Rockin Out (the Painted Rocks Workshop)

Having a bad day? Go paint a rock.  Stressed out? Go paint a rock.  The kids were bouncing off the walls when they came in today, but as soon as we started painting the rocks, everything changed. There is something so therapeutic about painting rocks!

What you will need:

  • rocks (make sure you wash them off and let them dry thoroughly)
  • acrylic paints
  • paintbrushes
  • water containers

First decide what you are going to paint. (To keep the vocabulary simple, we decided to do barnyard animals, but there are so many things you could do-bugs, houses, food, freestyle decorating or just about anything). Since we did animals, we asked the kids, what color their animal would be and what 2 colors they need to make that color.

The kids mixed their paints.

Then get painting.

This is a great time to start using body parts vocabulary- eyes, nose, mouth, legs.  You can also throw in some vocab that is specific to animals like whiskers, snout, beak or paws.

Now you have a cute decoration for your knickknack shelf, a paper weight or if you have painted a large and heavy enough rock, also have a fancy doorstop.

Mr Clicketty Cane

Per leggere questo post in italiano, cliccate qui.

Mr Clicketty Cane is such a silly song to learn daily activities.  Kids think it is so funny and crack up every time they sing it.  It’s a great song because there is a lot of movement and acting out you can do while singing.  Here are some cards to teach the silly vocabulary from the song and the vocabulary with the ‘normal’ words. As usual, you can learn the vocabulary by playing Memory, Go Fish, Pictionary and this is a fun game to play Charades with since you can also mime out the words!

An alternative to the traditional way to play Memory: instead of finding pairs of the same cards, try play Association Memory.  Play with just one copy of each card.

  • Separate the vocabulary from the song and the vocabulary with correct things you use to wash your face, clean your teeth ecc.
  • Turn the cards face down, as in Memory, but look for the two words that go together- ie face/orange juice.
  • As in Memory, the one who finds the most cards wins.
  • You can play again by switching the silly vocabulary with the ‘normal’ things you use and play again (so this time you will need to find face/ soap, etc).

ps In case you are wondering….The song is from an Australian man named Peter Combes.  In some regions of Australia, they call a slide a slippery dip.

Jumping Frogs Workshop

Per leggere questo post in italiano, cliccate qui.

This was a really fun workshop, we made frogs that jumped really high!  To do this you will need:

  • craft foam (it comes out better if you have a few colors)
  • 2 googly eyes
  • 2 empty yogurt pots or plastic cups
  • 1 or 2 rubber bands
  • a pencil
  • colored pens (Sharpies) work the best, but may not be appropriate for smaller kids)
  • scissors
  • a hot glue gun (to be used with the assistance of an adult)
  • an awl (or something to poke holes into the cups- this is quite dangerous, so this instrument should be used the an adult)
  • frog stencil

1. Print off a copy of the frog parts onto thick paper.  Cut out each part.

2.  Trace the frog’s parts onto craft foam with a pencil and cut each part out.  Glue the parts together to form the frog, including the googly eyes.

3. Use the Sharpies to draw on a mouth, a nose and don’t forget to draw on some speckles.

4. Have an adult poke 4 holes, equal distance (more or less) into the cups. Cut a rubber band in half and make a knot at one end.  Thread the rubber band from the outside to the inside of one hole and then thread again through the opposite hole and tie a knot.  Make sure rubber band is a little bit taut. Do the same thing with the other half of the rubber band into the remaining two holes.  Your rubber band should make a cross at the open end of the cup.  5. Glue your frog onto the cup (bottom side up).  Now you are ready to make your frog jump!

6.  Take your other yogurt cup and put it onto the ground (bottom side up), now put the frog cup on top of that, push down and let go!

(This would be a fun project to do for Easter with a rabbit too, let us know if you try it).

Thanks tobkids for this project.

Dolch Words List Pre-Primer

What are Dolch words?  Long story short: a man named Edward William Dolch made up a list 220 frequently used words that need to be recognized in order to improve fluency in reading the English language.  Some words you can sound out, but many are ‘sight words’ and must be memorized. You can also click on Edward William Dolch and Wikipedia will tell you  more about Mr Dolch and give you a full list of the words.

You can play Memory, Go Fish or if you print off the sheet below, you can play POW!

To play POW! Just cut up the cards and put them into a bag.  One player at a time takes out a word.  If she can read the word, she keeps it.  If ‘take another turn’ or ‘lose a turn’ is drawn, player does as the card says.  The exciting part is when POW is drawn.  If POW is drawn, the player must say POW and put all her cards back into the bag.  The winner is the person with the most cards.  You wont need all the cards from the last sheet, only about one of each per 5 players.

Check out Mrs.Perkins’ she has a lot of great ideas on games to play with the words.  In fact our game was taken from her site.  Thanks Mrs. Perkins!

Harold and the Purple Crayon Pop-Up City

To read this in Italian, click here.

Saturday’s workshop was the first in our series of Story and a Craft.  First we read Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson and we followed Harold and the adventures he goes on with his purple crayon.  And then we got out our purple crayons (well, actually they were pens :o) and created an adventure of our own.

To make a Pop Up City of your own you will need:

  • a purple pen, crayon or pencil
  • scissors
  • glue
  • 2 pieces of card stock (thick/heavy paper)
  • thick double sided tape (optional)

1.  1 sheet of paper and fold it in half, by bring the short sides together ( 8 1/2 x 11 becomes a 8 1/2 x 5 or an A4 21 x 29,7 becomes a 21 x 14,35).

2. Draw a city scape on the crease.  Make sure you draw many buildings with lots of windows and doors.

3. Fold paper in half again, with the city facing on the inside.  Cut two large slits along the edge about 3/4 of an inch long. Fold the flap this makes back and forth and then push towards the inside of the card.

4. Cut the other piece of paper in half so, 8 1/2 x 11 becomes a 8 1/2 x 5 or an A4 21 x 29,7 becomes a 21 x 14,35. Draw another city scape along the long side (make sure the buildings touch each other) and then cut out the buildings.

5. Draw a moon on the remaining piece of paper and cut out.

6. Glue the cut out city scape onto the flap of the card and glue your moon onto the card (we used thick double sided tape so that the moon would pop out).

7.  Congratulation, you have made a pop-up!

To learn more about pop-ups check out robert sabuda’s site, he does some truly amazing stuff and even has some cool pop-ups you can download and do, too.