Tag Archives: gifts

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.

Products You May Need:

Advertisements

Father’s Day Magnet

dadmagnet

Submitted by: Jennifer Galvin

Make a cute magnet for Father’s Day to display on the fridge!

Goals:

  • To practice fine motor skills
  • To practice using scissors
  • To practice tracing

Before You Start:
Gather materials needed: a circular lid from a plastic container, magnet, felt, glue, markers, buttons, feathers and other collage materials, and a picture or piece of artwork.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Place the lid on top of the felt and trace around it. Cut out the felt and glue it to the top of the lid.

Step 2.
Glue a picture of the child or a piece of artwork by the child onto the felt.

Step 3.
Decorate around the picture your choice of collage materials.

Step 4.
Glue a magnet to the back of the lid. If necessary, trim the rim of the lid with a scissors.

Furthermore:
Make several magnets for Dad, with different messages or pictures on each!

Products You May Need:

Father’s Day Collage Cards

dadcards

Create a decorative holiday ornament while reinforcing knowledge of geometric properties.

Goals:

  • To create an original collage that is also a card
  • To make a special memento/keepsake for a loved one
  • To encourage creativity and fine motor skills

Before You Start:
Gather Colorations® Heavyweight Construction Paper (12″ x 18″) in a variety of colors. Set out small bowls with glue or glue sticks, scissors, Colorations® markers and crayons, glitter, craft sand, pom-poms, foam shapes, stickers and other collage materials. Have old magazines, newspapers and/or catalogs also available for children to cut out pictures and/or words for their collages.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Provide each child with construction paper and have them fold in half so it resembles a card. Explain to children that they will be creating cards for their fathers (or uncles, grandfathers, friends they know.) The outside of the cards will be collages of pictures they draw or cut out from magazines and newspapers provided, words they write (or cut out) and any other items they’d like to decorate with. The teacher can help cut out materials or have pre-cut materials available for younger children.

Step 2.
Allow children to decorate their cards any way they wish. As this is an open-ended activity, encourage the children to experiment with different colors, textures and mediums. Allow to dry.

Step 3.
Now everyone has their own unique card to display around the classroom and to give as a gift.

Step 4.
Optional: Have the children create a poem for Dad (or loved one) inside their cards. The teacher can help them by writing out prompts they can fill in or dictate such as, “My dad is special because…” or “I love you because…”

Furthermore:
Teachers can also have children create their own “book covers” about their fathers/father figures! Have children give their “book” a title that relates to their dad, (who he is, what he likes or how they spend time together,) and then children can decorate them any way they like. Gather everyone at circle time and have take turns sharing their “books.” Display around the classroom and/or give as gifts on Father’s Day!

Products You May Need:

Heart Sensory Pillows

heartpillows

These easy-to-make heart-shaped pillows provide a multi-sensory activity experience for children as they make precious keepsakes or gifts for Valentine’s Day!

Goals:

  • To promote tactile and auditory exploration
  • To help develop fine motor skills while encouraging creativity
  • To teach the children how to recycle common household items and avoid wasting paper

Before You Start:
Have children bring empty paper and plastic shopping bags from their last grocery trip and old newspapers. (Teachers may need to help collect some bags and newspaper.) Gather one-hole punches to make holes for “stitching” pillows. Set out Colorations® markers and crayons, glitter, glue sticks, and a variety of other materials the children can use to decorate their paper hearts. (Colorations® Confetti Glitter Glue can add a sparkly touch on these works of art.) Prepare newspapers and plastic grocery bags to use to stuff pillows, and cut pieces of yarn to weave the hearts together. You may consider shredding or cutting the newspaper into small pieces before this activity, or having the children do so if they are old enough.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Flatten clean, empty paper grocery bags and have children draw a large heart shape on one side (you may want to provide a stencil or template). Have them cut out their paper hearts (or cut them out for younger children), making sure to cut through both sides of the bag. This will make two matching heart-shaped sides for the pillows. Reserve any left over paper clippings for “stuffing.” You may want to have the children turn the hearts over if designs were already on the outside of paper bags.

Step 2.
Have the children hold the two hearts together and demonstrate how to punch an even number of holes with a one-hole punch around the outside edges of the hearts for “stitching”. (Teachers may need to help children with this step; alternatively, they might want to punch the holes for young ones.)

Step 3.
Encourage children to experiment with different colors and textures as they decorate their two heart shapes any way they like.

Step 4.
Once the hearts are decorated and dry, it’s time to make the pillow. Starting at the bottom of the hearts, have children tape one end of yarn between two holes (leaving an inch or two free for stuffing later), and demonstrate to children how to weave the yarn through each of the holes (both sides at the same time) until you’ve gone around the entire heart. Make sure to leave yarn allowance on both ends to tie up and close the heart after stuffing.

