The National Simultaneous Storytime celebrates its 20th anniversary this year with a rollicking read featuring some jazz-loving, ostentatious chickens.
To celebrate, we created this cardboard chicken diva craft. It was also a fun and simple colour exploration.
What you will need for this Chicken Diva craft:
Embellishments like sequins, tissue paper or beads
We traced the templates onto an IKEA box to create our chicken parts.
You could simply print the template onto thin card. Or a paper version would work too.
I provided a variety of colouring materials- chalk pastels, paint pens, oil pastels and watercolours. We discussed the colours of the chicken characters. As we created we discussed the tints and shades of pink and blue. We added details in Sharpie.
We fixed all the pieces together with push pins to create moveable chooks. If you don’t have push pins, never fear. Just glue it all together.
When I posted this simple drawing game for kids on Instagram, the crowd went wild!
So I thought I better dedicate a blog post to its awesome self.This is a collaborative, drawing game that I’ve dubbed “Pass the Portrait.”
Hand-drawn portraits by kids are one of my very favourite things in life.
It involves all family members and simple materials.
Here’s how to play this simple drawing game for kids of all ages. You need some good-quality paper and a Sharpie for each family member.
Everybody starts with an oval on their page. The page is labelled with the name of a family member. That oval is that person’s head.
We started with the feature of eyes. So you had to draw in the eyes of the family member named on your paper.
Then you PASS THE PORTRAIT to the person next to you. Next we opted to draw the nose.
PASS THE PORTRAIT. Add the family member’s mouth.
Keep passing the portrait until all features are filled in and then colour in the portraits. Each family member will end up with a portrait that bears maybe 6% resemblance to their actual visage, but collaborative art activities is where it’s at, my friends!
Yes yes, there are actually 5 members of my family. But the 5th member went off-script and chose to do a self-portrait.
If somebody doesn’t want to stick to the script, my advice is ROLL WITH IT. I would kill for eyelashes like that. This kid is my often-reluctant creator, so it’s important for him to express himself as he pleases.
We then unleashed the watercolour palette and paint sticks. Some family members coloured their own portrait. Others coloured the portrait of another family member.
These simple cardboard masks for kids are an amazing project. We originally made them as prototypes for a READ + CREATE class I had scheduled for the holidays. We all know how that story ends #coronavirus Seeing as the class was cancelled, I’m giving the idea to you.
To run this as a READ + CREATE activity in your home, simply read a book about monsters or wild characters.
We were going to read ‘Wild’ by Emily Hughes. ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ would work beautifully too.
Then invite your child to create their own wild creature.
Create your own simple cardboard mask for kids
Seeing as we are all indoors for the moment, we have had a huge influx in online shopping delivered to our door.
Use the boxes to create these cardboard mask.
I cut out several oval-shaped bases for the faces and pre-painted these.
I then cut out various shapes to resemble facial features. Lots of circle, semi-circles and rectangles.
I presented these shapes to my kids with paint sticks and paint pens.
We discussed the different shapes that we could use to represent different facial features.
They coloured their cardboard facial features.
My main tip would be to encourage your children to experiment with the placement of cardboard facial features on their base board.
Once they are happy with how it looks, glue all the features in place with craft glue.
I then presented some tulle and ribbons so that my kids could further embellish, but they weren’t too hot on that step.
Tape a dowel rod to the back of the cardboard mask and let your inner-Wild Thing ROAR!
This tea party craft for kids is such a fun, hands-on project for parties or bigger groups.
It is open-ended and involves using lots of different materials. Total winner for all ages!
In 2019, I ran the Kid’s Crafty Corner at the Sydney Tea Festival.
These tea party small worlds kept the crowds of creative kids engaged and entertained.
This crowd-pleaser was originally inspired by these Under the Sea sculptures by my friend, Arielle at Art Camp LA.
Here is what you’ll need for this tea party craft for kids….
