Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Hole Punch Dot Fun

Crafting with young children is a lot of fun. Additionally, crafts are a great way to help little ones develop their fine motor skills. A fun, easy, creative and inexpensive craft idea is to make hole-punch dot pictures.

Simply provide a lot of hole-punch dots, glue and paper. (For younger children, put some glue in a jar lid and give them a cotton swab so that they can apply glue with more controlled dots.) [Note: Always cover a work area with newspaper.] Apply glue dots. Shake some hole-punch dots onto the paper and the glue will accept them. Or, ask the child to place hole-punch dots on the dots of glue, one by one.

Here are two examples of dots glued to paper. The one on the left shows glue and dots arranged to form a picture. The one beside it shows dots placed randomly on paper. For more ideas on using hole-punch dots, check out my book, Little Hands--Create! p. 10 "Hole-Punch Magic."(Williamson--an Ideals Publication.)

Now, let's store more dots to use another time. Using scraps of bright-colored paper, allow the child to practice using a hole-punch. Scoop up the punches and keep them for future projects. They can be kept in an envelope. But, why not store them in a way that shows the colors? I keep hole-punch dots in empty mint containers or in empty medicine bottles. (above, right) (I also keep the scraps that have holes in them. They look great in a collage.) Have fun!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Fun with Snipper Critters

At the recent FRA conference, I presented a truncated version of my popular craft/subject coupling in two sessions—one for Pre-K and one for K-2nd. These sessions focused on how you can have students make easy, fun, crafts and integrate them with core disciplines. The idea: Why not combine learning with fun AND creativity? Here are just some of the skill activities we engaged in during the recent "Make and Take."

Snipper Critters (A versatile book waiting for your adaptations.)
 Sure, the over 80 'open-ended' critter patterns alone may be used to create individually designed animals for a lesson or unit.  A few of the critters are shown here. But, just as with all of my 'open-ended' patterns, that's not the end of it. 

Once the animal is cut out, keep an 'outlines file.' (Right) The normal 'throw-away' portion of Snipper Critters isn't trash at all—it is a treasure. Here are some of the uses.

(Left)The outline can be placed on a piece of acetate on the overhead for a brainstorming full-class participation lesson. Or, why not write a poem on the overhead? The helpful critter facts in the back of the book make this even easier for the teacher.
(Right) When students are done using the miniature example in the corner on each critter's page, it makes a delightful mini-puppet. Cut it out. Glue it to a craft stick. Students will be inspired to write their own mini plays for the critters. Or, students may glue an outline (put glue on printed side) to a contrasting piece of paper to make a book cover or poem frame. Several critters may be put together using a brass fastener. 

Here's a fun lesson for you to do that helps with motor skills, visualizing positive and negative space, and discovery.
Attach outline.

Snipper Critter Stenciling

1. Take an outline left over from cutting out a Snipper Critter.

2. Lightly attach the outline to a contrasting piece of paper using small rolled-tape pieces.
Bingo marker the exposed area.

3. Place the prepared stencil on a piece of newspaper to protect work surface.

4. Bingo-marker the exposed area. Allow to dry.

Remove stencil.

5. Once dry, carefully remove the outline stencil.

Some uses:

  • Use your stenciled critter as a book cover.
  • Write pertinent vocabulary words around the critter.
  • On the unpainted area, write facts about the critter. (Elicit student responses.)
  • Place an appropriate beginning sound letter on the critter. Look for and cut out (from old magazines) words matching the same beginning sound. Glue them on the space around the critter.