Category Archives: School Age (5+)

Kandinsky Circles

kadinsky

Submitted by: Heather Lockwood

Create an array of color paper rolled to mimic Kandinsky’s circles.

Goals:

  • To practice fine motor skills
  • To explore different color combinations
  • To work as a group to make a piece of cooperative art

Before You Start:
Gather materials needed: cardboard box lids (e.g., shoe box or paper box lids); an array of different types of paper in different colors, sizes and patterns; black paint; paint brushes; scissors and glue.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Either before beginning the activity with the children, or as a class, paint the inside of the box lids black.

Step 2.
Cut the paper into strips of different widths and lengths.

Step 3.
Using a paint brush, coat the inside of the box lid(s) with a paint brush.

Step 4.
Have the children roll up the sheets of paper like a scroll. Place the rolled up paper standing up inside the box lid(s).

Step 5.
Fill the entire inside of the box lid(s) with rolled up paper.

Step 6.
Allow the glue to dry, then display on a wall.

Furthermore:
Wassily Kandinsky was a Russian artist who was famous for his abstract works that made use of circle shapes. Research Kandinsky in the library or online to spark discussion on abstract art. The Kandinsky Circle activity does not involve painting, but the same ideas behind it could be applied to a painting activity. Provide the children with paper and paint and encourage them to create an abstract painting using circles and/or other shapes.

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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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3-D Pyramid Ornament

3-D Pyramid Ornament

Submitted by: Rhonda Pena

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

Goals:

  • Create a decorative holiday ornament
  • Identify the geometric properties of a 3-D square pyramid, including faces, edges and vertices

Before You Start:
Gather materials needed: Foam or tag board to cut the pyramid shapes from, pipe cleaners, pom-poms, ribbon, glue and tape.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Cut out a square and 4 identical triangles from the foam or tag board. The triangles should have a side that is the same length as the sides of the square. More-advanced students can try to create a “net” from a single piece of foam or tag board that will simply fold together to form the square pyramid.

Step 2.
Use glue or tape to put together the square pyramid. Hot glue may work best for this step, but be sure to do so carefully with adult supervision.

Step 3.
Decorate the ornaments using pipe cleaners along the edges, pom-poms at the vertices (corners) or anything else you like.

Step 4.
Attach a loop of ribbon and hang!

Furthermore:
As you are making your ornaments, discuss with the students the different attributes of a pyramid. Encourage them to discuss the attributes with their families after taking their ornament home.

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Star Tree

startree

Submitted by: Tracy Emond

This is a great math activity to celebrate the Christmas/holiday season.

Goals:

  • To help children practice fractions and measurement
  • To create a beautiful centerpiece to display for the holiday season

Before You Start:
Gather all the necessary supplies, including: green and yellow construction paper, rulers, tape, glue, scissors, glitter, sequins, beads, pom-poms and other decorating items.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Have children measure 1″ increments lengthwise (and draw lines) on 2-3 sheets of green construction paper. Have them cut along the lines, creating 1″ wide strips.

Step 2.
Have children measure and cut the 1″ strips into the following seven lengths: 20″, 17-1/2″, 15″, 12-1/2″, 10″, 7-1/2″ and 5″. (For longer lengths, you may need to tape 2 strips together at the ends before measuring.)

Step 3.
Demonstrate how to fan-fold (like an accordion) the 20″ strip in 2″ wide sections. Have the children fan-fold the rest of the strips in varying increments. Fold 17-1/2″ strip into 1-3/4″ increments, 15″ into 1-1/2″ increments, 12-1/2″ strip into 1-1/4″ increments, 10″ strip folded into 1″ increments, 7-1/2″ strip folded into 3/4″ increments and 5″ strip folded into 1/2″ increments.

Step 4.
Let children decorate their strips on one side with the glitter, beads and other items and let dry.

Step 5.
Have them refold each strip and tape the ends together. This will create beautiful star shapes.

Step 6.
Starting with the largest star, stack them on top of one another, turning each one just slightly so they will balance on the one below.

Step 7.
Now you have a decorated Christmas tree to display in the classroom and/or use as a centerpiece for the holiday season!

Furthermore:
You can top off your tree by creating a star out of yellow construction paper or by using a large, yellow pom-pom. This is an easy project to take apart and reassemble over and over for years to come.

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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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Craft Tube Shark

craftsharkCelebrate Shark Week by creating your very own shark using common materials.

Goals:

  • To practice using fine motor skills
  • To engage in discussions about sharks
  • To engage in pretend play

Before You Start:
Gather materials needed: BioColor® paint, craft tubes, wiggly eyes, glue, tape and paper.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Cut a triangle out of one end of a craft tube. Keep both triangle pieces.

Step 2.
Tape and glue (a little of both work best) one of the triangles to the uncut side of the craft tube.

Step 3.
Help the children carefully cut a slot in the top of the craft tube. Make a small fold along the long end of the second triangle piece and insert it into the slot. Tape the folded part of the triangle to the top underside of the craft tube.

Step 4.
Paint the craft tube and triangles grey. Allow to fully dry.

Step 5.
Cut strips of sharp teeth out of white paper and glue to the cut side of the craft tube.

Step 6.
Add final details to your shark. Use black marker to draw gills and then add wiggly eyes!

Step 7.
Optional: Glue a stick or straw to your shark to turn it into a puppet!

Furthermore:
Read books about sharks, or watch programs on TV to learn about these fascinating creatures!

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Iceberg Melt

icebergmelt

Submitted by: Kate Parker

Using icebergs made from paint, children watch the melting process and make observations of the combination of colors, flow of the melting colors and the elapsed time needed for their “icebergs” to melt.

Goals:

  • To practice measuring
  • To understand the difference between liquids and solids
  • To hypothesize about the new colors created when colors are mixed
  • To create art and patterns from the melting “iceberg” paint
  • To discuss where real icebergs can be found

Before You Start:
Gather materials needed: small paper cups, markers, water, BioColor® paint colors and a covered working surface.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Give each student a small paper cup and have them write their name on it. Students should add their own mix of BioColor® paint to their cup. Freeze overnight.

Step 2.
Have the children guess (i.e., make hypotheses) what will happen when their icebergs begin to melt and blend together. What new colors will be created?

Step 3.
Tear away the paper cups to release each iceberg. Place the icebergs on a plastic tray, panel or another type of water container.

Step 4.
Observe the melting icebergs. Which hypotheses proved to be true? Encourage the children to develop new hypotheses as they observe.

Furthermore:
Discuss further scientific principles that can be observed while the icebergs are melting. For example, solid water (ice) floats on liquid water. Do the melting paint colors blend the same way they do on paper?

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