Category Archives: 30 Minutes

Valentine’s Day Monster

valentinemonster

Create a friendly “monster” to share on Valentine’s Day!

Goals:

  • To create a special gift to give on Valentine’s Day
  • To practice creativity

Before You Start:
Gather materials needed: cardboard craft rolls, assorted pipe cleaners, assorted craft twist ties, ceramic or foam heart shapes, wiggly eyes, pom poms, red and pink paint, paint brushes and tacky glue.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Paint a craft roll in a Valentine’s Day color. Alternatively, you could cover the roll in construction paper or foil paper.

Step 2.
Glue two lengths of either craft twist ties or pipe cleaners in the center of the craft roll. These will be the monster’s legs.

Step 3.
Glue a heart shape to the end of each leg. You can use ceramic or foam heart shapes, or simply cut your own hearts out of construction paper. Paint, if desired.

Step 4.
Glue two wiggly eyes and a pom pom nose to the outside front of the monster.

Step 5.
Twist the ends of two pipe cleaners together to create an extra-long pipe cleaner. Wrap the extra-long pipe cleaner through the back side of the monster and create a heart-shaped antenna.

Step 6.
Display your monster, or give to someone special!

Furthermore:
Stuff the monster with a small baggie of Valentine’s Day treats to give someone an extra-special delivery!

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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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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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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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Footprint Ghosts

footprintghosts

Submitted by: Laurie Shaw

Children use their feet to make ghost decorations for Halloween.

Goals:

  • To promote creative thinking
  • To encourage organizational and planning skills

Before You Start:
Gather materials needed: white paint, construction paper, a small paint roller, glitter glue, wiggly eyes and other decorative items.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Lay out plastic or newspaper to protect the floor.

Step 2.
Using a paint roller, gently roll white paint onto the bottom of the children’s feet.

Step 3.
Have the children carefully stand on a piece of construction paper, placed on a hard surface.

Step 4.
Decorate the ghosts using wiggly eyes, glitter glue or any other decorative items.

Furthermore:
Have the children compare and discuss the different shapes and sizes of each other’s footprints.

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Geometric Builders

geometricbuilders

Submitted by: Vicki Lemanczyk

Children explore geometric shapes using simple, reusable materials.

Goals:

  • To identify, create and copy geometric shapes
  • To identify and recreate letters of the alphabet

Before You Start:
Gather materials needed: colored craft sticks, paper, markers, hook and loop circles.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Stick a hook circle to one end of each craft stick and a loop circle to the other end of each craft stick.

Step 2.
On sheets of paper, draw and label a geometric shape. Each sheet should have only one shape. Suggested shapes include square, rectangle, triangle, octagon, hexagon and pentagon. Optional: Laminate each sheet for repeated use.

Step 3.
Give a shape pattern and some hook and loop craft sticks to the children. Have them recreate the shape using their craft sticks.

Step 4.
Adapt this activity to recreate numbers, letters or other patterns.

Furthermore:
Allow the children to build open-ended creations using the hook and loop craft sticks, without providing a shape or pattern for them to follow.

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