Mother’s Day and Father’s Day Crafts

Father's Day Craft Project

Father’s Day Craft Project

Treasured Mother’s Day and Father’s Day Crafts/Gifts

I have always been perplexed about what my students could create that woud be a treasured Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or Christmas gift.   A couple of years ago our Kindergarten classes decided to have the “Clay Teacher” come into our classrooms and direct a pottery lesson for making a Father’s Day gift.  I have to say, the end result was that special gift that would be treasured by parents for many years down the road.  It was also a rewarding lesson for our students.  Since their visit, the owner decided to retire but has blessed us with online tutorials of how we can repeat the lesson.  I wanted to share these with you as you can also start directing your own clay projects after watching these videos and do these inexpensively.

Mother's Day Picture Frame

Mother’s Day Picture Frame


Important Tips About Working With Clay

The video posted by the “Clay Teacher”  outlines very important tips about working with clay.  It answers where to get cheap clay and what type is best.


Very Important Tips About Working With Clay Video


Step By Step Tutorial For Doing a Clay Picture Frame

The link below outlines a step-by-step process in making a clay picture frame.



Tea Light Holder

Tea Light Holder

Step By Step Tutorial On How To Make a Clay Picture Frame 


Mother's Day Plaque

Mother’s Day Plaque

Mother’s Day Clay Projects

I will likely make the picture frame she demonstrated in the video above.  I will play the video a number of times on my Smart Board prior to beginning the project.  This will give my students a foundation as to what to expect prior to tackling the project.  I haven’t decided if I am going to do this as a whole group yet or have my assistant pull a small group. Since this is a Mother’s Day surprise I can’t really ask for parent volunteers.  I have posted pictures of other projects that would be fun to tackle in the future.


In the video, she demonstrated using a toothpick to make the hole in the middle, I would use the a circular object instead (top of a cup).


More Mother’s Day Craft/Gift Ideas

In the link below you will find more Mother’s Day craft/gift ideas.


Mother Day Craft/Gift Ideas


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Kindergarten Story Writing

Alphabet Writing Guide

Alphabet Writing Guide

Where I teach, the students are 4 and 5 years old when they enter kindergarten (most of them 4 years old).  There was a wide range of abilities when they entered in September.  Some of the students could not print their name, never held a pencil or scissors and had little familiarity with the alphabet.  I am continually amazed at how far they have come.  For their first story writing experience,  I had them follow a patterned story so all the students could experience success.  They chose their own setting, ending and different characters that would follow the patterned series of events as outlined in the emergent reader “Gingerbread Man Perseveres”.


Illustrating – Simple How to Draw Resources

Illustrating the story can be challenging for some students.  My assistant and I are constantly searching for books and resources that outline simple drawing steps for the students to use.  The best sites I have come across are outlined below:


Great How to Draw Site


Another Great How to Draw Site


Story Starter

Story Starter


On each page of their story book, the students were to complete the sentence displayed on the left.  I tried to reduce the amount of printing; to allow all them to be

Writing Sample One

Writing Sample One

successful.  They were to use kindergarten spelling (sound out words) and word wall words to complete each sentence.  Some of them still need to refer to the “Alphabet Writing Guide” displayed above, to help them recall what letter makes a specific sound.  Generally, most of the them do not require this support.  Other letter sounds are taught through shared reading and conferencing.


Story One

Sample Writing Two

Sample Writing Two

The page above was taken from a story where the setting is “Doggyland”.  All her characters are different types of dogs (a dog with colorful ears, little dog  and a pink dog).  We haven’t completed the stories yet.


Story Two

Writing Sample 3

Writing Sample 3

In this photograph, the author chose the setting to be a forest.


Story Three

The story on the right is (plum pudding with purple hair).  The author chose her characters to be related strawberry shortcake dolls and the setting is Berryland.


Writing Sample 4

Writing Sample 4

Story Four

This story on the left takes place in a backyard.


Our Chalk Drawings – Guided Drawing Lesson

Chalk Drawing One

Chalk Drawing One

Guided drawing lessons are regularly implemented within our plans and the Fairy Tales theme unit offered a great opportunity to for the students to experiment and practice their drawing skills.  My teacher assistant took a small group of students and discussed characters and settings found within different fairy tale stories.  The students chose one of these to draw.  The students drew the picture, added color with chalk and smudged the colors with a keenex.  After, we outlined the drawings with a black marker, cut and displayed them on the bulletin board.


Repunzal Drawinh

Repunzal Drawing

Chalk Drawing One

The artist chose to draw a castle as displayed above.


Chalk Drawing Two

The artist on the left chose to draw Repunzal.


Knight Chalk Chalk Drawing

Knight Chalk Chalk Drawing

Chalk Drawing Three

This artist chose to draw a knight.


In Conclusion

I have taught many different grades;  kindergarten and grade one are one of the most exciting in terms of witnessing growth.  It was only a few months ago when I was working with the students in hearing beginning sounds and now many of them can hear them at the beginning, middle and end of a word and print the letter that represents these sounds.  Their printing was initially scribbling and now their thoughts are expressed by using letters.  Initially, they did not know the difference between a word and letter but now they can track and read words.  This is why I love teaching!!!


