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Showing posts with label recycled trash. Show all posts
Showing posts with label recycled trash. Show all posts

Earth Day recycled trash crafts, collage art, preschool lesson plans from the Barney Bag


Here's a blast from the past, just in time for Earth Day, April 22. Bust out the Barney Bag and whip a bunch of recycled trash crafts for kids! Wait, you don't what a Barney Bag is? PBS's Barney the dinosaur had a magic bag that the kids on his show Barney & Friends used to make crafts. These activities work great for earth science lesson plans on ecology and environment. 

I carried out the Barney Bag tradition with my children, who are now grown with children of their own. As a homeschool family, we didn't watch much TV, but they did love PBS in general and Barney & Friends in particular. (Here are free printable Barney coloring pages for a walk down memory lane!) We used the Barney Bag in preschool learning centers and arts and crafts lesson plans you can too. Upper elementary and middle schoolers will love making these recycled trash crafts for kids. Use them as hands-on ecology activities too! Here's a Q & A to get started. 

What is a Barney Bag? On Barney & Friends, it was a rainbow-colored satchel about the size of a small suitcase that contained all kinds of "gizmos and gadgets, odds and ends; even some old strings"--aka lots of cast-off stuff! Perfect for recycled trash crafts for kids or collage art learning centers. 

How do you make a Barney Bag? Keep a large recycled trash shopping bag near the recycle bin. Toss in unique packages, fabric scraps, odd-shaped containers, bits of yarn and fiber, foil and wrapping paper scraps, used ribbon and bows, decorative trim, mismatched buttons, gumball machine toys, assorted game pieces, old magazines, stickers, envelopes with stamps, playing cards, metal washers and springs, small broken utensils, packing peanuts and just about any discarded item imaginable. Repurposing these items teaches valuable real-life Earth Day lesson plans. 

When should I use it? You can weave the Barney Bag into collage art learning centers and lesson plans. But it works best to haul out Barney Bag spontaneously. If children are tired or grouchy, or it's too yucky to play outside, collage art perks them up.  Throwing a spontaneous craft party was a real sanity-saver for me when everyone came down with chicken pox at once!  

How do children use the Barney Bag? Assemble a tray of glue sticks (or plastic lids with glue and Q-tips), scissors (plain and decorative edged), glitter, crayons or markers, paints, shaped paper punches and stamps. Use up dried beans or pasta in collage art learning centers. Spread an old tablecloth or shower curtain on the floor to protect against spills. Make paint coveralls from dad's old T-shirts. Or recycled trash plastic grocery bags (handles are shoulder straps. Cut bottom off to slip over head. Cover the table with newspaper. Announce Barney Bag time by singing Barney's little ditty. 

"So we'll ask ourselves the question: what shall we make today? With imagination and a piece of string, we'll see what we can make today, yeah, we'll see what we can make today!" Make memories and the environment happy with these Earth Day trash crafts! 

Free printable spring science crafts, Earth Day recycled trash crafts, weather unit activities

Spring is here, "Weather" or not the temperature agrees (LOL, get it?) How about free printable spring science crafts and weather unit activities to spring into the new season? As always, this Montessori teacher mama--now teacher Omi (grandma)-- shares hands-on, cross-curricular learning activities.  To welcome Earth Day, we'll use recycled trash for weather crafts. The age level for this unit is preschool to first grade. 

First, visit DL-TK for a rainbow of printable weather science craft projects. Make windsocks, windchimes, suncatchers, picture frame crafts and more from recycled trash. Use recycled paper to make free printables. 

To welcome spring, Earth Day, Easter, a new baby, how about making a giant greeting card on front walk? Bust out the sidewalk chalk and get busy decorating! No sidewalks? Use the patio or unfurl a roll of paper outside! Here's an easy, super cheap recipe for sidewalk chalk

Next, make pet baby tornados! Here's a Montessori activity for practical life learning centers. Have children wash glass jars and lids, to teach life skills of dishwashing. Next, children will fill glass jars almost to top with water and add a drop of dish soap. To create the baby tornado, shake jar with swirling motion. A funnel shape or vortex will appear. Use these science activities to demonstrate a vortex, tornado, funnel and even the sink drain works. You could discuss clouds, precipitation, wind.

To extend these hands-on science activities to language arts and creative writing, have kids think up names and make up stories for their pet tornado. Next, extend into math lesson plans making books from cereal box cardboard. Teach geometry, measurement, scissor skills cutting recycled paper to cover books. Next alternate writing and blank paper. Have children write on the lined paper and illustrate on the blank pages. 

Sing weather songs in circle time. Enjoy spring themed snacks (stay tuned for recipes to follow). For quiet time, read weather and spring science books like "The Year at Maple Tree Farm" "The Little House", "Ox-Cart Man", "The Carrot Seed" "The Lorax" "The Tiny Seed" and "Frog and Toad are Friends."