Teachers: Classroom Craft & Art Project Ideas For The Elementary Grades (More Than Just Using Crayons!)
As teachers, we are always looking for new creative things to do with our students. Whether it be a gift for mom or dad, or just something fun to do with them in the classroom, here are ideas for creative art projects and crafts for the elementary classroom.
Crazy Colored Crayons
Kids are always looking to mix and match colors together, so instead of having 24 crayons out on their desks, why not have just one? If you don't already have a "injured crayon" box in your room, you may want to get one. What kids do is put their "injured" or small, cracked, or broken crayons into this box. If a child is missing a crayon of a certain color, they can look in this box and possibly find one to use. If you have a box similar to this, you're already a step ahead. Take all of these injured crayons and put them on the floor around all of your students. Have them pick a few colors (you decide how many based on how many crayons you have) so they can make their own multi colored crayon. Have them place the colors in the pan and somehow, you must label the pan. I drew a diagram and put their names in the pan holes on the paper. Bake the crayons at 230 degrees for 15 minutes and boom! New crayons for all! Kids love them because they never know what color they will get!
Melting Crayon Canvas
This is a really neat art project to do with all ages. You can make any shape or any size you choose. Here's what you need. First you need an art canvas to put the crayons on. Then you need crayons. Here's how easy it is. Have you class decide on a design, or 2, and simply glue the crayons on the canvas where they belong. What you can do is decide on a design and then have the students each glue a crayon on the canvas to where they want it. Using a hair dryer, melt the crayons so that the wax runs downward. This means you'll probably need to turn the canvas a few times. After that it's done! Simple and easy! Hang it in your classroom as a reminder of what you've done together!
Home Made Finger Paints
Finger painting is always fun, especially for little kids. Want to make your own colors? Here's what to do: Mix together 3 tablespoons of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 cup of corn starch, and 2 cups of water. Combine these ingredients in a pan over the stove. You only want to warm them, so don't use high heat! You will warm the mixture until it thickens, cool it, and pour it into containers adding food coloring to make desired colors. Have fun!
Ever hear of a button balloon? Well, now you have! This is another fun and easy craft, mainly for 2nd graders and up. First, you need to blow up a balloon and tie it for each student (if they're young enough that they can't). Next, have an array of buttons ready for the students to pick from. You'll need a lot of buttons so they can cover the whole balloon if they want to. Have them glue the buttons on the balloon in the pattern they decide. Be careful! When finished gluing the buttons on, allow them to dry completely (probably overnight). You can have the students pop, or you can pop the balloon the next day with a small pin, and the buttons are left!
Want an ooey gooey snack to munch on? Why not try some straw worms! You can even have your kids make them.
Create tasty, edible worms. This recipe is simple and great for Halloween, April Fool's, or anytime you feel like snacking on wormy goodness! If you can make jello, then you can make these cool looking worms.
2- 3 oz packs Raspberry jello
3/4 cup whipping cream
3 cups boiling water
15 drops green food coloring
100 flexible straws (or enough to fill your container)
Tall container (1 quart or 1 liter carton of milk)
Make the Jello.
Let it cool to lukewarm and then add the whipping cream and 15 drops green food coloring to the Jello mixture.
Gather your straws (don't forget to pull them out so the necks of them are apart) and put them in the container. It's important that the straws have a tight fit so the jello stays in the straws.
Add the Jello to the straws in the container and let it sit until it firms.
Now, removing the worms from the straws. You can roll a rolling pin over the straws and squeeze them out, or hold them over warm water. Believe it or not, the worms come right out!
Tattle monsters are a great way to keep your students away from tattling, and if they do need to tattle, it won't take up any of your time =) Gather up enough tissue boxes for each student. You can also bring in styrofoam egg cartons (to use for eyes), and other craft materials; tissue paper, construction paper, paint, etc. Have each student decorate a tattle monster box and put their name on it. If a student has a tattle, they can simply write it down and place it in the box instead of telling you! If it's really important they'll write it, if it's not worth writing they won't! You can even have mini contests like whoever tattles the least gets a prize. It really works!
This is a great activity for the younger kids, especially if you are learning about fish or aquatic creatures. Bring in enough cd's to have one for each student. Also, bring in gems of all colors to glue on. Have construction paper ready (maybe even fins and a mouth and tail traced depending on the age) and have them make their fish! Glue the gems on the cd and the fish's features on as well and they have their very own fish!
I Spy Bottle
An I Spy bottle is a great thing to have for idle time in the classroom. You can make one or two, or you can have each student make one. All you need is rice, a jar or bottle (soda bottles are good) and objects. If you're making one, have each student bring in a small object to put in the bottle or jar. Write down on a list what each child brings, so they know what to look for. Then, fill the bottle or jar almost up to the top with rice. Have each student drop in objects along the way as you're pouring in the rice, to mix them in. When you're finished, keep the list with the bottle, shake the bottle up, and have them start looking!
If you have them each make one, have them each bring in a soda bottle, bag of rice, and objects (however many you want them to). Have them follow the same steps as above; writing down what they bring in, filling the bottle and dropping objects in at the same time, and then shaking it. The can exchange bottles with each other for new challenges!
Home Made Puffy Paint
Need some puffy paint for your classroom? Here's how to make some:
Mix together 1 cup of salt, 1 cup of flour, and 1 cup of water. Add food coloring to the mix for a desired color. Place in a squeezable container for use for the classroom!
Soda Bottle Flowers
This is a fun activity to do with young ones, and can be done for Mother's Day or the Firth Day of Spring, etc.
You'll need soda bottles, paint, and paper. Put the paint in bowls big enough to fit the bottom of the soda bottle in if you have them dip the bottle. Have the students dip their soda bottles into the bowls of paint laid out for them, or have them use a paint brush to paint the color on the bottom of the bottle. Using the bottle as a stamper, stamp the paper and see the flower it makes! They can make a picture of flowers and then add to it, or just keep the flowers!
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