Monday, December 15, 2003
A Children's Christmas
sung by the kids of Bury Lawn School
Friday, December 12, 2003
A classic Dr Suess book, it's good fun, rhymes and has lots of repetition.
I did this book to continue with the "Do you like ..." theme. The craft activity I used didn't work particularly well. Has anybody got suggestions for crafts or other activities that might go well with this book?
Wednesday, December 10, 2003
I was dying to try out this book, it's about a clever mouse who tricks all the animals, including the gruffalo, into not eating it. Focus is on body vocabulary (terrible claws, turned out toes, etc.) as well as polite invitations and refusals ("...come and have tea in my tree-top house" "That's terribly kind of you owl, but no, ..."). I'd recommend it from age 5, one 4-year-old got a bit scared, the rest of them loved it.
We made an easy finger puppet mouse, copied from my daughter's Tweenies video.
You'll need brown paper, a bit of pink paper, sellotape, white circle stickers for the eyes, (if you want whiskers, you'll need plasticene, some hay and a few drawing pins).
Cut out a quarter circle template (like a slice of cake) with ears on the outside of the arc, and a tail attached at one side and curving all the way around above. Make another template for the pink inside of the ears (an oval which can be divided in half later).
- Kids should draw around the template on brown paper and cut it out (keep some extra sellotape handy for snipped off tails).
- Draw round the small oval template on pink paper, cut it out and snip in half.
- Dab glue on the ears and stick in the pink bits.
- Colour the corner nose tip.
- Roll it into a cone and sellotape it together. You'll need to help smaller kids with this.
- Draw dots on the eye stickers and then stick them in place.
- Bend up the ears to face forwards.
If you want whiskers:
- Stuff a bit of plasticene into the end of the cone (this is to hold the whiskers in place).
- Make holes in the side of the snout with the drawing pin.
- Stick hay into the holes, trim to an appropriate length.
Tuesday, December 02, 2003
These last for a few months and then disintegrate but the kids are very pleased with them and they can be used as Christmas presents.
Materials: Each kid brings a wide-necked screw top jar. The top must close properly. You bring in some plasticene, white glitter, teaspoons, toothpicks and some washing-up liquid (if you use distilled water, the models might last a bit longer).
- Kids make plasticene models on the inside of the lid (press the base down firmly). Snowmen or Santas work best. Keep the model small enough to fit in the jar, you may want the kids to put in a platform under their model or the best bit may be hidden behind the sides of the lid. Check that it can hang upside down, you may have to press the parts together to stop the model falling apart.
- Over a bucket or sink, fill the jar with water (with a drop of washing up liquid to break the surface tension).
- Put in half a teaspoonful of white glitter (I mixed in a teaspoonful of white sand).
- Carefully put the lid on to the jar, leaving no air bubbles, screw the lid down tightly.
- Divide plasticene like this:
Red: two 3rds (body), one 6th (hat), two 12ths (arms).
Beige: eight 9ths (head), two 18ths (hands).
White: three quarters (for trim), one quarter (for hair and beard).
- Roll a fat red sausage of plasticene for the body. Put in lid.
- Make long white sausage for the fur trim on the front of the coat and for around the base of the coat.
- Make a beige ball for the head.
- Squash a white ball and put on head for hair.
- Roll two thin red sausages for the arms.
- Make another small red sausage for the hat. Roll one end to make it conical.
- Squash a white ball for fur trim around hat and make a small white ball for the bobble.
- Make two white balls and press on the end of the arms for cuffs.
- Make two beige balls and press on the end of the cuffs for hands.
- Squash a white ball to make the beard. Stick on lower face and down coat.
- Use a teaspoon to make a mouth into the beard.
- Use a toothpick to make eyes.
Try getting your kids to make this pop-up Christmas card. You will need to pre-cut some thick paper to the right size for the cards and make some templates for snowmen, stars and Christmas trees for smaller kids to draw around.
Materials: Coloured card, coloured paper, glitter stars, glue, cotton wool, crayons or felt pens.
- Fold your coloured paper in half for the card.
- Make two (or four) cuts into the folded edge, at right-angles to the fold, about half an inch apart and the same length.
- Open the card and use your finger to push the strip of card through to the inside.
- Sit the card on one of its faces and stick coloured paper stars, Christmas trees, snowmen or anything else onto the protruding strip.
- Decorate the floor and backdrop with felt pens, glue, stars, glitter and cotton wool.