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 ABCMouse.com (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 ...
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 ..