More Ideas Related to the Fairy Tale Theme


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My class is really enjoying the unit on “Dinosaurs”.  Their excitement in learning is so inspirational as a teacher.  Each day I come home and reflect on how far they have come since the beginning of the year.  In this blog post I wanted to share some of their work.  We have very tight FOIP regulations (freedom of information and protection policy) so I am unable to post pictures of my students working or display their name.


Directed Drawing and Measuring 

I am fortunate to have an assistant  who is artistic and enjoys doing these type of activities with the students.  She took a small group of students and did a guided drawing lesson with them.  They drew and painted their dinosaurs.  I was very impressed with the final results. However, my assistant and I did cut their drawings because some of them were quite detailed and would have been difficult for them to cut themselves.


Integration of Math and Literacy

The students gave their dinosaur a name and printed it using inventive spelling.  I explained that names always begin with an upper-case letter and the rest are lower-case.  I am glad that I focused on teaching lower-case first because teaching the upper-case letters is a breeze now.   They are learning that upper-case letters are used in the beginning of names and sentences and the rest is done in lower-case.


Estimating and Measuring

As an introduction to the estimating and measurement  math unit, I had the students estimate how many snap cubes long or tall their dinosaur was.  I can tell from their answers that more work is needed in this area.  They wrote this on the template displayed in the photographs.  This template can be accessed in the theme unit.


Estimating and Measurement Learning Centers

I am in the process of creating my math tubs for the Estimating and Measurement math strand.  I will post pictures of these next week.


Guided Writing

I displayed the emergent reader “About Dinosaurs” on the Smart Board as a shared reading experience. We discussed the describing words  used within the reader (fast, fierce, tall, etc.).  We also worked on the sight words found within the reader: look, at and the. The “ook” word family was also the focus. Together we generated more describing words that could used when writing in their dinosaur shape book.  They came up with kid words (rainbow and polka-dotted).  A few of their writing samples are displayed in the photographs.

Each day the students will be writing a sentence about information they learned about the different dinosaurs we will be studying.  I will be using a combination of books and videos.  I have posted some of the videos I will be using in the links below:


Stegosaurus Video


Tyrannosaurus Video






 Literacy Centers

In the link below you will find different Literacy Center ideas that I will be implementing throughout the year.  I am continuously adding to these ideas.


Literacy Centers


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Valentine Craft Activity

Children will enjoy creating heart-shaped animals in relation to the Valentines theme.  This activity will allow the students to let their creativity flow.  Provide them with a heart-shaped template provided for the body and allow them to create a animal shaped face to attach to the body. The photograph to the left is an example of what they can create. If you are a member, you will have access to these templates.


Heart Shape Template

For more ideas click on the link below:

More Valentine Activities

Snowman Craft Activity

This winter craft activity allows creativity and an opportunity for your students to explore sculpturing.  This craft activity can also be transferred to other occasions. Students can make other creations such as bunnies, pumpkins or Christmas ornaments.

IngredientsMakes Approximately 7 snowmen

Note: This is an air drying clay that takes approximately two days to harden

  • 2 cups of baking soda
  • 1 cup of cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups of cold water


-Place the ingredients in a saucepan
-Stir together
-Place over medium heat and stir continually to boiling point.  Continue stirring until it becomes the consistency of mashed potatoes (fairly thick).
-Remove from heat and place on a plate to cool (place a damp cloth over it so it will not dry out)
-Once it cools; sprinkle cornstarch on a cutting board and knead the clay until it is pliable

Making the Snowman

-Form a flat circle for the snowman to be mounted (base).  This would be placed on aluminum foil to harden.
-Form three balls to make the snowman.  Features like ears, nose and hat can also be formed.
-Toothpick can be cut in half and used for the arms
-Snowman features can be painted after the snowman has dried

It will take two to three days to dry completely.

Note:  After the snowman has hardened it should be placed on a rack so the base can receive air in order to dry and harden.  Ensure the balls are tightly attached together so they do not disconnect after drying.

More Winter Craft Activities

Feature Zoo Craft

The students will really enjoy making these cute zoo animal stick puppets or masks by using the template provided.  The masks can be integrated into your drama program where the children can move and make sounds like the animals.  The templates would be traced and enlarged according to the preferred size to make either masks or stick puppets.  If you are a member of the site the prepared sized templates will be provided.


Zoo Animal Templates for Stick Puppets and Masks Craft

The templates below can be traced and sized accordingly.

Zoo Animal Templates

More zoo related activities can be found in the link below:

More Zoo Theme Activities

Stained Glass Christmas Craft

Create a beautiful Christmas stained glass picture using the coloring pictures provided from the previous blog post or from a coloring book.  This craft is very simple but looks beautiful displayed on a wall or window.  It is also a great way to recycle unused transparencies.  Many educational facilities are using interactive white boards instead of overhead projectors.  If you have unused transparencies these are perfect for making Christmas stained glass pictures.
Directions for the Project
-Find a picture from a coloring book or use the pictures from the previous blog post (if you are a member these are provided for you in the Christmas theme unit).
-Run the transparency through the copier using the pictures you selected
-Students color the picture using permanent color markers (otherwise the color will rub off)
-Place tin foil on the back
-Mount a black frame around it.  FINISHED!