Category Archives: 45 Minutes

Good Qualities Count

goodqualities

Submitted by: Bonnie Gable

Children are encouraged to be creative as they identify and recognize positive qualities about a classmate.

Goals:

  • To build self-esteem through peer recognition
  • To aid in the prevention of bullying
  • To build awareness that everyone has positive qualities
  • To recognize that everyone is different in many ways

Before You Start:
Gather materials needed: activity paper, BioColor® paint, markers, glitter glue, scissors, paint brushes and assorted collage materials.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Assign each child with the name of a classmate. Divide the class into groups, so that each child is separated from the classmate they are assigned to.

Step 2.
Have the children write and/or paint the name of their assigned classmate in the center of their paper.

Step 3.
Have the children add color and collage items to their painting that help emphasize the positive statements.

Step 4.
When finished, have each student stand and present their art by explaining why their classmate represents the statements that they wrote.

Furthermore:
Hold class discussions that revolve around the statement, “One thing I like about _____.” Have each child pick a classmate to say a positive quality about, or have all the children say a positive quality about each classmate.

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Chinese New Year Dragon Puppet

dragon

Submitted by: Tracy Emond

This fun and unique arts and crafts activity allows students to make a dragon puppet while introducing the dragon dance of the Chinese New Year celebration.

Goals:

  • To encourage creativity and fine motor skills
  • To introduce and celebrate Chinese New Year and the dragon dance

Before You Start:
Gather materials needed: small craft cups or paper cups (it is best to use ones that are NOT wax covered), colored construction paper, two large craft sticks, feathers, ribbon, wiggly eyes, scissors, tacky craft glue (or a hot glue gun), glitter and other embellishments (buttons, sequins, pom-poms, etc.). Pre-cut strips of ribbon (about 10″ long) for the children to use for the dragons’ bodies ahead of time. You may want to display a picture of a Chinese dragon for the children to see while they work on their own projects.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Have students cut out a large fan-shaped design out of red, white or green construction paper. This is going to serve as the back of the dragon’s head. Have them make the edges as decorative in design cutting as they like.

Step 2.
Glue a large craft stick to the middle of the paper.

Step 3.
Place a small craft cup or paper cup onto the other side of the cut construction paper and glue together.

Step 4.
Using different colored construction paper: cut, twist and layer pieces to create a dragon’s face. Glue each layer onto the craft/paper cup, and glue wiggly eyes onto the dragon’s head. (Don’t forget that Chinese dragons have large frills and beards like lions.)

Step 5.
Give each child a strip of ribbon and encourage them to glue feathers to it. This will serve as the dragon’s body. It is also will allow the dragon to dance like the dragon costume that people wear in the dragon dance.

Step 6.
On the back of their dragon’s head and on the craft stick, have children glue (or hot glue) one end of the ribbon. Take another craft stick and glue the other end of the ribbon to it to finish the dragon’s body. Allow the puppets to dry completely.

Step 7.
Have children hold both of their craft sticks and make their dragon puppet dance for the Chinese New Year.

Furthermore:
Talk to the children about Chinese New Year and the ways that it is celebrated. Discuss how the Chinese dragon and the dragon dance is a part of the celebration. The teacher may want to incorporate a short story or a video to better demonstrate Chinese New Year festivities. Optional: Purchase feather boas and glue those to the craft sticks in lieu of the ribbon and feathers.

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Letter Crafts

lettercrafts

Submitted by: Jeanie Greene

Help children recognize letters and their sounds with a fun foam activity!

Goal:

  • To promote letter and letter sound recognition
  • To encourage beginning reading skills

Before You Start:
Gather 9″ x 12″ craft foam sheets, scissors and glue. You will also need a computer, printer, paper and, possibly, internet access. Use the foam sheets to cut out letters from the alphabet or the entire alphabet, depending on the size of your class. You will need one letter for each child. Letters should be large enough to glue several small pictures to them. Using clipart or Web images on your computer, locate 6-8 pictures of items that start with each letter of the alphabet. Resize each image to approximately 1″-2″Sq. and save on a separate word document for each letter. Print a colored copy of each document to use for the activity. Note: if you have more children in your class than 26, you may need to print additional sheets for certain letters or partner children together.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Give each child a foam letter cutout, a page of images that start with that letter, scissors and glue.

