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October 23, 2014

Paper Plate Turkey Craft

The one thing that's odd about about being a blogger is the fact that I have to be a step ahead in my holidays, always planning and preparing way in advance for crafts I want to do. So while Halloween isn't until next week, I already feel Halloween'ed out and I'm beyond excited to move on to Thanksgiving. A little sad, I know, but I really don't mind since I love crafting so much. That being said, we've already made a trip to the library this week and picked up some of our favorite Thanksgiving books and today we made this adorable Paper Plate Turkey.

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Supplies you will need:
1. Paint the top side of your regular sized paper and the bottom side of your small paper plate with your brown paint. Let them dry completely.

2. When your plates are dry, assist your child in stapling the small paper plate onto the large paper plate to form the turkey head and body.

3. Crumple up your brown tissue paper squares and glue them onto your turkey body to add some feather texture onto the turkey body.

4. Take your construction paper strips, add some glue to one end and fold the other end over to meet the glued end. Try not to crease the paper. Instead leave a loop like pictured below. 

5. Assist your child in stapling the paper strips to the top of your turkey to make feathers. Small children may need an adult to do this step for them. For my daughter (age 4) I put the feather and stapler in place and then let her press the stapler down.

6. Cut a beak, snood and feet out of your red, yellow and orange cardstock paper. Glue them onto your turkey, together with the large wiggly eyes.

My daughter hasn't finished her turkey yet, so I don't have a picture of what a child's completed turkey looks like yet. After painting her paper plates today she wandered to play while they dried and didn't come back to it before bedtime so she'll have to finish tomorrow. I'll update my post with her turkey once it is completed.

We picked up our favorite turkey book this week at the library to go along with this craft:

Here are more of our favorite Thanksgiving books!

You might also enjoy our Plump and Perky Turkey Craft!

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October 20, 2014

DIY Turkey Ring for Kids

I recently fell in love with the awesome DIY Spider Ring at Fantastic Fun and Learning. My daughter has been fascinated with rings lately so after seeing the spider ring I made one for her and she loved it! In fact, she loved it so much that I decided to make a Turkey version of the ring. 

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We used the DIY Spider Ring tutorial to make our Turkey ring with a few changes. See the details below.

Supplies you will need:
  • 4 fuzzy sticks or chenille stems (whatever colors you want to use) [We received our fuzzy sticks from]
  • 1 large brown pom [We received ours from]
  • 2 googly eyes
  • small piece of orange and red foam sheet
  • glue gun and/or tacky glue
1. I found it easiest to start making this ring right on my child's finger. Fold the four fuzzy sticks in half and over your child's finger. Hold them firmly in place with one hand. With your other hand, make a loop with the front fuzzy stick leaving enough slag at the bottom to wrap it around all the fuzzy sticks to secure the ring shape in place.

2. Make a loop with the second fuzzy stick (same color) and wrap the slag around the ring again. Continue doing this with all the fuzzy sticks until they are all in a loop shape and the slag is wrapped around the fuzzy sticks making a ring. 

3. Now you can bend and shape the fuzzy sticks exactly how you want. I made mine a little pointy on the end and spread the loops out to look like full feathers.

4. Use your hot glue gun (requires adult supervision) to glue a large brown pom onto the front of the ring in front of the feathers. Also glue on your two googly eyes, a triangle shaped beak made out of an orange foam sheet and a red snood made out of a red foam sheet. Tacky glue may work for this also if you don't want to use a hot glue gun. It will require drying time though.

When you are finished you are left with an adorable turkey ring. As you can see in the picture below it is large for my 4 year old, but she just loves it! She wore it the entire day today.

Here is one I made below for my 7 year old. I stuck with more fall colors for the feathers but you could let children choose whichever colors they want.

These turkey rings work perfectly as finger puppets too. You can use them to reenact some of your favorite turkey books. One of our favorites is:

A Plump And Perky Turkey by Teresa Bateman

You might also like our Paper Plate Turkey Craft!

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October 17, 2014

Static Electricity Butterfly Experiment

Static Electricity is a fascinating subject, especially for preschoolers. Every once in a while someone in my household will touch another family member after unintentionally rubbing their feet on the carpet and will give them an accidental shock. It stirs up all sorts of fun conversations about electricity. My Mom used to be a school teacher and I remember her using this fun static electricity experiment where children charged a balloon and could magically make butterfly wings flutter up and down. I decided to give it a go with my children and it was oodles of fun!      

How does Static Electricity work?

Usually, an atom has an equal number of protons and electrons. Electrons have a negative charge of electricity and protons have a positive charge of electricity. Opposite charges attract, so when materials rub together and one material becomes negatively charged and one is positively charged, static electricity results. 

Our Experiment:

To demonstrate the effects of static electricity. What will happen if we charge a balloon by rubbing it in our hair, and then hold it over tissue paper wings of a butterfly?

Supplies you will need:
  • cardboard
  • tissue paper
  • cardstock paper
  • pencil
  • scissors
  • googly eyes
  • balloon
  • glue stick
1. Start by cutting a square of cardboard. I made mine about 7 inches x 7 inches. 

2. Use your pencil to draw butterfly wings on your tissue paper. Since my cardboard square was 7" x 7", I just made sure to make them smaller than my square. Cut them out and set them onto your cardboard. DO NOT glue them onto the cardboard!

