Tag Archives: nature

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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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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Painting With Nature

paintingnature

Submitted by: Carrie Dunn

Find and use interesting natural items to paint a picture!

Goals:

  • To explore different textures within nature
  • To explore color mixing
  • To practice using descriptor words
  • To practice using fine motor skills

Before You Start:
Gather materials needed: BioColor® paint, art paper, paper plates or paint trays and various items collected from nature.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Lead a nature walk outside to gather items to use to paint with. Provide the children with a small bag to use to collect their items. Some items could be assorted leaves, flowers or small twigs and branches.

Step 2.
Pour various colors of BioColor® paint onto paper plates or plastic art trays.

Step 3.
Dip a nature item into the paint, then carefully use the nature item to paint onto the art paper.

Step 4.
Add or mix additional colors onto the picture. Use multiple nature items to create different effects.

Furthermore:
Discuss the different effects that various nature items have when they are used to paint on art paper. Does it make a difference if the item is soft, hard, rough or smooth?

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Craft Tube Shark

craftsharkCelebrate Shark Week by creating your very own shark using common materials.

Goals:

  • To practice using fine motor skills
  • To engage in discussions about sharks
  • To engage in pretend play

Before You Start:
Gather materials needed: BioColor® paint, craft tubes, wiggly eyes, glue, tape and paper.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Cut a triangle out of one end of a craft tube. Keep both triangle pieces.

Step 2.
Tape and glue (a little of both work best) one of the triangles to the uncut side of the craft tube.

Step 3.
Help the children carefully cut a slot in the top of the craft tube. Make a small fold along the long end of the second triangle piece and insert it into the slot. Tape the folded part of the triangle to the top underside of the craft tube.

Step 4.
Paint the craft tube and triangles grey. Allow to fully dry.

Step 5.
Cut strips of sharp teeth out of white paper and glue to the cut side of the craft tube.

Step 6.
Add final details to your shark. Use black marker to draw gills and then add wiggly eyes!

Step 7.
Optional: Glue a stick or straw to your shark to turn it into a puppet!

Furthermore:
Read books about sharks, or watch programs on TV to learn about these fascinating creatures!

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Vibrant Fall Leaves

2190

Submitted by: Sue Pollan

Mix paint to celebrate and recreate bright, traditional fall colors.

Goals:

  • To explore color mixing as seen with the changing season
  • To explore outside in the fall season

Before You Start:
Gather materials needed: Red and yellow paint, various types and sizes of sponge brushes, white construction paper (or other art paper), Mod Podge®. Lead a nature walk outside to gather leaves and other assorted fall items, such as acorns. Provide the children with a small bag to use to collect their items.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Using the sponge brushes and the red and yellow paint, brush and dab the two colors onto a sheet of white construction paper. Blend and overlap the two colors over the paper.

Step 2.
As you work, orange should begin to appear amongst the red and yellow as the colors mix.

Step 3.
When you are finished painting the paper, take out the nature items that you collected. Glue a selection of nature items on your sheet of paper to create a collage of fall shapes and colors.

Step 4.
When your collage is finished, spread a layer of Mod Podge® over the entire picture to maintain the vibrant colors. (This step is optional.)

Furthermore:
While working, talk about the different items that were collected on the nature walk. Try to discuss and identify each item.

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Fossil Footprints

fossil

Submitted by: Meghan McKinney

This activity uses puffy paint to make fossil-looking dinosaur footprints.

Goals:

  • Practice fine motor skills, including painting and stamping
  • Create a sensory-filled, 3-dimensional piece of art

Before You Start:
Gather materials needed: White glue, puffy paint in your choice of color, foaming shaving cream, mixing bowl, spoons or craft sticks, poster board, and a selection of dinosaur footprint stamps or any other kind of stamp available.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Spray shaving cream into mixing bowl. Add white glue and mix. This mixture should be 2 parts shaving cream, 1 part glue.

Step 2.
Add paint to the mixture to give it color. Start with half a cup of puffy paint, and add more if necessary.

Step 3.
If necessary, add more glue and shaving cream to maintain “puffiness.”

Step 4.
Provide each child with a sheet of poster board (cut to a smaller size, if you like). Drop a scoop of the paint mixture onto each sheet of poster board.

Step 5.
Have the children gently spread the mixture over their poster board with a spoon or craft stick. Don’t move it around too much, or it will lose its fluffiness.

Step 6.
Give the children a variety of stamps and let them make dinosaur tracks. Or, they can carefully draw in the puffy paint with their fingers. When the paint dries, the tracks will look like they have dried in the mud!

Furthermore:
Read a book about dinosaurs and the scientists who find and dig up real fossils!

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Crabby Art

crabby

Submitted by: Jamie Robinson

Turn paper plates into crabs and allow children to create their own creature!

Goals:

  • Use project with story time or encourage children to create their own tale about their crabs
  • Utilize crabs for activities such as crab race, crab walk or just decorate the classroom!
  • Encourage children to experiment with colors and faces as they create their crab

Before You Start:
Cut crab claws and legs out of foam pieces, pipe cleaners or construction paper. Provide paper plates, red pom poms and wiggly eyes. Use Colorations® No-Drip Foam Paint in various colors.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Have children paint two paper plates with Colorations® Foam Paint.

Step 2.
Encourage the children to make designs on their crab.

Step 3.
Allow the paint to dry.

Step 4.
Glue the paper plates together.

Step 5.
Add pom poms and wiggly eyes.

Step 6.
Add construction paper, claws and legs.

Furthermore:
With Colorations® Foam Paint and prepped materials, the project is done in one sitting and ready for a crab walk display!

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