Tag Archives: creativity

Clothespin Caterpillars

clothespincaterpillarsCreate cute clothespin caterpillars that can be used to hang art work or be given as gifts.

Goals:

  • To practice fine motor skills
  • To explore different color combinations
  • To express creativity

Before You Start:
Gather materials needed: clothespins, tacky glue, pom-poms and wiggly eyes.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Set out all materials and provide children with 1 or 2 clothespins each.

Step 2.
Apply a line of tacky glue along the entire length of one side of a clothespin.

Step 3.
Place a row of pom-poms close together on the glue. Use however many can fit on the clothespin (3-5 is usually a good number).

Step 4.
Apply two dots of tacky glue to the pom-pom on the opening side of the clothespin. Apply wiggly eyes to the glue.

Step 5.
Allow the glue to dry, then place wherever you like!

Furthermore:
Use the Clothespin Caterpillars activity to supplement learning about real caterpillars, or for when reading about The Hungry Caterpillar. Or, use brown pom-poms to make clothespin worms. Then read the book Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin.

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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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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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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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