3. Cut a butterfly body out of your cardstock paper and glue it down the middle of your butterfly and overlapping it onto your cardboard. Again, DO NOT glue the tissue paper wings down. You will want the wings loose like shown in my picture below. Glue your googly eyes down onto your butterfly. I should have drawn antennae on our butterfly but I just didn't think about it at the time. You can add those if you choose.

4. Now comes the fun part. Blow up your balloon. We used water balloons that we had leftover from this summer so they were small in size, but using regular sized balloons would have been even better. 

5. Rub your balloon in your hair to give it an electric charge. Now hold the balloon on top of your butterfly, close but not touching it, and watch the wings raise and lower as you move the balloon closer and farther away.

My preschooler loved this! If the charge starts to fade, simply rub the balloon in your hair again and it's ready to make your wings flutter all over again. It was a little difficult to get great pictures of the butterfly in action because my daughter moved so quickly.

Results: Why did the butterfly wings move?

When we rubbed the balloon onto our hair, electrons were lost from our hair and gained by the balloon giving it a static charge. When the negatively charged balloon gets close to the positively charged tissue paper they are attracted to each other, and the pull of attraction is so great that the lightweight tissue paper moves toward the balloon.

This experiment is obviously not limited to only preschoolers. My 9 year old son had a great time experimenting with the balloon and butterfly. He was a little more controlled in his movements so I was able to get a couple better pictures.

This post is part of a collaborative Creative Preschool series where 4 bloggers and myself have joined together to bring you fun crafts and activities based on a common preschool learning theme. This week we are sharing ideas focused on Science Experiments.

Check out the other Science Experiment Ideas from the other Creative Preschool Bloggers:
Make Charts with Preschoolers | Pink Stripey Socks
Pop Rock Balloons | A Little Pinch of Perfect

Stop by Friday, November 7th for Fall Preschool Posts.

You might also like our Humpty Dumpty Science Activity!

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October 13, 2014

Melted Plastic Cup Pumpkins

My daughter's preschool teacher recently made melted plastic cup apples with my daughter's class. I have since decided they are the coolest thing ever! My 4 year old raved about how amazing it was to watch the cup melt in the oven so quickly and I have been eager to experience this awesomeness for myself... So when I found orange plastic cups at the store you better bet I was all over creating melted pumpkins to be just as cool as my daughter's preschool teacher (wink!).

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Supplies you will need:
1. Cut the rim off of your orange plastic cup. Place it on your baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. This will protect your baking sheet from the melted plastic. I melted 2 cups at a time on my baking sheet.

2. Heat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place your baking sheet in the oven. (Make sure your kids are looking through the window of your oven at this awesome part) You will have to watch them closely because they melt very fast. I cooked mine for 90 seconds, but depending on your oven they may need to cook for 1-2 minutes. Once the cups have melted flat remove them out of the oven. Some of mine curled slightly so as soon as I removed them from the oven I used my metal spatula to press on them lightly to uncurl them and flatten them out as best as I could. You only have a window of about 10 seconds to do this so you must work fast! You can see in my picture below that they aren't perfectly flat, they have a little bit of curvature to them, but they still resemble a pumpkin shape.

3. At this point I used a hole punch to punch a hole in the pumpkin. We cut our green pipe cleaner in half, poked it through the front of the pumpkin and twisted it around itself to attach it to the pumpkin. Curl the remaining strand around your finger to make a vine.

4. Also, glue a brown stem to the back of your pumpkin. We used a glue dot because we had them on hand, but you could also use a hot glue gun (requires adult assistance) or tacky glue.

5. Now it's time to embellish your pumpkin however your choose. Some things we used were a black marker, neon glitter glue, and glow in the dark glitter glue. The glow in the dark glitter glue turned out pretty fun. Here's a peek at our pumpkin glowing in the dark.

Here is my 4 yr old's pumpkin face she created.

Try combining this craft with

You might also enjoy our Pumpkin Cutting Practice Jack-o-Lantern Craft or our Balloon Stamped Pumpkin Patch Art.

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Preschool Halloween Crafts and Learning Activities

Holidays create a fun opportunity to incorporate crafting and learning activities into preschool. We had a great combination of both crafts, science and learning activities this past week shared from our Creative Preschool Collaborator Group and I'm excited to showcase them here in case you missed any of them.

For our activity we combined scissor cutting practice by cutting up orange straws into a textured Pumpkin Jack-o-Lantern Craft.  I always love when we are able to incorporate a learning aspect into our crafts.

Read our Pumpkin Cutting Practice Jack-o-Lantern Craft

Here are the Preschool Halloween Posts from our creative preschool buddies:

Amanda from Artsy Momma and her kids conducted a preschool science activity by self-inflating balloons into monsters and Frankenstein. Be sure to head over to see how to set up this fun experiment. They also reinforced fine motor skills and counting by adding googly eyes to Monster Printables. 

Pink Stripey Socks and her son had fun trying out a fun new painting technique while creating this darling Halloween Ghost Splat Art. Kids are sure to have a blast with this awesome splat painting technique! 

Handmade Kids Art shows us how to create a not so scary Owl Halloween Craft for Kids out of coffee filters. Make sure to check out the great list of owl books for preschoolers included in their post!
Katie from A Little Pinch of Perfect and her kids made this 5 Little Pumpkins Count and Sing Craft that even lights up in the dark. Such a fun way to practice counting! They also created a Halloween Weaving Decoration and showed us how to play a Create a Pumpkin Play Dough Game. There was lots of learning going on in their activities full of sensory, fine motor, counting and creating! 

More Halloween Crafts & Activities from the Creative Preschool Collaborators:

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