Category Archives: Fun With Nature

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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Spider Hat

spiderhat

Submitted by: Kathy Worrell

Learn about spiders as children make a goofy hat!

Goals:

  • To learn about spiders
  • To learn that spiders have 8 legs

Before You Start:
Gather materials needed: black construction paper, wiggly eyes, glue, staples and a stapler or black tape.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Cut black construction paper into 10 equal, long strips for each child.

Step 2.
Take two strips and attach them together to create a circle that fits around the child’s head.

Step 3.
Attach 4 legs to each side of the circle. Crinkle the legs in an accordion fashion.

Step 4.
Add wiggly eyes to the front of the spider hat.

Furthermore:
Have the children wear their hats as they sing “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” and read books about spiders.

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Painting With Nature

paintingnature

Submitted by: Carrie Dunn

Find and use interesting natural items to paint a picture!

Goals:

  • To explore different textures within nature
  • To explore color mixing
  • To practice using descriptor words
  • To practice using fine motor skills

Before You Start:
Gather materials needed: BioColor® paint, art paper, paper plates or paint trays and various items collected from nature.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Lead a nature walk outside to gather items to use to paint with. Provide the children with a small bag to use to collect their items. Some items could be assorted leaves, flowers or small twigs and branches.

Step 2.
Pour various colors of BioColor® paint onto paper plates or plastic art trays.

Step 3.
Dip a nature item into the paint, then carefully use the nature item to paint onto the art paper.

Step 4.
Add or mix additional colors onto the picture. Use multiple nature items to create different effects.

Furthermore:
Discuss the different effects that various nature items have when they are used to paint on art paper. Does it make a difference if the item is soft, hard, rough or smooth?

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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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Swirling Solar System

solarsystem

Submitted by: Mandy White

Hang swirling BioColor® planets on a hoop for hands-on learning about the solar system!

Goals:

  • To investigate color blending
  • To learn about the planets in our solar system

Before You Start:
Gather materials needed: BioColor® Clear Ball Ornaments, BioColor® paint, a hoop, foam sheets (for planet rings) and yarn or string.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Locate a book or Web page with pictures of the planets to use as a reference.

Step 2.
Add 1-2 tablespoons of BioColor® paint to each ball, using colors that resemble each respective planet. Close the ball tightly and swirl the paint around to cover the inside.

Step 3.
Optional: Use tape to attach foam rings to Saturn, Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune.

Step 4.
Hang the planets from a hoop and have them orbit the Sun in the center.

Furthermore:
Discuss the different attributes of the planets, such as size, composition and whether or not they have rings. View pictures from the Mars Rover Curiosity and discuss how the surface of Mars compares to the surface of Earth.

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Crabby Art

crabby

Submitted by: Jamie Robinson

Turn paper plates into crabs and allow children to create their own creature!

Goals:

  • Use project with story time or encourage children to create their own tale about their crabs
  • Utilize crabs for activities such as crab race, crab walk or just decorate the classroom!
  • Encourage children to experiment with colors and faces as they create their crab

Before You Start:
Cut crab claws and legs out of foam pieces, pipe cleaners or construction paper. Provide paper plates, red pom poms and wiggly eyes. Use Colorations® No-Drip Foam Paint in various colors.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Have children paint two paper plates with Colorations® Foam Paint.

Step 2.
Encourage the children to make designs on their crab.

Step 3.
Allow the paint to dry.

Step 4.
Glue the paper plates together.

Step 5.
Add pom poms and wiggly eyes.

Step 6.
Add construction paper, claws and legs.

Furthermore:
With Colorations® Foam Paint and prepped materials, the project is done in one sitting and ready for a crab walk display!

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Green Pepper Flower Stamps

green

Submitted by: Shannon Griffin

This activity demonstrates how objects of different shapes can be used to paint and represent other familiar objects.

Goals:

  • To practice fine motor skills
  • To participate in group cooperation (for mural painting)

Before You Start:
Gather materials needed: Green pepper halves (an adult should cut), paint, paper, paper plates, paint brushes.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
The day before the activity, cut the green pepper(s) in half and gently scoop out the seeds. Set aside to dry overnight.

Step 2.
Set out paper plates, each with one color of paint, and other supplies.

Step 3.
Have the children use the green peppers to stamp the petals for each flower that they paint.

Step 4.
After the petals are stamped, use the paint brushes to add the rest of the details – stem, leaves – to each flower.

Furthermore:
This activity can be done either individually, or use a large sheet of rolled paper to create a class mural. Once the flowers are stamped and painted, have the children paint additional details into the background, such as grass, trees, the sky and other things.

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