Step 2.
Help the children, as needed, to cut the images out and glue on their foam letters.

Step 3.
Ask the children to tell you what the different pictures are, the sound out the first letter in the word for that image (for example: b b ball) and relate it to the letter they are working with.

Step 4.
When the children have finished gluing the pictures on their letters, hang each letter on the wall for the children to see. Continue with letter sounds and recognition for each one.

Furthermore:
Instead of clipart or Web images, use familiar things like quarters, pennies, Q-tips, cotton balls, or other common items children will recognize. You may also have the children search for items in magazines or newspapers that begin with the same foam letter they were working with to extend the activity.

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Self Portrait Paper Dolls

selfportraitdolls

Submitted by: Angela Royal

Children can create a paper doll in their likeness with a fun, coordinating background that reflects their interests.

Goals:

  • To create a paper doll and background that reflects individuality
  • To build self-confidence, listening and verbal skills
  • To encourage each child to identify what is important to them and connect with classmates
  • To build confidence in speaking to audiences and be accepting of yourself and others

Before You Start:
Gather file folders for each child to decorate as the background scene for their paper dolls; some file folders may be cut into paper doll templates for the children to use if they wish. Templates should be 5-6 inches. You will also need: multi-colored card stock paper for paper doll, clothing and background shapes (approximately 6-8 sheets for each child), yarn, pipe cleaners, buttons, glitter, newspaper, notebook paper, pencils, markers, crayons, colored pencils, glue and scissors. Prior to the activity, the teacher may want to designate areas in the classroom for the “Paper Station,” “Material Station” and “Drying Station,” and make a doll and background scene about herself to share with the class.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Give a brief overview of the activity to the class and its purpose (to get to know more about each other), and then share with the students the doll and background you have made ahead of time. Let them know that they will be presenting their finished project to the class. (The teacher can determine if there will be credit and/or points for the presentations.)

Step 2.
Take time to “plan the project” with students. Write several questions on the board. Have the children write down the questions and their answers on notebook paper. Prompt them to be very detailed and if they get stuck during the project encourage them to look at the plan. Sample questions: What will I include in my background scene? What makes me smile? What should I be wearing? How many pieces and what color of paper do I need for my doll, clothing, and background?

Step 3.
Each child should select all paper needed for the project from the “Paper Station”. This is a good time to distribute templates (for any child who wishes to use one) and file folders for the background scenes.

Step 4.
Once they have all the paper they need, children can trace a paper doll template (or draw their doll on paper selected) and cut out, then draw and cut out clothing for their dolls as well. Have children put their names on the back of their doll and file folder.

Step 5.
Once drawings are complete, children can proceed to the “Material Station” to select yarn, pipe cleaners, buttons, glitter and other arts and crafts materials. They can decorate doll and background scene with the items they’ve chosen, colored pencils, markers, etc. at their desks. (Tell the children NOT to glue the paper doll to the background scene. They may need the “doll” at a later date.)

Step 6.
Upon completion, have children take their projects to the “Drying Station”. Give the projects at least 24 hours to dry.

Step 7.
The following day, before the presentations begin, read the children books about accepting each other just the way they are.

Step 8.
Let the children share their projects. Encourage the children to be enthusiastic and clap for each other after presenting. If there are any children that are very shy or have trouble speaking in front of large groups, let them pick a classmate that they are comfortable with to share their story as practice before they stand in front of the class.

Furthermore:
Each project should be displayed in the classroom. The teacher may use an oral presentation/project grading sheet for each child to determine if the goals were met for the project. Points could be given for different areas, such as amount of detail provided on paper doll and background scene, delivery of information in presentation, pace of speaking and volume, and effort.

