Play Dough and Paper Plate Wreath

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Christmas is such a beautiful time for children. Whether it fits their cultural believes or not, the magic of the holiday finds its way into the children’s hearts and gets them excited about the festivities.

This year Kid Blogger Network bloggers gather yet again to give you 10 days of a Kid-Made Christmas: Ornaments Inspired by Books, hosted by Mama Miss. Check out my post on Christmas Lantern from last year before I go onto introducing a new craft!

In my ESL classes I try incorporating many things: phonics, elements of reading, writing, craft and more. It has now become a tradition that we read a book or a part of a book at the end of our class.

We were going through a book called Christmas is the New House.

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When children saw the picture of Wreath being hung, they became curious.

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And as I tried explaining what it is, the idea of a simple wreath craft came to my mind: Play dough and Paper Plate Wreath.

Materials needed:

One paper plate
Play dough of favorite color (even though the wreath is isually green, I let children use their imagination)
Assorted beans
Clear contact paper (optional – to preserve the craft)

How to make it:

1. Cut out the middle of the paper plate, leaving just the rim of the plate. Keep it for some other craft! (I love upcycling!)

2. Have the children take pieces of play dough and spread them over the rim, pressing firmly so it doesn’t easily fall off.

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3. Using beans, decorate the wreath.

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4. If you want the wreath to last – use contact paper to stick over the craft and secure on the side that has no play dough to preserve. You can decorate it with a bow as well. In my experience preserved this way play dough keeps fresh for at least 3-4 months and then still stays while drying up for another few months.

Voilà, you have these pretty wreaths!

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As an option, and to make a bigger size wreath, you can cut it out of the cardboard and also add more things, like, leaves and twigs besides beans to decorated over the play dough.

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Join us for the remaining days of 10 days of a Kid-Made Christmas! And check out already posted ornaments!
Link up below your favorite and relevant posts!

Merry Christmas!


   

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Paper Cup Series: Daffodils

I’m happy to be back with the Paper Cups Series, today introduced to you by Leanna @ All Done Monkey!

Leanna is a stay at home mother to a sweet, funny, rambunctious three year old boy and his adorable, smiley baby brother.  She draws inspiration from the Writings of the Bahá’í Faith and tries to raise her Monkeys in a fun, spiritual, loving environment.  She and her husband, who is from Costa Rica, are raising their boys to be bilingual and bicultural but more importantly to be “world citizens.”  Having studied anthropology, history, and library science, Leanna now trolls the internet and Pinterest for recipe and craft ideas. ”All Done Monkey” is her attempt to make sense of it all.

You can follow Leanna on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+.

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Daffodil Craft - Naw Ruz - Alldonemonkey.com

To celebrate the Bahá’í new year (Naw Rúz), Monkey and I recently invited some friends over for a spring party.  Since Naw Rúz falls on the first day of spring, I decided to do a craft with the kids that would celebrate the beautiful flowers that characterize this season.

I chose the daffodil, one of my favorite flowers, and created a simple craft that could be adapted according to interest and ability. I have discovered that when you are working with a large group of children, it’s best to have a craft that can be done quickly, as attention spans tend to be shorter because of all the activity going on around them.

One thing I love about this craft is that those that want to spend more time on it can do so, while those that don’t can still have an attractive finished product that they can wave around proudly as they rush off to play!

What You Will Need (per daffodil)Daffodil Craft - Naw Ruz - Alldonemonkey.com

1 baking cup or small paper cup (These can either be yellow or orange, like the center of the daffodil, or they can be plain white, so that the kids can decorate them)

1 small paper plate

2 green pipe cleaners

Knife (to punch a hole in the plate and cup)

Markers or crayons

Patience (amount needed varies depending on the number of kids and whether they have had

snacks yet or not!)


InstructionsFor text 6

Can be prepared in advance:

  1. Poke a hole through the center of the paper plate and the bottom of the cup. It needs to be just big enough for the pipe cleaners to go through.

  2. Twist the pipe cleaners together to make the stalk. (One pipe cleaner alone is not strong enough to hold up the flower). Older children can assist with this step.

To do with the kids:

  1. Let the kids decorate the plates using markers or crayons.

  2. Push the pipe cleaners first through the hole in the paper plate and then through the cup. Turn the ends at a ninety degree angle so the pipe cleaners do not slide back out through the holes. Older children can assist with this step.


