Category Archives: Fourth of July

Tissue Paper Stained Glass

stainedglass

Submitted by: Amy Pylant

Create fun shapes with a stained glass look that make beautiful sun catchers!

Goals:

  • Create unique, “stained glass” shapes for hanging
  • Build fine motor skills

Before You Start:
Gather all materials needed for activity: tissue paper, Elmer’s® glue, water, small cups for mixing, paintbrushes, wax paper, permanent markers, hole punch, yarn and scissors. Cut various colors of tissue paper into 1″ squares. Mix glue and water (3 tablespoons of glue for each 1 tablespoon of water) in small cups. Test the mixture on the wax paper ahead of time, it should flow smoothly and not drag on the paper. Create a 12″ square wax paper mat for each child. Prepare a few basic shape templates (star, heart, circle, square) for the children to trace onto their collages.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Provide each child with their wax paper mat. Introduce them to the materials they will be working with. Demonstrate how to dip the paintbrushes into the glue mixture and paint small areas on the wax paper in small areas.

Step 2.
Show children how to drop the tissue paper squares into the glue mixture as well. Have them gently pat the tissue pieces down into the glue to coat one side (making sure it meets the edges), and then place on their wax paper mats. Let the children continue to place as many tissue pieces as they want onto their mats to finish their “stained glass” collage.

Step 3.
Place collages to dry overnight on a drying rack, or anywhere that will allow air to reach both sides of the wax paper mats.

Step 4.
Once collages are completely dry, have children trace a shape template, or create their own unique shape, on their collage with a permanent marker.

Step 5.
Help children as needed to cut their shapes from the collages.

Step 6.
Use a one-hole punch to make create a hole on their design and loop a piece of yarn through for hanging in a window or to display in the classroom.

Furthermore:
When the shapes are displayed in a window where the sun can shine through, they make beautiful “stained glass” sun catchers. This activity can be adapted for many different occasions: simply use different colors of tissue paper or cut specific shapes to reflect a particular season, holiday or theme.

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Firecrackers / Sparklers

firecrackers

Submitted by: Phyllis Ettinger

Children can add zest to their art activity using a variety of different tools to create their artwork!

Goals:

  • Encourage children to create art using different tools
  • Broaden children’s concept of art by encouraging their imagination

Before You Start:
Encourage children to express what they see and feel when they view fire works. Provide bowls filled with a variety of different colors including black. Include Colorations® Glitter Paint and Dabba Dabba Dot Painters in your preparation.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Have children slip a Dabba Dabba Dot Painter on their finger.

Step 2.
Encourage the children to make designs on the paper utilizing different colors of Colorations® Glitter Paint.

Step 3.
Allow the paint to dry.

Step 4.
Place a dab of black BioColor® paint on one side of paper.

Step 5.
Scrape the paint across the paper to create the look of a fireworks display.

Step 6.
A simple alternative is to provide black construction paper for children to make their “Dabs” with glitter paint directly on the black paper.

Furthermore:
Children will experience first hand color resist with this project. Each child will have a different “fireworks show!”

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4th of July Watercolor Stars

fourthstars

Submitted by: Ann Greenspan

Teach children all about the 4th of July and the colors red, white and blue. Then, let them have some fun creating 4th of July watercolor stars to reinforce the colors they just learned.

Goals:

  • To teach children the three colors of the American flag while also reinforcing color recognition
  • To strengthen fine motor skills
  • To learn about patterns by creating them

Before You Start:
Cover the table and surrounding area with newspaper and have the children wear smocks. Each child gets one watercolor precut paper star. (For older children, allow them to create their own stars – you can show them your already-prepared star shape, and they can cut their own out under your supervision.) Place a large supply of smaller stars on the table – they can be of any material and of a variety of sizes. (These will be discarded later). Fill one spray bottle with blue Colorations® Liquid Watercolor and one with red Colorations® Liquid Watercolor.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
It’s a good idea to have one child do this at a time so they don’t spray each other’s projects. Or, have the children spread out to ensure that they have ample space between them as they engage in the activity.

Step 2.
Have the children write their names on one side of the pre-cut paper star then turn it over.

Step 3.
Then, instruct the children to take the smaller stars and arrange them however they would like on the larger star.

Step 4.
When they are ready, they will choose which color of spray bottle they want, either blue or red, and gently spray the entire paper star, being careful not to saturate it.

Step 5.
When they are done, they can tip it over and allow the smaller stars to fall off.

Step 6.
They will see small white stars where the little stars were.

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Fork Painting Fireworks

forkfireworks

Submitted by: Ann Nelson

Kids will paint beautiful fireworks on black construction paper for a fun Fourth of July project!

Goals:

  • To develop color recognition
  • To strengthen fine motor skills
  • To engage in collaborative artwork and sharing

Before You Start:
You will need one piece of black construction paper per child, orange, yellow and red liquid tempera paint, and gold glitter. Pour each color on a separate paper plate. Finally, give each child a plastic fork (after discussing the rules of using the forks, the forks stay on the paper or in the paint, not in the air).

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Have the children dip their forks into a plate of paint, then transfer the paint onto the black construction paper.

Step 2.
Do this repeatedly with one color of paint in the same spot on the paper until there is enough to spread.