I set up a smorgasboard of craft materials featuring:
Paper straws and toothpicks
Sprigs of rosemary
Flowers and gumnuts
I greeted all mini-makers with the prompt of “What materials can you use to create a mini tea party?”
* To colour pasta, place dry pasta in a ziplock bag. Add a few drops of food colouring into the bag. Squeeze in a few drops of hand sanitiser. (You don’t want to soak the pasta.) Zip the bag up and massage the liquid through the bag. Once it is evenly dispersed, pour the pasta out onto basking paper and allow to dry.
Each mini-maker was given a paper plate and a ball of play dough to start.
(You can find my fave play dough recipe here. I substituted the vegetable oil with coconut oil.)
Then the little creatives were let loose on the smorgasboard and they collected their materials. I adore how every tea party is so unique. When they presented their tea parties to me, I asked them something along the lines of “Tell me- what is happening at your tea party?”
I love how each tea party feels a bit like a Dr Seuss world.
This simple Chinese New Year craft for kids involves collaboration, exploring line and shape and patterns.
In Chinese culture, fish are considered a symbol of luck and good fortune. The Chinese word for fish sounds like the word surplus or abundance. So during Chinese New Year you will see many fish decorations and it is customary to eat fish during New Year feasts to ensure prosperity.
What you will need for this simple Chinese New Year Craft for kids
Print your fish template onto thin card or trace it onto cardboard scraps.
We reused some cardboard packaging from Christmas presents to create our fish.
My daughter and I passed the fish back and forth to fill in different sections.
This is a great chance to talk about different lines – straight, curved, broken, zig zag, wavy – and shapes. So much vocab!
Once complete, cut the fish out. Use your hole punch to create a hole in the top middle part of your fish.
String some yarn through and thread beads onto your string.
This is a great opportunity to practice 2-part patterns. Red and yellow/gold are dominant colours seen during Chinese New Year festivities.
Hang your fish decoration on your front door to welcome in all the New Year’s good luck!
If you try this simple Chinese New Year craft for kids, I’d LOVE to see! Tag me on Instagram or Facebook.
Looking for more simple Chinese New Year crafts for kids?
Use the first initials of family members to create these DIY kid-made Christmas ornaments with beads and jewellery wire.
They’ll ensure that everybody is repped on the tree this festive season.
This is one of those projects that requires minimum materials but leads to some maximum engagement.
You will need:
A variety of beads
Jewellery wire or pipe cleaners
How to create your own beaded kid-made Christmas ornaments:
Bend your jewellery wire into the shape of the letter that you want.
This can take some experimentation based on the letter that you are making. Some letters with sharp points are easier to shape AFTER you’ve strung all the beads on.
If you don’t have jewellery wire, pipecleaners work just as well.
Twist one end of your letter to create a “stopper” to prevent beads from sliding off.
Bring out the beads and bead, bead, bead away. We also introduced threadable pom poms and fabric scraps. The fabric scraps had slits cut in the middle.
My 2 younger ones lost interest in the beading after 2.4 seconds, so I modified the activity for them. I cut their initials out of a cardboard box, let them go to town with watercolour paints and markers and they still get their place on the tree.
My eldest spent a whole morning creating personalised Christmas ornaments for various family members.
Once the beading is completed, twist the end of the wire or pipe cleaner to keep all beads in place.
Add a ribbon and your kid-made Christmas ornament is now ready to hang on the tree.
INCOMING TEACHER TIP:
Names are a perfect place to start getting young readers and writers excited about alla the letters.
As you talk about the names of family members, point out how a name starts with a CAPITAL but is followed by lower case letters.
Most of us Kindy teachers inwardly groan when an incoming student proclaims “I CAN WRITE MY NAME!” And then we watch as they spell their name ALL IN CAPS. It is our job to then unteach this.
We get it. Capitals are much easier to write on the letter formation front. But model it correctly from the start and save time later down the track.