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Valentine Sing-A-Long

valentinesing

A simple and engaging activity to help introduce the theme of Valentine’s Day while reinforcing rote counting.

Goals:

  • To help children learn the numbers 1-10
  • Provide an opportunity to practice rhythmic and listening skills
  • To have fun singing as a group while celebrating Valentine’s Day

Before You Start:
Cut 10 hearts out of construction paper. Make them generously-sized and easy to read from a distance. (Colorations® Heavyweight Construction Paper is ideal for this project.) Print the numbers 1-10 on each of the hearts and display from a chalk board, white board or a place where everyone can see them.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Talk to the children about the numbers 1-10; this can be related to how we each have 10 fingers and 10 toes.

Step 2.
Practice counting 1-10 with the children.

Step 3.
Point to each of the numbered hearts, counting from 1-10.

Step 4.
Now it’s time for songs! Sing the songs below while pointing at each of the hearts and at each of the numbers. Songs should be sung to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”. Repeat them a few times for emphasis. One, two, three, four, five. I’ve got a little heart-shaped jive, Six, seven, eight, nine, ten, I’m going to give it to my friend. It’s a card to say hello, A Valentine surprise, you know! (Repeat.)

Step 5.
Take hearts from board and place back as you sing the song below. A valentine heart for you and me, Add one more and then there’s three. Add another, (place another heart up) And another, (place another heart up) Now we have five altogether! Six and seven and eight and nine, (place one heart up for each number added) ten little hearts for you, Valentine!

Furthermore:
Take the hearts down from the board and scatter on the floor. Have the children point to them and say the numbers. The children can also help put them back in order, and the group can practice counting 1-10 once again. Rote counting and recognizing the numeral symbol for each number does not mean the child has a thorough knowledge of numbers. To add depth to this activity, allow the children to count items, such as blocks or other manipulatives, and show they know how many items equal each number. For example, when talking about the number 5, have the children take a set of blocks and count five blocks. This will add to the cognitive development of the child’s learning about numbers.

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Feeling Nature

feelingnature

Encourage interest and exploration of the outdoors with this fun nature activity.

Goal:

  • To collect, describe and record information

Before You Start:
Map out a safe path with several opportunities for the children to explore. You will need tote or paper bags for each child to carry the items he or she finds.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Take the children on a walking discovery field trip around the neighborhood or to a local park.

Step 2.
Give each child a small bag to collect items from the walking field trip: leaves, bark, pinecones, acorns, pebbles, seeds, twigs, moss, etc.

Step 3.
Allow the children to collect items that they find on the field trip. SAFETY ALERT: an adult should monitor children at all times. The adult should also monitor what is collected so that there are no safety or health concerns.

Step 4.
When the children return to the classroom, allow each child to sort through their collected items and choose items that have a special feel.

Furthermore:
Allow children to make a collage with the items they collected on the nature walk.

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Crazy Color Mix

crazycolormix

Submitted by: Dawn Garrigus

Summer fun in the sprinklers!

Goal:

  • To experiment with mixing colors together to create a new color on the color wheel

Before You Start:
You will need: several sprinklers and a few small tubs of fresh water, assorted brush sizes, an extra adult, old beach towels, Colorations® Simply Washable Tempera Paint and Colorations® Heavyweight Construction Paper cut into squares to make color charts. You will also need tables or TV tray type stands – enough for each color you are mixing.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Set up the color stations beforehand – the extra adult can distract with snacks!

Step 2.
Have the kids put on bathing suits and start the sprinklers.

Step 3.
The kids get to mix the colors on their arms, legs, bellies, etc.

Step 4.
After they get the desired color, they go back to the sprinkler and wash off to start another round.

Furthermore:
Not recommended for the smaller kids because of paint in the eyes. Groups of three work best if you only have one helper.

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