Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Planet Project Part 2

Part two of our adventure is assembling the project once all the painted papers are dry. For our preschoolers, we will have to cut out the circles for them and the planet part. But older children can do this on their own.

Step one is to cut out the black paper. I suggest cutting two. Then one can be used for your project and the other as a template for all the others. Save the cut outs to be used for planets.

Take your planet cut outs and place them over areas of the paper to figure out how much to cut for the planet you are working on. You want to cut them much bigger so when you are placing your black paper over the top, it will create your planet.

On a sheet of white paper (mine is green because I used all my white playing with the paint!) and trace the planet locations on it. The painted planet paper cut outs need to cover the lines. Glue them in place. Use my example of color combinations to help create yours.

The final step is to glue the black sheet over the planets. I cut a ring out of more painted paper to finish off saturn. I thought it would look better. Our kids can't spell yet so we may have stickers with the planets names. They can then label each planet with a sticker. Older kids may write it themselves with white colored pencil.

Planet Project part 1

There are a few steps to this project and can be used for any grade level. I will have to break it up to two posts so that it will all fit!

Items needed:
1 large sheet of heavy mylar
11 x 17 sheets of white and black construction paper
paint - blue, green, yellow, red and brown
exacto knife
yellow or white colored pencil

Using your colored pencil, draw various sized circles on the paper to create the different planets. I found some pictures online of how they look size wise next to each other for a frame of reference.

On your piece of mylar (or you can use plexiglass, or your table) squirt on green and blue paints. I had two different blues so decided to try both.

Smear the paint together in a back and forth motion. This will create waves or lines. Kids will not do it that way but we can always hope right! Not as important on the blue and green planets. You can use your hands to paint - as most kids love to do, or use a brush for those who hate getting paint on their hands!

Now place a sheet of white paper over the top of the paint to make a print. (This is a very fundamental way to screen print! And fun too!)

Slowly peel back the paper from the mylar.

You will have a print of what was on the mylar. Hang the paper to dry.

Do the exact same thing with the red, yellow and brown. Brown is for mercury and brown and yellow work for Saturn with a little red thrown in.

Make a print and hang up to dry.

Now you will have extra paint on the mylar, you can draw patterns in the paint, stamp it, use different materials to create all kinds of textures and pull more prints. We will do this for the kids and after they are dry we can use them in another project. Or you can cut up the colored paper into squares and create mosaic pictures using the different colors! Endless possibilities!

Leprechauns and Lizards

I love creating a project for children and having them do their interpretation of what I am showing them! So many different looking little leprechauns!

They almost look like they are running or doing a jig!

One child asked where were their arms? I said that they were hiding under the beards!

Our iguanas turned out great! The kids colored their iguanas so differently and each had a unique personality. To display, I taped a large piece of white butcher paper to the wall and drew on some branches and a few leaves with black marker. I then let them loose on the paper with the big fat crayons! Kids love drawing on large pieces of paper. You could do paint but this had been a lot of work creating these projects and I needed something a little easier. When all the iguanas were dry, they were taped onto the paper branches! I think this may be my favorite project so far!

Saturday, March 10, 2012


As part of the reptile grouping, we will be making an iguana. This one is more complicated and can be used by many ages. The kids in our class will cut out the body (hope they get to keep the tail!) and we will cut the legs. Older kids with better cutting skills can cut their own feet.

Items needed:
Ink stampers in green, yellow, violet, brown
brown and green construction paper
tissue paper in green or brown
pen or pencil for tracing
1 medium googly eye

Getting started:

I have drawn a pretty easy body shape on a large sheet of construction paper and keeping fingers crossed the tails aren't completely cut off!

The first step is to stamp the body. It is easier to stamp before the cutting. Here I have stamped green first and then the yellow.

Next step is to stamp the brown and the violet. The colors go on dark but turn much lighter when dry. The inks dry pretty quickly.

Once dry, the kids will cut out the body. Adults will cut out the legs. I am planning on having the kids stamp this in the morning and get the legs cut before art time. In art class, they will assemble the iguana.

The legs are assembled with two on the backside and two on the front. I love their interpretations! The spiky back was created with the diecut machine at the main office. It is the grass border stamp. But you can create your own using pinking shears or any scissors that have the jagged edge. If those are not available, then just create an exaggerated jagged edge and use that instead.

