google.com, pub-8985115814551729, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 Free Printable Lesson Plans: craft projects
Showing posts with label craft projects. Show all posts
Showing posts with label craft projects. Show all posts

Story party ideas for children's literature based lesson plans: snacks, games, crafts


Psst, homeschool parents, want wow-worthy lesson plans for all ages? How about book-based story parties! A story or book party is suuuper easy to organize and costs next to nothing, compliments of your recycle bin, library bookshelf, snack cupboard, free printables and child ingenuity! Kids can do almost all the planning themselves, thereby getting some extra learning cred! Or you can throw an impromptu book party anytime the spirit moves! Here's how to do a story party (with children's literature crafts, snacks, games and cross-curricular connections)--for ages pre-K to middle school, any occasion--and why you should! 

For the impromptu kind, simply announce a book party. Is the weather wet or too cold or hot? Got a sick kid or three? Or maybe everyone's just a leetle crabby. Perfect story party time! Take an hour or two off and read to kids. Turn off the phone, computer, music and television. 

For the planned kind, like for a children's birthday party, choose a literature-based theme--adventure, mystery, vehicles, nature, animals-- and let each child choose several of their favorite books, if pre-K to first grade, or one for older kids. Or keep it open-ended. Or follow the unit theme for the week. You'll be amazed at how students can draw literature based connections between books. Themes might be nursery rhymes, fairy tales, fantasy (even older kids will love this).

Decorate the house. Put energetic kids to work making storybook based decorations of scenes from kids stories. You can get really crazy and decorate the entire house on your book theme.  My now-grown son did this with his college roommates for a Dr. Seuss themed going-away party. They decorated rooms in different biomes: mountains, desert, rainforest. Click this link for for free printable kids book crafts from DL-TK. 

Make costumes and let kids dress up (it is a party after all!). Just use your dress up bin. No need for anything fancy. The point is for kids to use their imagination and create their own. Stay tuned for upcoming posts on easy, DIY, no sew costumes. Here are links for free printable masks (perfect for the youngest learners!)

Make a pillow pile (crucial step). Pile the couch and floor with pillows and blankets. Invite stuffed animal friends. Kids enjoy getting snuggly, especially if they're not feeling well. My children and now grandchildren LOOOVVEE Omi's pillow pile story parties! They've developed a somewhat gestalt cult following LOL! 

Make book-based crafts. Don't buy anything. Don't even plan ahead. This is where your children's fabulously inventive minds get to cut loose. Task kids with planning craft projects based on the books you read. For printable crafts and craft project ideas, have them Google the name of the book plus crafts (for example "Harry Potter crafts"). Set out the recycle bin, crafts supplies and decorative collage items. 

Act out the story. Have kids write a script based on the book and then create costumes, props and scenery. This could take several days to a week. Provide dress-up clothes, bedding, towels, boxes, camping furniture and craft supplies. Just use what you have. The old blanket over chairs works great! Your recycle bin is a good resource for scenery. 

Make up interactive games to play at the book party. The best book-based game formats are scavenger or treasure hunts (with child-drawn treasure maps), LARP (live-action role play) and choose-your-own adventure. You can also make life-size board games based on books you read. Trouble, Monopoly, Clue or Chutes and Ladders work well as formats. For example, if reading The Hardy Boys, make up a Clue game on the book. 

Make snacks. Ask kids to think up snack and story pairings to. Make foods listed in kids stories, such as Little House in the Big Woods (cornbread) or The Boxcar Children (vegetable soup). Some, like American Girls, have accompanying cookbooks or recipes listed in the back. We once had a vintage Winnie-the-Pooh party with haycorn (pecan) pie, succotash (squash) and honey cake. But again, don't buy anything special. Half the fun is seeing the creative literature connections they come up with. Let them experiment. Oh and you must serve "coffee" (chocolate milk) or "tea" (juice) in fancy teacups like grownups do at their book clubs. Kids love pretending to be adults. 

Keep kids engaged.  Preschoolers and special needs children might illustrate kids stories they hear. Let kids draw and color while they listen. This keeps fidgety ones busy. Also mix up reading with activity. If they're getting bored, do something else. Fit the party to the child, not the child to the party. Don't make is too schoolish. Keep the focus on fun. Children who like writing might write a journal entry about the storybook.

