I got this great project from a homeschooling blog called se7en, and here's the link: http://www.se7en.org.za/2011/06/10/fabulous-fish-of-the-woven-variety I had the kindergarten and first grade children paint backgrounds with some sky blue tempera paint I mixed up. It got pretty gloppy because they were having so much fun pushing the paint around, so some never dried in time.
I had some of this deep blue paper ready just in case. The children drew, colored, and cut out fish, and I used my craft knife to cut slits in the fish. I recommend that you cut the slits horizontally.
I had a collection of strips of collage papers on a long table, including plenty of gold strips.
When they were finished they cut out their fish and glued them onto the background paper. (You might need some tape to hold some of the strips of paper in place on the back of the fish.) So cute!
This was a day when I felt a little guilty that the children didn't have smocks on. Paint went everywhere, in the hair of the girls who pushed their long locks back while painting, and on their clothes. Some of the mothers laughed, thank heavens, but I had my fingers crossed that the stains would come out, and that the mothers would put the girls' hair in pigtails next time!
The children worked with great absorption, and this project had beautiful results.
It helps to have beautiful materials displayed in an attractive way. These are strips of my fabric scraps from quilting.
I made shoebox looms for everyone.
After cutting some slots with scissors, you wrap string around the box until you have the desired number of warp threads.
Tie the ends together underneath the box.
Some of the children already knew how to weave, and some needed a little one-on-one help. These children were 2nd through 5th grade.
It was so fun to watch the children create their own color combinations.
Look at the beautiful results. At first, I urged the children to tamp their fabric strips down firmly, but then I noticed that some of them wanted to see the fabric patterns and I backed off. In order to preserve the beauty of the weavings which show off the fabric patterns, next time I would leave the weavings on the loom. Perhaps I would make the looms out of styrofoam trays, as we did in "Weaving with Children."
This boy asked to leave his weaving in the loom. Isn't it striking in the black box?
This is a great birthday party craft which I found in "The Children's Year" by Cooper, Fynes-Clinton, and Rowling! We did it for my daughter's 3rd grade birthday a long time ago as a part of a fairy birthday celebration, and it was a lot of fun. Children that age can do most of the craft on their own. We recently did this at a party for a first grader and the children needed a lot of adult help.
I prepared some beautiful tissue paper in a selection of colors cut four inches square, and
some black pipe cleaners folded in half.
I had sticks which had recently been pruned from a plane tree, but of course you could buy small dowels.
I tied pretty little ribbons onto the ends of the sticks and secured with a dot of glue. You could use thread or string if you want. I added a jewel to each stick for some sparkle.
Show the children how to put a twist in the bend of the pipe cleaner for the bottom of the butterfly.
Each child may pick two colors of tissue paper and pinch the middle together. These are the wings.
Now place the wings between the twisted pipe cleaner and twist the top to make a head and the antennae. This part was hard for first graders because of the difficulty holding the scrunched tissue paper while twisting the pipe cleaner. Now knot the ribbon below the antennae. The wands are done! The children at the party ran and played and danced with their butterflies held aloft and flying behind them! It was so cute, I wish you could have seen it.
Look how pretty the butterflies look all collected in a box. If you had a tall vase they would make a beautiful centerpiece when you sit down for birthday cake.
This craft costed about 4 francs per piece, with tons of left over tissue paper for other projects. That's not too bad a price for a children's craft in Switzerland. It would cost a lot less in most other places depending on what materials you use....