Friday, March 22, 2013

Another REAL "Flannel Friday": Three Little Fishies

A couple of weeks ago I was doing a Dr Seuss program and needed something extra to add to it. I was thinking about One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, but knew I didn't want to use it. But it made me think of another old novelty song I love--a song I'm sure Ted Geisel knew well: "Three Little Fishies".
(It was a novelty hit for bandleader Kay Kyser in 1939)

  I've done the song at programs before, usually with 3 kids wearing foam fish hats, plus another wearing this shark visor I made. But that's usually during summer programs when I have lots of 3 and 4 year olds who can stand in front of a large group. The rest of the year, I'm in a small room with more 2 year olds than 3 or 4 year olds!

So I found a quick pattern on a website for a fish and made 3 little fish-red, blue and yellow. Then I enlarged the pattern to make the purple Mama Fish:

They have wiggle eyes,and I just drew on their smiling mouths with a Sharpie. The whole thing took minutes.

The shark was another matter. After struggling over several that just didn't look scary enough, I ended up just cutting out a paper shark I printed from a pattern and glued a strip of felt to his back so that he'd stick to the board!  He's not very durable but he worked fine and the kids squealed in delight when they saw him:

Since the 3 little fishies have to swim back to their mama, they are two sided. This is why I used felt. I really like making these boards with foam, but foam requires magnets to stick to my board, and they would have showed on the reverse side:

If you don't know the song, here it is, courtesy of that treasure trove of these old novelty songs perfect for programs: The Muppet Show!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Easter Eggs: Or Once Again, Simple Crafts Are Best

I found a marvelous textured egg craft on a web site. Three cut out eggs on a page. One was covered in multicolored cotton balls, one in buttons and a third in looped chenille stems/pipe cleaners. Nice, but too structured in my opinion for my afternoon group, where I have kids as young as 3 and old as 6.

I also saw a number of "stained glass" eggs, where you use my old favorite clear Contact paper, have the kids put tissue paper or such on a shape, and then cover with a second cut out shape.  Cute, but again, more rigid than this anarchist children's librarian wanted.

So instead, I cut out egg shapes with Contact paper,laid them sticky side up on the tables, and set out buttons, some shredded gift basket paper, strips of tissue paper in various colors and lots of foam shape bits. I provided scissors if the kids wanted to cut the paper. And that was it.

The lovely thing with the Contact paper, of course, was no glue was needed. They simply placed their bits and pieces on the egg and they stuck. And when they were done, I cut out a second egg shape and sandwiched their art work between the layers.

The result was everything from one young lady's carefully laying strips of tissue paper in a pattern, then  cutting off the excess, to one of my youngest 3's beautiful button design, to some wonderful collages.
Each was unique, each was creative and each was beautiful

And all I had to do in advance was gather the materials and pre-cut the eggs, each one taking just seconds to do.

This is how crafting should be, and too often isn't. The kids had a great time, I only had minimal work to do, and the results?

Well, take a look at these photos and judge for yourself!
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