Step 5.
Have children “stitch” their own pillows, helping as needed, and then show children how to stuff them with the different sensory materials. As you use the different bags and paper, crush and crinkle it, in order to demonstrate how they each make various sounds. As the children stuff their pillows, it can be an opportunity to discuss what different sounds they hear and feel.

Step 6.
When pillows are stuffed, show how to tie the ends of the yarn into a bow and trim any excess from the ends. Now everyone has a unique and squishy pillow of their own!

Furthermore:
Pillows can be displayed in the classroom for the Valentine’s Day holiday and/or taken home to use as a special Valentine’s gift or keepsake. Or, make it an “all about me” activity! Heart pillows can be decorated with one or more pictures of people and things the child loves. These can be photos brought from home, cut-outs from recycled magazines, or drawings they do themselves. Children can then share their finished pillows as a group and describe the different pictures they used.

Products You May Need:

BioColor® Bookmark

biocolorbookmark

Fun scraper art project that also makes a great keepsake or gift for book lovers!

Goals:

  • To learn to grasp and manipulate a paint scraper
  • To develop critical thinking skills
  • To encourage creative self expression

Before You Start:
Gather materials for activity: heavyweight white construction paper, BioColor® paint, stampers, a BioColor® paint scraper, one-hole punch, yarn, glitter and a laminator (optional).

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Apply BioColor® in 4-6 small dots on a pre-cut bookmark.

Step 2.
Paint the bottom surface of a stamper with a wide brush and stamp the bookmark.

Step 3.
Next, grasp a BioColor® scraper and press down on paper, pulling paint from left to right over stamp pattern.

Step 4.
Pull paint beyond paper edge, then laminate. Or pull paint to paper edge and add glitter to remaining paint puddle.

Furthermore:
Add a fun accent to your bookmark with yarn. Punch a hole in the top and thread a piece of yarn through. Tie a knot in the yarn and cut excess from the fringe.

Products You May Need:

Personalized Deer

personalized

Submitted by: Amanda Lacey

Make wonderful keepsakes or gifts with minimal cost!

Goals:

  • To create a fun, inexpensive seasonal craft
  • To let children explore the sense of touch through art

Before You Start:
Gather your materials: paper plates, plain white cloth kitchen towels, brown and black washable finger paint, baby wipes and paper towels (red washable finger paint and glitter optional). Pour an ample amount of paint onto the plates to provide easy access for painting hands and feet. You may want to cover the floor and/or work surface to protect from paint.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Set up all materials onto the floor or a low work surface. Have children remove one of their shoes, and give each child their own plain towel.

Step 2.
Let one child at a time step into the brown paint with their bare foot and slowly step onto their kitchen towel to make a foot print for the deer’s head. Help them clean their foot using the baby wipes and/or paper towels.

Step 3.
Have children place one hand at a time in the brown paint, palm side down. They can then place one hand on to the top left side of their foot print to create one antler and repeat with on other side to make the other antler. (The children may overlap their handprints and paint on top of the toes – allow them to be creative any way they like. Allow the prints to dry completely.

Step 4.
Children can return to paint one of their thumbs black and paint eyes and a nose on their deer/reindeer. If they are creating a reindeer, then have them paint one thumb red to make nose and sprinkle with glitter.

Furthermore:
This is a great craft for winter and the holiday season. Children can personalize their deer/reindeer any way they like and use for gifts or as a keepsake. The deer can also be printed on canvas quilt squares, tote bags or other pieces of fabric. You may also provide other collage items for children to further decorate their deer.

Products You May Need:

Holiday Wreaths

holidaywreaths

Submitted by: Laura Firpo

This is a fun, easy, hands-on (and messy) experience for preschoolers.

Goals:

  • To create a holiday gift children can take home and give to their loved ones
  • To teach children the fun of messy fun in their creations

Before You Start:
You will need shredded wheat cereal, green Liquid Watercolor™ mixed with white glue, ornament hooks, small lids such as from margarine tubs, small plastic bowls, wax paper, red-hot candies or red beads, clear varnish and red bows. You also may want to have handy wipes or wet paper towels on hand for quick clean up of sticky fingers!

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Assist children in shredding the wheat cereal into a small bowl or on wax paper until it resembles sticks.

Step 2.
Help them add their prepared green glue to the shredded wheat until it is covered completely but not runny.

Step 3.
Ask the children to scoop approximately 1/3 cup onto margarine lid.

Step 4.
Using their fingers, instruct children to form an “O” shape.

Step 5.
Place ornament hook into top back of wreath.

Step 6.
Add red-hot candies or beads as berries.

Step 7.
Allow wreath to dry thoroughly 2-3 days on wax paper until rock hard.

Furthermore:
Teacher will need to varnish with clear gloss and add a red satin bow as desired for great take home gifts for children!

Products You May Need: