Fireworks. Even though I have an amazing selection of glitter painters, chip glitter glue, a few glitter crayons and some glitter paint, there is apparently something deeply satisfying about this project. Anyway, each child needs
- a large sheet of black construction paper
- a bottle of white glue
- optional pencil
Just Give Me Some Paper Already. After ten years in the classroom, I have at long last discovered the "draw the top of a 2" method of heart cutting. It helps for those children who really really really really want a perfect perfect perfect perfect heart. For the other nineteen, explain that you don't have to pencil anything first! Each child needs
- small pieces of any paper
- scissors, preferably ones that will indeed cut hair (the kids have more control over cutting with these).
Kids will need some method of displaying their cutting prowess. I have each child decorate a 12X15 envelope for their Valentines, which is an excellent canvas for their project.
Paper Plate Terraria/Aquaria/oh, just call it a Diorama.
We did these last year with blue cellophane and they were portholes into the deep ocean. This year, we made snail terraria. The snails were woodsies (not these awesome Woodsies I had as a kid, these, painted by the kids) with cut-up Silly Bandz tentacles and rhinestone eyespots. The soil was dyed rock salt (the kids blended several colors to make brown soil, which they enjoyed greatly). They also added foam lettuce stickers for food, collage leaves for coverage and flowers and plants of dyed macaroni.
All of this is glued to a paper plate, which is affixed to another paper plate that has its center circle cut out and replaced with cellophane, acetate or duralar, thereby serving as a porthole into the magical world below.
This week I also did pinch-tearing construction paper (see here) art with the kids. Most of them were into it but a couple were not so much. So I brought out the heavy artillery: KINDERGARTEN MUSEUM. Specifically, I had each child title his or her artwork and wrote the title and the name of the artist on a label, which I affixed to a corner of the art. Through this magical process, all projects are validated in some way that makes them more exciting. Also the titles are often worthy of the finest cutting-edge works ("Two Robots Play a Game with the Little One's Head", "The Hopping House", "Ballerina Zoo", etc.).
My classroom craft projects tend to prioritize the materials I can get and the things I know how to do from my own childhood and adult crafting (for instance, I quill, so I have a set of plastic, child-safe slotted tools and needles). Sometimes I am gifted materials that I haven't used and require experimentation. For instance, I was given twenty sheets of shrink plastic and it's been sitting around for about a year. So I brought it home this weekend for experimentation. It is my intention to make this.