Step 3.
Use the fork to spread the paint, making outward strokes to create fork prints.

Step 4.
When they are done with one color, they can use another color with a new fork.

Step 5.
When the children are done, sprinkle gold glitter onto their fireworks, shake off excess, and let dry.

Furthermore:
Put artwork on display for the Fourth of July holiday!

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Fourth of July Noisemakers

noise

Submitted by: Ann Nelson

Why not make some noise of your own while watching the fireworks on the 4th of July with these recycled water bottles?

Goals:

  • To teach children how to use everyday objects and turn them into fun projects
  • To develop fine motor skills
  • To teach kids the colors of the American flag, incorporating this into a 4th of July theme

Before You Start:
Each child will need one empty plastic water bottle. The teacher should have a roll of tinsel coil with stars on it, a supply of red/white (or silver) and blue metallic stars, a supply of marbles or beads in red and blue, and any other materials you can find in those colors that fit into the opening of the bottle.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Have each child pull the paper wrapper from their water bottle.

Step 2.
Give each child a length of the tinsel coil of about 12 inches long.

Step 3.
Instruct the child to push the tinsel into the bottle so it winds and coils inside. This will make their bottles look similar to a firecracker.

Step 4.
Allow each child to then count out 3 or 4 marbles, a few beads and some stars to put into their bottle.

Step 5.
You can also cut up some metallic streamers from a banner and put them in the bottles.

Step 6.
When the child is satisfied with what’s inside their bottle, have them screw on the cap tightly then turn the bottle upside down and shake it – they really make a lot of noise!

Step 7.
Tell the children they should bring their noisemakers with them when watching fireworks so that they can shake them and make their own noise every time a firework goes off!

Furthermore:
Children ages 3 years and up can make these independently, but a teacher should supervise as the marbles, beads or other small objects could be swallowed by youngsters.

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Celebration Lanterns

celebrationlanterns

Submitted by: Phyllis Ettinger

Children can create festive paper lanterns to celebrate holidays, note a special theme, or decorate their playground. This activity will assist in the development of children’s motor skills and provide open-ended creativity in design.

Goals:

  • To experience different types of art using various tools
  • To encourage creativity in design

Before You Start:
Discuss how decorations can enrich a celebration. Place a small amount of Colorations® Glitter Paint in different bowls. Encourage children to express what they see and feel when they view fire works. Provide bowls filled with a variety of different colors. Include Colorations® Glitter Paint and Dabba Dabba Dot Painters. Provide easy grip stampers that have characters representing the theme of your celebration such as 4th of July or seasonal stampers.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Provide each child with an 8-1/2″ x 11″ piece of construction paper.

Step 2.
Encourage the children to dip the Easy Grip Stamper in the paint to make designs on the paper.

Step 3.
Have children add crepe paper streamers with glue on one side of 8-1/2″ x 11″ paper.

Step 4.
When paint is dry, roll the paper into a cylinder.

Step 5.
Punch 2 holes at top of cylinder and add string.

Furthermore:
Lanterns can be decorated with glitter, gems and markers or using a variety of other tools such as rollers, fingertip sponges, dabbers, brushes or scrapers.

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Spectacular Sparkler Crowns

sparklercrowns

These simple crowns are a festive accessory that are easy for children to make and wear to celebrate the Fourth of July!

Goals:

  • To develop creativity and fine motor skills
  • To encourage beginning patterning and reinforce color recognition
  • To have fun developing a unique crown kids can wear or display

Before You Start:
Gather sheets of craft foam in red, white, blue. Collect sticker stars or cut star shapes ahead of time out of shiny embossed or metallic paper (the teacher could also have the students bring foil to use from home), sparkly pipe cleaners, scissors, pencils, large paper clips and blue masking tape.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Help children cut the red, white and blue craft foam into strips about 3″ wide. The strips do not need to be cut perfectly straight; allowing them to vary the size encourages self expression and creativity. They will need about 6-8 strips each.

Step 2.
Have children lay the strips of foam side by side, alternating the colors if they wish. You may want to ask the children to identify the various colors. This is also a great opportunity to talk to the children about patterns.

Step 3.
Show children how to apply a piece of blue tape across the foam strips about 1″ from the bottom to hold them together. Help them tape their own crowns, gently wrapping the ends of any excess tape around the back. The teacher may want to also have the children tape across the back to reinforce the crowns.

Step 4.
Have the children cut a few fringes (about 1/2″) in each of the foam strips, starting at the top and ending right above the tape, to create a feathered effect. (Again, self expression is more important than the fringes being cut straight.)

Step 5.
Let children decorate the base of the crowns any way they like.

Step 6.
Now add sparkle to the crowns with pipe cleaners. Demonstrate how to wrap a pipe cleaner around a pencil and make it look like a spring. Have children repeat with their own pipe cleaners and then tape them on the inside of their crowns, between the fringed pieces.

Step 7.
When the children are ready to wear their crowns, simply help them wrap around their head and secure with a large paper clip or tape. They can also be displayed around the classroom for the holiday.

Furthermore:
This craft can be adjusted to accompany different themes in curriculum or season by varying the variety of colors of craft foam provided for the children to create with. The children can also use all sorts of other foam shapes, glitter, stickers and collage materials to decorate and personalize their crowns.

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