Tag Archives: craft

Mouse Shapes

16 Oct

mouse shapes book cover







I absolutely love this book! I am also delighted that Kindy children love this book! I have found it doesn’t always work out that way! Recently I was in a Kindy for a long service leave relief position and we were looking at shapes! What a great fun book to use! I am always searching for only creative projects that children can do themselves so that no one picture ever looks the same!

Don’t you just love these! The first one is my all time favourite!























I thought I would add some amazing links! People are so clever!




Have fun with this! We did!




Aboriginal activities with Kindergarten children

17 Sep

Finally I can get to do a post!! I have been so busy at school and I have been wanting to share what our Kindergarten class have been discussing. We started with the Olympics and this led on to an interest in Australia. Questions were asked, “How did the world get so big”, “Why are there so many animals”. My favourite question was, “What is the last number in the world!”. I guess when you ask children what they know and what they want to know as far as they are concerned it encompasses everything!!!

We had a big discussion on the mat about Aboriginal people and how they lived. I wanted to ensure that I covered this unit as sensitively as possible and show respect to Indigenous people and their culture. I asked the children if they wanted to paint a picture and there were no shops, no paint and no paper what would they do! They thought for a while and then one child said,” Well , paper comes from trees so I guess you could use the bark!”. Another child was holding her hand up and saying to herself, “if you didn’t have a brush you could use a stick….or” She looked at her hand and said’ ” You could use your finger!” It was good to sit and watch them work it out for themselves! I had picked up some bark from different places, so with paint and their finger and some inspirational prints for reference, the children created some delightful pieces.

1. Bark painting

2. We also read Tom Tom by Dee Huxley, a story of a little Aboriginal boy who lives in Lemonade Springs. He goes to Preschool and lives a partly traditional life. The children have been intrigued by his life style compared to their lives and routines

I painted a large piece of cardboard and the children added the features from the story. I went to REmida which is a  recycling centre and the red and yellow pieces were plastic pieces collected from a factory. The blue pieces were from a similar process.

2. I had some stones I had gathered along the way in life, as you do if you are a teacher! We talked about early painting, drawing and symbols. The children painted these river stones. I love the way they are all so different

3. I like using different mediums for children to explore with. We used black paper and pastels. I found a picture of Aboriginal symbols and we talked about the different symbols and how the symbols told a story.

4. Our very own cave!!! I purchased some earth coloured poplin and set about making a space for us to talk, read and share stories. My son had found some rather large stones and I felt inspired to make them into a campfire. I found some shiny orange organza material and voila……our fire!

I am going to put a photo here today!!!

5. This is a Mia Mia that the children helped make.  They decorated the floor (large cardboard) with symbols and they made the ‘fire’ with an old square plastic bucket, covered in poplin.

I shall keep adding more photos as we go………………..

6. On a previous post I showed some examples of styrofoam painting and fortunately  I remembered it when I was planing. We looked at traditional aboriginal symbols and here are the results!

Best Blogs!

9 Jul

I was thinking today about the amazing blogs I follow. There are some truly talented people out there in Blog world! So incredibly gifted and the best part is that they share their ideas with everyone!

1.I have been following Crayons and Milk and really if I just put up the photos of her amazing creations they speak for themselves! http://crayonsandmilk.wordpress.com/


2. Counting Coconuts is another blog I love. I appreciate the great ideas on this blog and as I am about to embark on a full time Kindergarten (maternity leave) job I am looking forward to implementing some of the activities



3. My Small potatoes is amazing  I am in awe of the author’s talent! http://mysmallpotatoes.com/


4. The Artful Parent is a great  place to stop for resources and ideas! http://www.artfulparent.com/


5. No time for flashcards is seriously huge!      http://www.notimeforflashcards.com/


6. Sun Hats and Wellie boots is simply delightful http://www.sunhatsandwellieboots.com/p/christmas.html

The name is so inviting!