Take a small square of tissue paper, I used green but brown would also work. Fold it to create lines. That's the goal but kids have their own ideas and that is fine too!

Glue the tissue to the piece under the neck.

Add the googly eye and hang up when dry! I am thinking of creating a large tree branch for these little guys to walk on! Can't wait to see what they create!

Red Eyed Tree Frog

Reptile and amphibian weeks are in full force in the classroom! This little guy is just too darned cute not to include!

Items needed:
Large paper plate cut in half
Green Paint
Construction paper - red, black, yellow, green and orange
pen or pencil

Getting started:

First step is to paint the paper plate. I used glossy green paint because I had it left over for a project. You can use green paint and add some glue to it to help make it shinier. Put it off to the side to dry.

Here is the cut outs for the frog. A solid green body is used and then yellow is cut to create the underbelly of the frog and create its mouth. The little hands really make the cuteness factor go up on this one!

Glue the yellow onto the green background. Then add the black eye centers to the red and glue onto the top of the frogs head.

Glue the frog to the back of the plate and glue the "hands" on top of the plate.

You can leave the plate as is I suppose but I had to take it one step further and cut notches out to create a leaf like appearance. I really love his "hands"!

Snakes and Shamrocks

Well we finished our snakes and the kids did an awesome job! We have a clothesline that runs across the room so we wrapped them around it and had them hanging up for all to see! This is a great project if you are doing anything in the reptile kingdom. Make a bunch of different types of snakes or additional reptiles and you have a habitat growing in your class room!

We have finished our shamrocks and added them to the bulletin board. Once the leprechauns are finished next week, we will place them around the board and add the pot 'o gold to complete the scene!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Reptiles and Amphibians - Turtle

Another creature from the reptile world (and my sons favorite) is the turtle! I was at the dollar store and found these styrofoam bowls and it clicked that we could use them to make the shell of a turtle.

Items needed:
1 small styrofoam bowl
yellow, and green construction paper
brown construction paper cut into small squares
brown paint
white glue

Getting started:

It is easier to assemble the bottom of the turtle first and then the shell. So I started out by tracing the body in yellow using the bowl.

After cutting it out, I attached the head and feet. (I managed to forget something very important. Can you guess? Put the body off to the side to dry.

The next step was to add glue to the brown paint and mix together. I wanted to be able to paint and glue in one step. After paint is mixed, cover the entire bowl with the brown paint. Add the brown paper squares around the sides and then the top.

The final step is the glue the shell to the body. I ran a ring of glue around the outside of the yellow body and placed the shell on top. It may help to let the paint dry first so there is no smearing.

Draw a couple eyeballs on or used googly eyes! It was at this point I realized I was missing something. Did you guess? His tail!

Reptiles and Amphibians - Snake

I was sick of doing the paper plate snake and found a huge stash of paper towel rolls in the closet. Looking at the curving line going around, gave me an idea for our project.

Items needed:

1 paper towel tube
green paint
yellow paint
red construction paper
2 googly eyes - medium sized

Getting started:

I added some green paint and some yellow paint into a container without mixing. The kids love to combine paint colors. (I do too!) After the tube is done painting, I set it up on end to dry. If you have small bottles of paint, you can put the tube over it to help it stand up straight until dry.

After letting the tubes dry overnight, the kids cut out the tongue and then glue it on the snake. They also add the eyes with glue.

The final step is to cut the paper roll in a spiral. This will be difficult for preschoolers, but older and more experienced scissor cutters can do it themselves. I did this one kind of fat. You can cut it as wide or narrow as you want, but stop about two inches from the top so you still have a head!

Hibernating Bear - Update

I finally had a chance to take a picture of our big hibernating bear. I needed to do it quickly since we would be taking him down to make way for a next group of projects.
We had the kids paint large pieces of white butcher paper in brown, blue and black. After it was thoroughly dry, I cut out the cave shape (had to piece some parts together) and made the cave. The remainder of the paper was wadded up to make little boulders, and rocks.

To create the bear, I let the kids loose on white paper with brown paint. When that was dry, I sketched out a bear based on the Bear is Snoring book, added ears, eyes, nose and claws. I asked our parent helper to tape Mr. Bear onto the cave. There was a bit of a language barrier issue so she taped it on but didn't hide the tape. Whoops! My fault. Should have done a visual. Still turned out cute though.