Thursday, June 11, 2015

Quick Craft, Building Teamwork, Celebrating Someone Special

Summer is well under way and here at The Teacup Cottage, I am desperately trying to keep a very active 5-year-old boy entertained! This is one of the first summers that I have been home with him, since he was an infant and its all new to me.

While I have success doing worksheets with him, I have tries a variety of crafts and have found that short one are the ones that work best for him. He's not too good at standing still, so if I find crafts that I can prep or start while he is working on his workbooks or (we absolutely love it!), then he's pretty good at focusing and doing a craft. Also, he's not a fan of repartive crafts, so creating gifts for family members like reindeer christmas ornaments are not well recieved. 

Though I am in no way an expert in crafting with kids, outside of a structured classroom setting, I would have to say the first step is identifying what crafts they would be interested in taking into account, personality, patience level and ability. My niece, who is 3 months younger than Lil Monkey can sit for quite a while and do beading crafts or painting or other such activities, Lil Monkey however, races to finish. So short crafts it is ...
One craft we did this year for his teacher's birthday was a relatively simple craft that I know he will enjoy doing again. We made her a Fingerprint Tree, a project I'd seen numerous times on Pinterest. This is the one we did in the classroom.

First I realized my lack of drawing ability and decided that drawing a tree for the kids was not a task I was willing to undertake, so I printed a "tree silhouette" from the various results of a Google image search. In order to make it look more "crafted" than just a printed tree, I used a fine tipped metallic marker to trace and color in the tree. The ones I used were the gold/silver/bronze set of Bic Mark-It Markers.  

Once the tree was traced and colored it, I gathered green fingerpaint and set down with each of the 15 children to do 5 thumbprints on the tree. (I was quite lucky that I was able to do it in the classroom while they were doing their choice time activities because I could call each child and do it one-on-one. I would not recommended having 15 kids crowd around and "help"!)

After each child added their thumbprints, I let it dry overnight, then glued the art to a canvase and added ribbon around the edge to create a decorative border. 

Though I forgot to take photos of the final piece or presenting it to the teacher, this is what they created. We were able to use it as a lesson in teamwork. The teacher loved it and was so excited that each child signed the back of the canvas.

It is something we will do again, maybe a different art piece, but we will certainly try the fingerprint art again!

Until our next cup of tea ..

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