Stick activities

18 Jun

I was thinking about when I was young and how sticks held a great fascination for me! They were cheap, they were everywhere and there was always some game you could play with them! I love the way schools are moving back to nature in their outdoor settings  and creating places for children to develop their imagination. I  remember using sticks for wands and I remember being with my mum and dropping them over a bridge and running to the other side to see where the water took the sticks and whose stick was the fastest! I thought I would dabble again and see if I could rediscover that fascination and in doing so create some easy stick activities for children!

Here are some of my creations!

1. A nature picture frame ( I was watching a video of an early childhood centre in Sweden and this was on the wall!)  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecinNaR32Qs

2. Gum nut person!

Take 2 sticks (I used olive branch sticks).

Then form a star by wrapping with natural coloured wool.

Start with a new piece of wool and wind around each of the 4 sticks.

As you wind wrap the wool around the individual sticks to form the arms and legs.

Wedge a gum nut into the space between the arms. And there you have it a gum nut person!

3. My favourite:  a dragonfly. I have to admit, as the sticks were quite springy I used a little tape to keep them together.

I made the 2 sets of wings and then attached them to the body by winding the wool over and over. The more I wound the wool the more the body seem to take shape!

A little staging!

Bug Art for kids!

30 May

I discovered this book when I was in Sydney and came home and ordered it online for $11! (The Book Depository!). It is the most delightful book I just had to have it! The author has photographed beautifully crafted felt pieces on each of the pages. When I was looking at the authors website I was amazed to see many other wonderful books that she has created http://www.beatricealemagna.com/news/ I also discovered this delightful youtube interview!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pOgspbs9QU

It starts like this: At the bottom of the garden there is an old blanket on a bed. That is where the little bugs live. The bugs have lived there for years and years. Each little bug, snug in his hole in the rug. And as I read I started thinking about a rug I had at home and how great it would be to recreate the story in felt!

1. I started with the idea of reading the book to the children and then providing them with pencils and paper to create their own unique bug!

2. We then used old scraps of felt to make the bugs.

3.Finally we  worked on planning  where the bugs could snuggle up in a hole in the blanket! I have folded the blanket into a small section for you so see the beginning of the project!

I am off to order some more of this amazing authors creations!

Alphabet activities

8 Apr

As I have been going around to different schools relief teaching, I have come across some innovative and clever ideas, strategies and resources. I thought I would share some of the ideas I have seen. My favourite would have to be an alphabet activity journal. The class was a prep class and each student had their own journal. They were working their way through the alphabet and keeping a record of their writing and activities. I have adapted the idea with a few of my own resources.

1. Start with an A3 visual diary available in Office works and other education and stationary stores.

2. I found this website and I love it! If you go to the page  there are alphabet books for every letter! So I was thinking you could have a page for every letter and the children could paste in an alphabet book in each section with their writing. I browsed this website for hours as the resources are excellent!

3. I have found that charity shops have some great children’s books which are relatively cheap and in quite good condition. I often purchase the books that are really well worn and loved as you can remove the pages, laminate them  and give them new life! I found an alphabet book in a charity shop recently by DK publishing. I took out the worn pages, laminated them and now they are ready to display in a classroom. As I was looking at the photos for each letter, I started thinking about all the activities you could make and add to the journal.  I have to say I am a bit over a for apple and b for ball!!!

4. This is how the diary would look!

(a) A for avocado ,make avocado dip and eat it of course!

(b) Depending on the age of the children you could do some modeled or shared writing of the recipe, the children could write and draw pictures of the sequence of the recipe and add this to their journal

(c) Avocado Baby by John Burningham is a great read! The children could write a story about a clever baby with pictures or have an adult scribe it for them.

(d) Literacy aprons are great, you could have objects that start with the letter ‘a’ and the children could guess the objects from clues from you and draw them in their journal

(e) Ants are great for the letter A. The children could start an ant farm and draw the ants habitat and record their movements.

(f) Apple printing looks very effective! The finished paintings could be included in the journal.

