African Jungle Animal projects

Hello Friends!

I know I write this almost every time that I post, but it just seems like time flies and before I know it, two weeks have gone by since I wrote here! Yikes!

I thought I would share the finished products from our  African unit. We actually finished this unit before Easter, but as I said, I am just now getting around to sharing!

Here are a few of our paper mache animals. Now before you say "No way, a kindergartner could not make that!", you are partially right. I create the shapes from newspaper and masking tape. 

Then, parent helpers come into the classroom to help my kiddos cover the shapes with white paper towel and paste. After the animal is completely covered with paper towel, the kids use non-bleeding tissue paper to "color" the animals. I LOVE doing it this way because the mess is all done in one step. No waiting for the shape to dry and then painting it. And there is some pretty cool commercial jungle animal tissue paper that makes coloring some of the animals a snap!

 Here are some of the finished animals.......

The kids also illustrated a book about Africa and I LOVE the way they can make a simple picture beautiful!

 We also touch a bit on African people. I think it is important for kids to know that PEOPLE live in Africa, too. This is a great time to touch upon how people are alike and different.

When talking about the people of Africa, we discuss storytelling and how masks play an important role in African stories. Here is a fun You Tube link for the African tale "A Story, A Story."

The masks that we make are EASY! Just paint a strong paper plate brown or any color that you wish. Let them dry. Then put out beads, paint, construction paper, glue, jewels......... whatever sounds fun and let your kiddos go! When the mask is dry, attach a colorful paper collar to the mask with hot glue or staples. I punched a hole in the top and hung the masks from the ceiling in front of our African animal display.

I just LOVE teaching this unit and am always so sad when it is over. I also wish I had more time with this unit because there is SO MUCH more that I would like to do. We did a giraffe mixed media painting. I wish I would have taken more pictures of them. This is the only one that I have....

Until next time!


Decorating Easter Eggs with Permanent Ink Markers - Pretty "egg"- citing!

Hello Friends,

I thought I would share this fun idea that I my kinders do around Easter time. You know how much fun it is for kids to color eggs BUT when the fun is over, what do you do with the eggs after Easter? When my own kids were little, I never allowed them to eat the eggs because I was always so afraid of Salmonella poisoning. So, the eggs would sit in the basket, we would enjoy them for a few days, and then I threw them away. What  a waste, right? Well, today I had an "ah ha" moment and it worked - yay!

I gave my kiddos a basket of plastic eggs and permanent ink markers - yes, PERMANENT ink markers! 

We discussed the hazards of getting the ink on our clothes and the table and I made them roll up their sleeves and wear a paint shirt. They used the permanent ink markers to decorate a plain plastic egg and they turned out adorable! 

The ink DOES smear when you are first applying it, so I told them to take extra care when twisting it from side to side to decorate. I showed them how to hold the egg on the top and the bottom and use their marker to decorate. They laid their finished egg on a paper plate to dry. After about an hour, the ink was REALLY permanent and did not rub off! Hurray! 

They opened the eggs, put some jelly beans inside, and added it to their bunny Easter basket. Easy peasy and pretty, too!

That's it! Fun, easy, and inexpensive!

Until next time!


My Bright Idea - Flower Power Words

Hello Friends!

I am linking up with another Bright Idea! Yay!

My kiddos have been practicing reading and writing CVC words. We use magnet letters, whiteboards, letter tiles.... all those fun manipulatives that we put in our Word Work centers for our kiddos to use. Since it is Spring and we have been talking about all things spring, I thought I would create another manipulative for them to use to form words.

I have a TON of Popsicle sticks and I mean a TON! I have plain and colored sticks and decided that I would use these to create the stem of a flower. A parent donated foam flower shapes a couple of years ago and I have been hanging on to them in the hopes that I would be inspired to use them in some way. I also have a TON of foam letters, so all these things put together made it possible to create these cute foam letter flowers! I used leftover foam to make leaves and flower centers. I found it easier to have everything ready before I made the flowers.

My  kiddos are also practicing sorting consonants and vowels. I have 2 containers; one labeled "vowels" and the other labeled "consonants." They take 2 consonants and 1 vowel and make a cvc word. A hint: Take out the y's and q's for CVC words; they complicate reading them!

I placed a small basket of CVC pictures next to the flowers that my students use to create words.


Creating the box is easy; just use colored duct tape and use it to wrap a shoe box or other small box. I completely cover the box.

Use a razor blade or box cutter to make slits in the top of the box.

I added a foam sun to the back of the box, but this is not necessary. I added a strip of polka dotted duct tape to the middle of the box and hot glued alphabet letters to the front.

 My students created CVC words with these flowers during guided reading groups and they were proud to show them off!

When they finished, they removed the word from the box and returned the consonants to the consonant box and the vowels to the vowel bucket. (I found that it made creation of the words easier for my kiddos if the consonants were placed in a basket rather than the cute box I made for them in the photo earlier in the post!)

I also thought that I could use these flowers for ABC order activities, spelling words, and CVCe words. They could play a partner game by turning the flowers upside down and taking turns picking one. When they have enough letters to make a word, they add it to their flower box. When all the flowers are gone from the pile, they count how many words were made and see who made the most!
This stores nicely in a basket and is a fun "When I am finished" activity for those kiddos who need something to do when their work is complete.

 So that's my Bright Idea, I hope you enjoyed it!

For more Bright Ideas, browse the link up below. You will find ideas from over 150 bloggers!  Click on a topic that interests you and enjoy!

Holy Week for Young Children


Hello Friends,

We are discussing the Passion of Jesus and his journey to the Cross. My kiddos are creating a booklet that is loosely based  upon the resurrection eggs that you can purchase commercially. I love doing the Passion this way because it cements the journey of Jesus in a simple way that little kids can understand without going into the painful details of His walk to the cross.

We discuss Palm Sunday and Jesus' entry into Jerusalem..... I give my kiddos the step-by-step directions for creating the pictures and they do an awesome job with them! I also use simple pictures that shows the content of each lesson. Here is an example of the picture in the book as well as the student make book. You, of course, can use any Palm Sunday picture as your introduction. I always read from my children's Bible before introducing each page.

Here is the last supper. My students created symbols of the First Eucharist rather than draw all the apostles. It just is a bit more time efficient this way!

This is Jesus' agony in the Garden. I told my kiddos that they just had to make the rock and hands, but most of them wanted to draw Jesus, too.

We do discuss Judas; even though I don't go into great detail with him. I think kids need to know about the betrayal of Judas, though, because it was because of him that Jesus was found.

We discuss the denial of Jesus by Peter. I thought the rooster would be a good symbol for this page.

Here are the suggestions for illustration of the pages....

If you are short on time and would like a black line version of the student book, I have added that as an option....

Click the image below if you would like to look at this Holy Week resource.

Until next time!