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National Craft Month – Time to Get Crafty

March is National Craft Month. National Craft Month was started in 1994 by the Craft & Hobby Association. The purpose of the awareness month is to share knowledge and ideas about crafting and encourage creativity.

crafts

While some people might consider this a commercial ploy of craft companies, this truly is the perfect time to implement craft activities into the classroom. Creative craft projects combined with content curriculum help students to build visual connections. Having hands-on projects in the classroom helps students with special needs, visual learners, and ESOL students to connect with the curriculum while be engaged and actively learning. This means that students will be learning on a higher level of Bloom’s Taxonomy.

Many arts and crafts store and companies are promoting National Craft Month by providing special sales, events, and crafting lessons and ideas. Teachers can take advantage of this opportunity to come up with new creative activities for the classroom.

Early Childhood Crafting Ideas

The Early Childhood News & Resources website compiled a list of online crafting resources for children. One of the resources found on this site is Freckles Crafts. Freckles Crafts provides all of the materials for a particular crafting project in craft kits so that there is no need to find all of the individual pieces.

Another resource is craftbits.com. This website has a plethora of craft ideas, many of which would be great for the classroom including an entire kids crafting section. I really enjoyed their recycled craft ideas because they show that you can be green and save green and still create a meaningful project. Being a computer teacher, I loved all of the creative ways that a CD could be used to make a sun-catcher, candle holder, invitation, and decorations.

Crafting Ideas from Crayola

Crayola has put together special page on their website to promote National Craft Month. This site is great because it provides lesson plans along with the craft idea to make the connections between the curriculum standards and the activity. Many of the resources are free and can be downloaded from their website like coloring pages and ecards. The Craft Ideas and Lesson Plans section contains over 200 classroom crafting ideas. Each idea includes a “why” section (what is the purpose of the craft activity), the steps to creating the craft, safety guidelines, and classroom connections along with a picture of the final craft.

One of the activities I liked was called “Fishing for Friends.” In this activity students learn about the other students in the classroom. Each student designs a fish for the pond and on the back of the fish they write something important about themselves. This would be a great activity for an icebreaker at the beginning of the school year. The fish could then be changed out throughout the school year to incorporate other activities like learning vocabulary words, math problems, historical dates, and events.

Other Kid-Friendly Crafting Websites

1. Craft Place

2. Teacher Place

3. KinderArt

4. Free Kids Crafts

5. Michael’s Arts & Crafts: Kids Crafting

Article By Laura Ketcham

Picture By FirstBaptistNashville

Free Teacher Resources | Special Education by MangoMon by MangoMon

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Grandparents Day Activities for Students

Grandparents day is Sunday, September 12th.  For a ‘fun Friday’ activity you can have students create cards or arts and crafts projects for them to give to their grandparents this weekend.  Below are a few websites with activities that would be great for elementary students.  If a student doesn’t have a grandparent, they can make the art or craft activity for their parents or for a meaningful adult in their life like a friend of the family, aunt, or uncle.  Your class could also make crafts that could then be delivered to a local nursing home or retirement community.

grandparents

Arts & Crafts

DLTK’s Kids Growing Together site has a variety of arts and craft activities for students to complete.  On this site the teacher can print out grandparent color pages, cards, doorknob hangers, paper picture frames, and special stationary paper.  They also have several craft ideas including creating a gift bag out of a small brown lunch bag, or creating a flower with a picture of the student using cupcake wrappers.  These activities would be great for student in Pre-K up to 2nd grade.

Learning about Grandparents Day

On Apple’s for the Teacher, they also have many arts and craft activities that students can complete.  For older students, they have activities where students can incorporate language arts by writing a poem for their grandparents.  There are gift ideas and activities that would actually incorporate the grandparents into an activity at school.  At my school, we have a grandparents breakfast that coincides with the opening of our book fair.  On this site, there is also an abundant of written information about the history of grandparents day and a cute link about students explaining what their grandparents are and how they are important in their life.   This site has a great list of books that would be appropriate for grandparents day reading.

Creative Last Minute Activities

On the Family Crafts page on About.com, they have a great list of ideas of how you can incorporate activities and crafts for Grandparents day into your classroom.  Many of these ideas are very easy to implement and can be completed with the typical arts and crafts materials that you already have in your classroom.  Students can create collages, draw a picture of their grandparents, and create fun certificates or coupons to give as a gift to their grandparents.  Writing activities include writing a reflection about what makes your grandparents special and writing a poem.  Other tie- ins for other subjects include having the students create a small play they can act out for their grandparents or learning how to say grandma and grandpa in different languages.

All of these activities and crafts can be adapted for different grade and ability levels.  Students can be paired up for many of these activities and act as helpers for students who may not have the mobility skills to cut paper or paste.  For the written activities, teachers can provide guidance by providing sentence or poem starters for the students.  Technology can be incorporated by having the students create cards or poems using a publishing or word processing program.  It would be great to incorporate one of these activities and then on Monday have the students share their experiences with their grandparents and what their reactions were to the great and creative arts and craft presents that they received on their special day.

– Article By Laura Ketcham

– Picture By Wm Chamberlain

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