Here are my children's and grandchildren's book recommendations. Harry Potter (thank you, Molly), "The Chronicles of Narnia" (a personal favorite), Arthur from PBS (Emma's fave), "Aesop's Fables" and "Grimm's Fairy Tales" (Jake's suggestion), "Mike Mulligan" (husband's suggestion) "The Hobbit" (Albert's contribution), Beatrix Potter, Dr. Seuss, Bible stories, superhero stories (grandsons Moses and Silas, this one's for you!) Disney princess stories (granddaughter Lola, lookin' at you here), Eric Carle books (Lucian, this one's yours!), Thomas the Tank Engine (for you, Milo) and baby Ezra's Pooh Bear But that's only the beginning! 


Recycled trash crafts for kids: Garden tools and sand toys from milk jugs


Hey teachers and homeschoolers, looking for some earth science lesson plans to teach environmental sustainability? How about making recycled trash crafts for kids with plastic milk jugs? Repurpose and reuse milk jugs into sand toys for the beach and garden tools. These crafts for kids work great in preschool science learning center, schools, scout troops, 4H groups, camp and day care and can be made with the youngest learners! 

To make a set of eight recycled trash beach toys or gardening tools, you'll need

-two clean plastic milk jugs per child

-permanent dry-erase marker 

-scissors (children's Fiskars scissors work great)

Draw a line around the base of milk jugs, about three inches from the bottom. Poke a hole anywhere in the line with scissors. Cut along the line to remove the top half (set aside for later). Now you have a sand pail, gardening bucket or plant starter. 

Next make sifter or strainer sand toys or garden tools by poking holes in the bottom of the milk jugs. Recycled trash beach toys are great money-savers. If they get broken, just re-recycle! 

Repurpose and reuse the top of milk jugs to make funnels and sand castle mold beach toys.  Draw a circle around the top, about two inches down from the mouth. Poke a hole and cut around the circle. Use funnels for preschool math learning center or sand and water table, too. 

With the leftover handle piece, make trowel garden tools. Draw along the indentation on the jug where the handle is. Snip the lower end of the handle to separate it form the jug. Poke a hole on the line and cut along the line. Trim the top part above the upper end of the handle to a v-shaped point. You will have a flat surface with a handle to smooth out surfaces and a corner surface for edging. 

Make a small rake and hoe cutting the trowel with a flat edge (for a hoe). Cut it with a zigzag edge to make a a garden rake. These trash crafts provide excellent scissors skills practice.

Make a shovel by drawing a circle around the part where the lower end of the handle attaches to the jug, about an inch or so from the handle. Snip the top end off from the jug. Cut along the circle you've drawn. Now you have handled shovels to use for sand toys or garden tools.

Use garden tools in earth science lesson plans and experiments. Use beach toys in preschool sand and water table learning center. Make a classroom garden or individual student bucket gardens for nature study! 

My favorite way to make crafts for kids is in an intergenerational setting. Visit nursing homes and senior centers to do activities with seniors. Teach students about volunteering, empathy and awareness, with activities that connect kids and elders! Make it part of an Earth Day party! Invite grandparents! This grandma treasures her time spent making craft projects with her beloved grandkiddies! 

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."          






Free Crafts and Printables from Martha Stewart

 I maintain several highly-performing niche blog, the most popular ones involving printable crafts for children. Internet searchers are always seeking freebies and crafts. Click this link for loads of free printable holiday themed crafts. Look for free printable crafts for fall holidays: Rosh Hashanah, Sukkot, Diwali, All Saints Day, Halloween, Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos), Thanksgiving, Christmas, Winter Solstice, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year's Day, Epiphany. Perfect for lesson plans.

You probably know Martha Stewart is the DIY home goddess. What you might not know is that her website offers free printable Martha Stewart craft patterns to make her many amazing crafts. This craft guru literally has crafts, recipes and printables for every holiday, theme and occasion. Whatever holiday is coming next is featured on the homepage. There's a timeline of holidays along the banner menu, so you can scroll through and find printable craft patterns and templates for past or upcoming holidays.