Monday, April 30

Crafting Crocodiles for the Child

I never intended for my blog to be all about arts and crafts. This being my third craft post though doesn't really qualify it as such. Plus, I mostly leave the crafts to friends, especially one great friend who does a fabulous blog that I like. I will say it again, to remind myself, I am not a craft person. I really do not like doing crafts. I have fallen into it because I homeschool my daughter AND want to save money. My youngest daughter loves to do arts and crafts. [My oldest daughter, 6 years old, does too, but she is in a private school for now.] In fact it is the only way I can get her to learn some things. Twice a week I start out the night before or in the morning asking her what art or craft she would like to do. She always picks some sort of animal. Lately it is related to an animal she has interacted with on Sim Animals Africa, or watched on the Wild Kratz or Go, Diego Go. We then Google whatever animal she chooses and look at the images that come up. She picks the craft based on what she likes, supplies we have and if I think we can manage it.
Feeling ambitious today.
Today it was crocodiles, which included looking at alligator crafts. We learned a couple crocodile facts, then I had her practice writing her small “c” and “r” letters. I tried to incorporate some math with measuring out the size of paper, skip counting googly eyes, etc… but she caught on to it and started to zone out on me. Since working on fine motor skills is very important for her abilities I figured that cutting, painting, and applying glue was good enough. Plus, do you realize how much skill it takes to locate two matching googly eyes from a large spaghetti jar full of eyes? You have to match color, size, and features since there are some with colored eyes, pupils, and eyelashes.
The handprint crocodiles were an easy concept, but to make it really cool you have to do Spock’s Vulcan Salute and bend your thumb to your index finger. It is a great motor skill for a little one, let alone an adult.

She painted a paper plate blue too since she thinks we can make a blue alligator out of it. I haven’t decided how we are going to execute that final product yet.

The paper bag crocodiles really are a sign that I am getting a bit more artistic when it comes to creating crafts. I didn’t find a paper bag crocodile craft online. I saw paper towel ones and ones made with little 3 oz. paper cups, but nothing with a paper bag. I am learning you can make almost anything with a paper bag. I figured I would start with the bag and some of my scrapbook paper just like I used for the zebra and lions we did. I love scrapbook paper. It feeds my desire for perfection.
The scrapbook paper I use all the time for our animal crafts.
After I did all the alligator paper on the bag, I envisioned what I needed to do, not knowing if it would really work. I had to use some card stock paper on the inside to make it stronger. I did one staple in the center of the open end of the bag to create the head shape.

Did you know that crocodiles cannot stick out their tongues? We thought that was a cool thing to know so we included a pink tongue inside the paper bag alligator. Personally, I think the finished product came out really well.

I found the clothespin alligators online. They seemed easy, but after painting and 3 hours of crafts, my daughter actually got burnt out.

I wonder what we will do next time. Does anyone know of a curriculum that revolves around just animals or is all arts and crafts based? I would love to find one. I may need to find unit studies on each animal to create my own curriculum that can incorporate arts and crafts. The thing that I found was that there weren’t many animal unit studies that were isolated to one animal. I found unit studies that were of cats, dogs and horses. The rest were more about categories like sea creatures, farm animals, amphibians, reptiles, jungle, etc… She would like very specific animals, like mountain lions.  If anyone knows of a good source or has ideas, please let me know.  

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1 comment:

Amanda said...

I soooo have to get that scrapbook paper! Was thinking that when you di the zebras.