(g) Recycling plastic bottles into apples is a great way to save the environment and have a wonderful toy for the home corner!
( I know I inserted a photo from my previous post!) The children could draw a picture of the apple they made.
(h) I had this idea to make a mini apron with felt. I decided to thread a large needle with wrapping paper ribbon and it worked well. I think pre primary age children could manage it. The sewing is only on the pocket. The buttons can be glued on with pva glue as well as the straps for the apron. The pocket can hold a story children have illustrated in this case the story of Jack and the beanstalk.I used an A4 piece of paper for the apron and cut a curve along the top for the arms. I know what you are saying, “what about boys!” I think black felt with a white pocket would look good and thanks to Master Chef cooking has promoted boy’s in the kitchen! Now it is cool to wear an apron! The boys could draw pictures from the story, ‘The Giant Jam Sandwich by John Vernon’. The apron would probably fit a doll!

5. Letter B would go something like this!

(a) B for book

(b) I would encourage the children to make their own book  and add it to their journal

(c) Baby Brains by Simon James is such a great book to read to them, then they could draw their favourite scene from the story!

(d) Paper bead making is fascinating and a great way to recycle all kinds of paper. I would photograph the children with their designs and add to their journal
(d) Some bread making would be good with the children writing the sequence of the recipe and eating the bread at the end!

(e) Some simple paper boat making with a boat race in a paddling pool would be fun! The children could make one for the journal and one for sailing in the pool!
I will be back with some other ideas!

Literacy aprons

16 Mar

I thought I would do a blog about literacy aprons! Now a big note…. A sewer I am not! My mother was a wonderful seamstress and many a time I would have a new dress for church and, if we were running late, she would sew me into it.When we returned home I would wriggle out from the dress and she would finish sewing the dress … BECAUSE I HAD TO WEAR IT THAT DAY!!!! So I am hoping that the neat camera I borrowed from my son, to take the photos for this blog, hides my sewing issues!
I have to say I love the idea of literacy aprons, which have been around for a while. I believe it is a great tool you can use to enhance children’s language learning. I used them on my practicums at schools while I was a student. They were very well received by the children, parents and other staff (especially my colleague who was assessing me!!!)
When I was in University we found a kind lady who made around 80 aprons for the students and we happily purchased them and used them in a variety of ways. I thought I would add a website with some clever apron designs and I can truly say I did not design any part of them and give all praise to people who can sew!!! This website has a variety of different aprons http://tipnut.com/56-free-apron-patterns-you-can-make/
Here is the literacy apron that we purchased from our kind friend at University…

I decided to use this one for promoting children’s understanding of various letters we were covering in the classroom. The class I was in was a Kindergarten class and we were looking at the letters s.a.p.i.n. I put a large and small foam letter ‘s’ in the pocket at the top and then filled each pocket with some interesting objects that all started with the letter ‘s’.

I would show the children the letter in the top pocket and we would say the name of the letter and the sound the letter made. We would use our magic finger to write the letter in the air. Then I would ask the children to guess the items in my pockets. I would give them clues of course! Then we would play Charlie over the ocean. The children loved the activity and asked to do it over and over!
I usually buy small swatches of material from Spotlight as they are often the perfect size for an apron. The pockets on this apron came from a pillowcase I found in a store in Birkenhead Point in Sydney. I added some African puppets for finger plays or stories.

This apron is a ‘work in progress’. I made the pocket house to keep the finger puppets in and I use the top pocket for the main character. I have written a rather lame story to go with the puppets! I won’t include the story! It is great when you make up stories children really don’t mind and they are ever so forgiving!

I was looking at the aprons and I was thinking it might be a good idea to make a few children’s sized aprons.

I sometimes have put a small book with puppets in the pocket for children to retell stories.
Just recently I decided to cut and laminate pictures of children from catalogues (thus helping save the environment just a little!) The photos give children the opportunity to create stories for themselves!

I will be back with some more aprons and ideas………….
So I am back!
Here is another apron I made for children to use. I thought I would use a bag to put it in, with a book and finger puppets.

I am off to try and find the pattern for the pocket house to add to this blog! Trust me I had a lot of help from my sewing teacher in the making of this project!!!
Have fun!!!