Daffodil Craft - Naw Ruz - Alldonemonkey.com

Daffodil Craft - Naw Ruz - Alldonemonkey.com

We really enjoyed this craft. Some children spent a lot of time decorating the flowers, while others skipped this step entirely. Either way, they ended up with beautiful creations!

How do you celebrate the coming of spring with your little ones?

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Thank you, Leanna, for this wonderful craft! We will sure to try it and let you know how it turned out!

Creative Tuesday: Pencil scrapings art

There are memories I have from my early childhood that are so bright and vivid. Most of them are very positive and out of those the majority are about craft, arts, dance and music classes I took. Now, I may not remember the name of my kindergarten teachers but I do remember the activities they did with us, the playful time and even some songs and poems.

One of such activities I am presenting to you today, in Creative Tuesday SeriesPencil scrapings art. Perhaps in English there is another name for this activity (hence I could only find one reference so far from Dynamic 2 MomsFingerprint facts) ,so I call it just that.

This is how you do it:

1. Pick few favourite colour pencils. Prepare a plate (or few), a knife, some plain paper and cotton.

2. Scrape the lead of each pencil with the knife – you will get small bits of led resembling tiny crumbs. If the lead broke, don’t worry – just crush it. Note: this activity is appropriate for children above 4 years old. HOWEVER, I would advise not to use a sharp knife (I used a butter knife) AND this part of activity has to be strictly supervised until… you can trust your child completely to be with the knife alone 🙂 .

3. Take a piece of cotton, dip into the scrapings and rub against the plain piece of paper. You can do it in patterns. Or you can place a shape and rub around or inside of it to get a special pattern. We made a nine-pointed star as we were preparing cards to send out for Ayyam-i-Ha.

  

Variation: you can do this with glue (apply the glue on the area and sprinkle the scrapings over then leave to dry), glitter (the same method as with glue or just on its own – mix glitter with scrapings as we did!) and glitter glue (the same method as with the glue – sprinkle scrapings on top of the glitter glue). Use your creative imagination and have fun with pencil scrapings!

Egg carton flower

One last project we did in 2012 was Egg Carton Flower. We got the inspiration from Glittering Muffins’ Egg Carton Christmas Tree Ornament.

At first I was determined to make a Christmas tree. But Christmas was over and it didn’t really make sense to make the actual activity. I still really wanted to make something with egg cartons as they’ve been waiting to be used for a long time!

So first I cut them up into separate pieces and asked my daughter to paint them any colours she felt like using. We talked about painting them inside and outside. She insisted on doing the activity by herself as she loves painting . When she was done, I realised she only painted them inside. When I asked her why, she told me she would like to use them that.

That’s when I got the idea to make sort of a flower out of the cartons. I nipped the pieces to make petals, grabbed a straw, paper plate and some playdough. My daughter arranged the playdough on the plate, making a base for the flower. We then stuck the straw in the middle, made holes in the egg carton pieces and put them on the straw. Voila!


Paper Plate Series: Paper Plate and Play Dough Sun

It’s always fun to come up with some new ideas and craft which will engage children!
Here’s what we made today in my class with 2+ year olds: Paper Plate and Play Dough Sun!

You will need:
1 paper plate
Double-sided tape
Crepe paper cut in stripes (or coloured tissue paper)
Sunflower seeds
Play dough (we used this recipe to make ours)
A plastic fork and a plastic knife (optional)

Turn the plate bottom up and put double-sided tape around the outer rim.
Remove the paper off the double-sided tape and stick the stripes of crepe or tissue paper to make the sun rays. It’s a lot of fun and helps children practice their fine motor skills.
When done, turn the plate on the other side and cut the dough with a plastic knife or pinch off the pieces.
Put the pieces of the play dough on the plate and even it all out till it covers the surface of the plate.
You can let children use the fork and sort of rake on top of the play dough to create designs.
Next, take the sunflower seeds either one by one or a few at a time and squeeze them into the play dough.
Let the children come up with all sorts of designs. This is a great sensory and exploration activity. You can learn colors as you stick colorful rays.

  

Note: supervision is required due to choking hazard (sunflower seeds, plastic items, crepe or tissue paper which children may want to put in their mouths).

I hope you enjoy this activity! Thank you for reading my blog.

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