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Thursday, April 19, 2018

Butterflies, Bats, Buses and Bears! Crafts for Letter B


Sometimes, you just want to pull out an easy craft to round out that Kindergarten lesson.  Or, maybe you read one of my favorite Mo Willem's children books, "Don't Let the Pigeon Ride the Bus"...



And you were wishing you had one craft more to help make those little ones relate that much more with the pigeon.  I mean who doesn't wish they could drive a bus once, right?


We love this latest packet of our Letter B crafts and we can always come up with suggestions for how to use them, even if you don't need to teach the Letter B anytime soon!

For instance, let's say it's getting close to Halloween and you need a friendly Bat for kids to create...Voila! we have that for you.  Look how cute he is!


Or, it's Spring semester : time to teach about the life cycle of the butterfly, and you'd like to have your kids color in their own butterfly wings on a butterfly craft, but drawing them out sounds a little challenging.



We have you covered!

Since for several years I worked in the public sector as a Children's Librarian, I can't imagine these crafts without a good Children's Book read-aloud to go along with it.   So I've also created, a book list of recommended titles that includes some great stories that are perfect for reading out loud to little ones.



Hopefully, some of these books will be new ones to add to your own library.  Personally, I think you can never have enough good books.


We try to make sure that all of our crafts are doable by little hands and each one has been kid tested and approved.  This more challenging bus craft, shown above, might require a little assistance when it comes to taping it together, but what better way to practice all those excellent hand-eye coordinating skills then letting your students try?

We also make sure that all of our crafts have their black and white counterparts, so you will find a version that can be hand-colored in each of the crafts in our packets. 


Perfect for your Reading Literacy activities after a good bear story, our Bear Craft is a simple cut and paste.


And each craft has a spot for writing student names, so that these precious completed projects will make it home in the backpack they were intended for!

Check out more of our Craft Products in our Store!



You can find our printable B Crafts Packet ready to be purchased and downloaded today!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Apples, Astronauts, Ants and Alligators! Crafts for Letter A


There is no doubt about it:  crafts are an undervalued part of the education process for young children.  And yet SO important!  Those little hands still need opportunities for hand-eye coordination and those little minds delight so much in the ability to create things.  Using a craft to connect the dots between a letter/sound or a read-aloud story, take that learning to another level.  So while the temptation is to put craft-making on the shelf, I'm trying to remember that it is an all important facet of the daily process. 


Our latest Craft Packet tries to keep in mind the types of crafts that can be most easily implemented in the classroom, as well as keep them fun and entertaining for children.  Not too difficult, but still challenging those little hands with using scissors, and working in letters when appropriate. 

Above, in our Ant Craft, we use the Letter A to make the Ant's lower set of legs.  Children draw in the letter A before gluing on pom-poms to form the body.  It's a perfect follow-up to learning the song, "The Ant's Go Marching":


 ...or reading a favorite children's book about Ants. 

In fact, here's my recommended children's book list for letter A, perfect for reading out loud and perfect for introducing apples, astronauts, ants and alligators to little ones!



Our Alligator Craft will challenge those small hands with extra cutting, but it is a very rewarding finished product to little people who still see paper creatures as a kind of new toy. 



We love pairing this guy up with the story "Hooray for Amanda and her Alligator" by Mo Willems (see our Book list above). 


Apple crafts are a dime a dozen, but we suggest having students poke a little hole in their apple that their finger can stick through.  A little happy face drawn onto their "worm" finger will make their face light up with smiles. 

One of our favorite science videos is "Cat in the Hat:  Space is the Place".  


 There's no better way to follow up Nick and Sally meeting an Astronaut then to let children put themselves in space with the awesome photo craft. 

All of our crafts are also available in black and white, so if you want them to practice coloring their crafts to make them truly their own, that possibility is there:


Feel free to look at our Letter A Craft Packet in more detail in our Store.  This is a printable packet, requiring glue, tape, scissors, printing ability, and little else.  You can check it out here today.


Monday, March 19, 2018

Making a Masterpiece for Medieval Guilds


Our most recent dive into Medieval History has brought us to learning about the Guilds and how the Guilds drove business and trade during the Middle Ages.  I wanted to give the kids a taste of Medieval Business so we read about what it would take to become a Master Craftsman. 

First, several years were spent being an Apprentice, then a Journeyman, then a Craftsman, and finally a Master Craftsman.  In order to be approved to hang out a sign and begin a business, we learned that you would first need to get a "Masterpiece" approved by the Guild.  This sounded like we could create an exciting activity around it.  So, we began our Medieval Trades Activity (seen in the image below).


The kids chose a trade.  Then, they followed the Masterpiece activity suggestion for their trade.  For instance, to be an Armorer, you would need to create a shield or helmet (cardboard works great!) Here is my young Armorer, hard at work on a Shield to present as her Masterpiece:

 
She had to get her Shield painted and ready to present to the Guild (her teacher) and it was proclaimed an approved "Masterpiece".


Now she has confirmed herself to be a Master Craftsman at her trade.  She is now ready to prepare a sign that she can set up, showing off her Tools of the Trade, or a product that explains what she is skilled at. 

She chooses a Sign Page, and off she goes. 


This is always a fascinating study for children who are already reading or are beginning to learn how to read.  For of course, in Medieval Society, few could read and all signs must be designed for an illiterate clientele.  We have create the basic sign sheets (see below), ready to be designed with the "Tools of the Trade" or whatever image the children come up with that they feel most accurately depicts what they do. 

In the case of my little Armorer above, she is drawing an armored hand to depict her Trade.

 
Upon completion of her Sign, she was ready to start up work as a Master Craftsman Armorer!  What fun!

Everything needed for this activity can be found in our most recent product, Medieval Signs and Subtleties.



Not only are the Sign Sheets, the Guild Information, and the Medieval Trades Activity (above) included in this great packet, but we also include a lesson on how to create a Medieval Subtlety from Marzipan, one of the few delicacies of the Middle Ages.


Keep following us for more fun historical projects that help kids enjoy each facet of the learning process.  In the meantime, you can check out this latest product, Medieval Signs and Subtleties, in our Store. 

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Medieval Stained Glass Craft



We have been doing some fascinating activities for our Medieval History unit, (Viking Runes, Medieval Illuminations, and our own homemade Medieval Subtleties) but this craft or "craftivity" turned out the most beautiful of all.  We created our own stained glass windows!




This is an easy activity, especially if you purchase our premade Medieval Window packet which includes 4 possible designs for your students to choose from to make their window.




You will also need a transparency sheet (or some recycled flat plastic), a sharpie, food coloring and glue.  And some Q-tips.  Because we always fall back on Q-tips as an easy go-to paintbrush for these kinds of activities.



After drawing the designs on the transparencies with black sharpies, we cut out our window shapes.  And we began to fill in the window shapes with our glue paint.


To make it easier, we cut out our paper design and taped it, along with the transparency to the table.  It kept our image stable while the kids filled in the colors.



After the colored glue had dried, we cut out our window edging and glued it over the glass.  An optional idea is to go over the top of the sharpie with black puffy paint.  This raised black edging makes the stained glass really pop.  It feels just like the leaded glass stained windows you might see in an old church or heraldic window.


The finished product is tacked to the window so that the light can stream through, just like it streamed through Medieval stained glass windows, many years ago.


A beautiful finished product!  Check out our packet that includes everything you need to create this craft, here in our store.