It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Hallowe’en crafting, yet again

Today’s craft! Hallowe’en sun-catchers.

Materials:

clear Mactac (shelf paper)
orange tissue paper
scissors
black permanent marker

(Click on pictures for larger images.)

Method:

1. While the backing paper is still on the Mactac, draw a pumpkin outline on the plastic with your marker.

2. Let the children tear the tissue paper into bits. (Or you can, if they can’t.)

3. Children pat the bits onto the sticky side of the Mactac, mostly within the boundaries of your line.

4. Cut another square of Mactac slightly larger than your pumpkin. Peel off the backing.

5. When the children have filled in their pumpkin, press it to the peeled square. Cut square to match pumpkin.

6. Let kids draw face. (Or you can, or you can skip the face.)

DONE! Easy, huh? Even the 13-month-old did this one. (His isn’t shown here, not because it turned out badly, but because, needing more one-on-one attention than the older kids, he did his after the 3-year-olds did theirs. But no, I didn’t do it for him. He poked each of his orange bits into place with his very own pudgy little fingers. His does not have a face.)

Note: you might need to bind the edges with clear tape, to keep the sides together.

October 28, 2008 Posted by | crafts, holidays | , , , | 2 Comments

More Hallowe’en crafting

Method:
Take an orange pumpkin shape, add features, and voila! Jack o’lanterns.

To make it Educational, you talk about:

colours — black and orange, the colours of the month
shapes — the children choose from piles of precut shapes for their pumpkin’s faces
emotions — the mouth is a black squiggle, which can be put on to make a sad mouth or a happy mouth, as per child’s direction.

There you go. Emotional awareness, math, art, not to mention the fine motor control necessary to manage glue, and to place the features where they belong.

(The hats were another craft, very simple: pointy witch-hat shapes onto which they put some sparkly Hallowe’en stickers. The tots themselves decided it would be fun if their pumpkins wore the hats!)

October 24, 2008 Posted by | crafts, holidays | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Making lemonade

Not too long, one of my parents gave me this:

She’s a research scientist. This book was no longer of use to her, and rather than just toss it in the black box, she wondered if the kids might make use of it in some way. The cover is not what one might term “promising”, is it? I flipped through its pages. Most of them looked like this:

While others looked like this:

Oh, yeah. Just leaps right up screaming “OH! FUN TIMES!!!”, doesn’t it? There were some pages with a little pizzazz something recognizable to look at, as Mom pointed out: pencil drawings of snakes and amphibians, black-and-white photos of fish.

But the ideas, they were not a-flowing. I had NO IDEA what I’ll do with this thing. Short of tossing it in MY black box and keeping Mom’s environmental conscience pure…

Which is exactly what, when I thanked her for her thoughtfulness and tucked the book onto a shelf, I thought I’d be doing with the thing. But, see, while I am not always 100% convinced of the necessity of honesty, I am a kind person. Dammit. Which meant that while I am perfectly capable of tossing it and telling her that I’d lost it, I couldn’t bring myself to ignore the kindliness of her impulse. To sneer at her generosity, no matter how uninspiring its manifestation, would be unkind. And ungrateful. And that, I just couldn’t manage.

That means I couldn’t throw the thing away without at least trying to do something with it.

And, whadday know? We did it!

Creativity doesn’t require huge amounts of intelligence, or even artistic talent. It’s just a matter of looking at things in a playful way…

SPPOOOOOOOKY!

October 15, 2008 Posted by | crafts, holidays | , , , , , | 3 Comments