Monster Coat Hanger (or scarf hanger or note hanger or anything hanger)

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We read the story of The Gruffalo at this workshop, so time to do a craft was pretty limited – but that doesn’t mean we didn’t have fun.  The kids made these really silly monster coat hangers.

Here’s what you will need:

  • a piece of cardboard or wood panel
  • paint
  • a paint brush
  • a pencil
  • a clothespin
  • glue
  • a paperclip or something to hang your monster from

Step 1: sketch out your monster in pencil.  (We used cardboard for the sake of cost, but a small wood panel would work even better)

Step 2: glue on the clothespin.

Step 3; paint in the monster.

Step 4: after the monster is dry, attach your paperclip to the back and hang on a wall.

Pretty simple and yet still really cool!

Thanks to Mr Printables.com for this really fun idea!

How to Make A Whirligig

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This is a really great project to teach about shapes or even a fun way to teach the word ‘eat’. The kids had lots of fun making the big fish and watching it twirl around.

1. Supplies:

  • several different colors of construction paper
  • Things to trace big, medium and small circles (like plates and jar lids).
  • 1 plastic bottle caps
  • 2 skewers
  • 1 drinking straw
  • glue
  • colored felt tip pens
  • tape
  • hole punch
  • awl or something to make a hole in the bottle caps
  • ruler and a pencil

Pic 2 and 3: Use your plates and lids to trace and then cut out

  • 2 large circles (big fish body)
  • 4 medium circles (big fish eyes and small fish body)
  • 4 small white circles (big and small fish eyes)
  • 2 medium triangles (big fish fin)
  • 2 small triangles (small fish tail)
  • 1 large square (big fish tail/pinwheel)

Pic 4: use your medium sized circle to make a mouth on the large fish and cut it out from the two circles for the big fish’s body.  On one these circles place the straw and 1 skewer at a as shown (make sure the straw pokes out a but on both sides). Fix with a little bit of tape.  Put some glue on and sandwich close with the other half of the fish’s body. Let the glue dry.

Pic 5:  Assemble the big fish by adding on his eyes and fins.  Make sure you do both sides.  Don’t forget to add a little black dot to finish the eyes.

Pic 6:  Use the awl to make a hole in the center of the bottle cap (this should be done by and adult).   Slide the skewer through the straw (inside the big fish), leaving a small bit hanging out of the mouth and towards the tail.  Assemble the small fish with the skewer in the center of it’s body.

Pic 7:  Use a ruler to draw diagonal lines running from corner to corner of the square.  Use your medium circle to lightly draw a circle in the center of the paper.  Color the square.  Cut along the diagonal lines, stop when you reach the circle you traced.  (You don’t want to cut all the way through or you will have 4 separate triangles and your pinwheel won’t work).

Pic 7:  Use your hole punch to make a hole at the bottom right corner of each ‘triangle’ on the pinwheel.  Use the awl to make a hole in the center of the pinwheel.  This next part is really tricky: thread the skewer through the middle hole and then through each of the other holes on the pinwheel.  Thread the bottle cap to fix closed.  If there is a lot of excess skewer sticking out, push everything down so that the small fish is almost flush with the straw and then cut off the excess.

Now spin!

This fabulous idea came from:  littlewondersdays

Halloween Slam

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It’s Halloween Slam!
Preparation: print one copy of each card, laminate and cut out.

To play:  each player is dealt 3 small character cards and they are placed face up in front of him.  The dealer holds the big cards.  All players begin with their hands behind their back and then the dealer flips a big card face up into the center of the players.  The first player to see one of his characters on the big card, slaps his hand on top of the card and says ‘slam’  If the card is there, the player may turn his character card over.  If the player makes a mistake and slams his hand, but his character isn’t on the big card, he receives a penalty of another character card to look for.  Only the first person to slam down his hand may wind that round and turn over his character card.  The first player to turn over all his character cards wins the game!

Happy Halloween and Happy slamming!

How to Make a Catapult Game

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There is something so fun about flinging things in a catapult. Did you know you could use them to learn English too?  We’ve turned ours into a counting game and here’s how:

Step 1:  Gather your supplies:

  • 5-8 popsicles sticks
  • 4 rubber bands
  • a cap from a plastic bottle
  • acorns
  • a cardboard egg carton
  • pens
  • tempera paints
  • small pieces of paper (we used a large hole punch to cut out circles, but squares, triangles, dodecahedrons, etc will work fine)

Step 2: Paint each of the holders a different color.

Step 3: Write numbers 1 – 9 on small scraps of paper.  (This number depends on how many places for eggs your carton has).  Once the tempera is dry, place the numbers inside each of the holes.

Step 4:  Decorate your acorns.

Now to make your catapult.  There are a million ways to make a catapult, we combined a few ideas to make an easy to follow idea using this we had around the house.  Here’s how we did it:

Step 5:  Stack 2 popsicle sticks one on top of the other and bind at one end with a rubber band (let’s call this Stack A).  Make another stack of 2-4 popsicle sticks and bind both ends with rubber bands (let’s call this Stack B).  Make sure the rubber bands are wrapped fairly tight so that the sticks don’t slip.

Step 6:  Open Stack A and slide Stack B in between the two sticks.

Step 7:  Use another rubber band to bind the two stacks together, making an ‘x’ where the two stack intersect.  Glue the cap on.

Step 8:  Put an acorn into your catapult and have fun playing your game!

Challenge – if you are already pretty good at saying your numbers, you could make this into a math game and start adding up your points!

Make a Kite Workshop

Here’s how to make a very simple kite, that requires things you probably have around the house.  Here’s what you will need:

  • 81/2 x 11 or A4 paper
  • crepe paper
  • glue stick
  • tape
  • pens
  • hole punch
  • scissors
  • heavy thread
  • long skewer
  • wire cutters (optional)

Step 1: Fold the paper in half.

Step 2: With the fold side down, make a crease as indicated by the dotted line. Fold back and forth a few times so the flap will stand up straight when you fly the kite.

Step 3: Cut the crepe paper into a few strips and place into the center (of the back end of) the paper,  Glue the center of the kite closed, fixing the tails. Use the wire cutters to cut the skewer to the same length as the paper.  Fix to the kite with tape as indicated.

Step 4: After you have decorated your kite, flip it over and use the hole punch to make a hole about 1/3 of the way from the nose of the kite. (We put a little bit of decorated tape on first to reinforce the paper a little bit). Attach the string and fix with a knot.

You are ready to fly your kite!

The kids had lots of fun making their kites:

Hope you have fun making and flying yours!