Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mothers Day Crafts

I make it my personal mission to make sure that craft projects are completed to commemorate all possible occasions in my classroom. We celebrated Mothers Day on the 8th of May this year in NZ, and this was the perfect time to craft our little hearts out.

Mothers Day crafts have two pre-requisites:
1. They must look homemade
2. They must be darned cute.

I found this craft somewhere on the internet. I am sure it was, but I can't find the link anywhere. If this is your original craft idea, please leave a link to the reference in the comments section!

This photo frame is cute as a button, costs very little and is perfect for recycling jigsaw puzzles that are missing pieces. Note: the little scrap of paper says "I love you to pieces".... so, so, so cute!
First, take your popsicle sticks. Each student will need four popsicle sticks to make the frame for their photograph. Lay them out so they make a square (or other shape), and hot glue at the corners to secure. 
Now, here is the fun part! Using oil pastels, color in the backs of jigsaw puzzle pieces. Thirty pieces will do an average popsicle frame comfortably, and the average 1000 piece puzzle will make 33 frames.
Oil pastels will provide bright, vibrant and interesting colors. Of course you could paint them, but that gets messy and takes longer. Don't worry if your jigsaw puzzle pieces aren't colored in perfectly- this adds to the 'homemadeness' of the project!
Now hot glue your jigsaw puzzle pieces around the outside of your frame. If speed is of the essence, I recommend that you apply the glue and the children put the pieces on, otherwise you may need to allocate extra time/ lots and lots of hot glue guns to this project.
Once your pieces are glued on, cut out the message and hot glue it onto your frame somewhere. I printed the message out on the computer (Comic Sans, size 12). This was to avoid spelling mistakes and size issues (of lettering- in case you were wondering).
 The printed paper comes up better than anything else I tried. When we do this next time we will spray the frames with clear paint to stop the pastel from rubbing off and protect the message on the frame, but we just ran out of time on this occasion.
(picture is blanked out.... the owner is very shy!)
I printed out the children's photographs (9 pictures to an A4 page). They were the right width, but slightly too short so I backed them on colored card. I then laminated the pictures for durability. These were then hot-glued onto the back of the frame (be careful that they are up the right way!).

 These were wrapped in wrapping paper that we decorated ourselves with stamps and paint as a reading tumble activity during the week (reading and following written instructions).
Be aware that you will go through a surprising number of hot glue sticks to complete this with your class. It is also worth buying your glue sticks from a craft supply store that you trust- dollar shop sticks can mess up your hot glue guns. Here is a price break-down:
Popsicle sticks- 1 packet for $1 from local emporium
Hot glue- 10 sticks for $3 from local emporium
1500 piece puzzle- $3 from local op-shop (with heaps left over)
Oil Pastels, Laminating and Photographs from classroom resource cupboard.
Happy crafting!

Hanging Displays

I luuuuuuurve dangling displays from the ceiling. If you don't need to duck as you walk through a classroom, then there is something wrong with the classroom- or you are really short.

Hanging displays maximizes the space that you have- because lets face it- the wall space in classrooms is pitiful. I have a series of writing exemplars hanging in the classroom, and have just finished a set of 'childrens rights and responsibilities' mini posters to hang along the window. I'm sure there is many other uses, and we could all have dangly bits everywhere very soon!

So here we go- easy peasy hanging displays :)

These work best with firm materials- laminated paper or cardboard is perfect. Just punch a holes top and tail of each step of your hanging displays. Attach to each other with paper clips. Plastic coated ones paper clips are great- they don't scratch your hard work and they look better :).

Paper clips mean that they swing in the breeze, and hang nicely. They are easy to attach, just as easy to remove and are cheap... what more can you ask for!?

These wonderful printable posters can be found at