacher can help cut out materials or have pre-cut materials available for younger children.

Step 2.
Allow children to decorate their cards any way they wish. As this is an open-ended activity, encourage the children to experiment with different colors, textures and mediums. Allow to dry.

Step 3.
Now everyone has their own unique card to display around the classroom and to give as a gift.

Step 4.
Optional: Have the children create a poem for Dad (or loved one) inside their cards. The teacher can help them by writing out prompts they can fill in or dictate such as, “My dad is special because…” or “I love you because…”

Furthermore:
Teachers can also have children create their own “book covers” about their fathers/father figures! Have children give their “book” a title that relates to their dad, (who he is, what he likes or how they spend time together,) and then children can decorate them any way they like. Gather everyone at circle time and have take turns sharing their “books.” Display around the classroom and/or give as gifts on Father’s Day!

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Recycled Bottle Flower Prints

bottleflowers

Submitted by: Ann Nesladek

A great activity that shows recycling can be fun and creative!

Goals:

  • To foster creativity in using ordinary objects
  • To discover new ways of recycling old items

Before You Start:
Gather materials needed: Plastic water or soda bottles in different sizes, paper, BioColor® or tempera paint, paint trays and paint brushes.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Set out different colors of paint on paint trays or paper plates.

Step 2.
Take a plastic bottle and dip the bottom into one of the colors of paint. Now, press the bottom of the bottle onto the paper. Repeat using different colors and/or different sizes of water bottles.

Step 3.
Using a paint brush, paint a stem onto each of the flowers.

Step 4.
Paint additional details into your painting, such as grass, trees, clouds or more!

Furthermore:
What other objects can be used in a new way as a method of recycling? Hold a class brainstorming session to help get everyone thinking about ways to reduce trash and save the planet!

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Handprint Easter Lily

easterlily

A creative and simple Easter project!

Goal:

  • To have children create an Easter Lily by using a cut-out of their hand

Before You Start:
Gather materials needed for activity: white construction paper, pencils, green foam sheets, scissors, glue and pipe cleaners.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Using a white heavyweight piece of construction paper, trace around the child’s open hand. Adult help will be needed to help young children draw around their hand and to cut it out.

Step 2.
Cut out the handprint, leaving a wide portion at the wrist.

Step 3.
Bring the two sides at the wrist together and glue. This should look like a cone at the bottom of the hand.

Step 4.
Use a yellow or gold pipe cleaner and glue it inside the flower.

Step 5.
Use a green straw as the stem and glue it inside the flower.

Step 6.
Cut out foam or paper leaves – using tacky glue, attach them to the straw.

Step 7.
When all children’s flowers are done, you can make a Easter lily bouquet.

Furthermore:
Easter lilies are known to have special significance for Easter. Talk with children about some of the different meanings and symbols that are associated with this flower and Easter.

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