Friday, August 31, 2012

SRP 2012: Wacky Wednesday (Part 3) | Nocturnal Animals/Things that Go Bump in the Night!

The subtitle of this post shall be: Miss Angela Cuts Out Ten Thousand Triangles.

Did I cut out ten thousand triangles? Technically, no. Did it feel like I cut out ten thousand triangles? Ohhhhhhh yes.

For the final week of our Wacky Wednesday program, we decided to combine two of the themes we hadn't been able to use yet: Nocturnal Animals and Things That Go Bump in the Night. (And yes, I am once again going out of order, because I have lots of pictures for this week!)

Now, back to the triangles! Miss Jan and I had seen these adorable construction paper owls and immediately decided we wanted to use them as one of our crafts. Now, considering our very high turnout each week, and seeing the number of triangles that ended up being used for each of these owls, I made it my mission to cut out All The Triangles. All of them. Honestly, we have some kind of terrifying automatic paper cutting machine upstairs in our office, but I didn't think cutting out over a thousand triangles would take THAT long, so I just opted to do it myself. (No, Miss Angela. Miss Angela, no. You are WRONG.)

Haha, interminable triangle-cutting aside, these owls turned out GREAT. (And, of course, we had SO many triangles left over. Oh well. I would rather have too many than not enough!) The kids really went to town with them, resulting in a slew of what I like to call 'Picasso' owls.

 I loved seeing all the different takes on the owls! I think we have the most fun when we focus on projects that are more about the process than the final product, and this definitely felt like one of those.

So, the owls were a 110% thumbs up!

Next, we were inspired by these lovely fireflies, though we decided to put our own spin on them.

This is Miss Jan's sample. It's hard to tell in the picture, but we added a little bit of glitter to the wings, and it really jazzed up the craft!

This was probably my VERY favorite firefly; it's not every day you see one that has a nose!

Another one, with lovely, sparkling wings!

Our final Nocturnal Animal craft was a raccoon mask, (inspiration here).

I only have a picture of the template for this one, but there wasn't too much variation across the board. We cut the paper plates ahead of time, and traced the black sunglasses shape. We also went ahead and punched holes for the eyes, instead of using googly eyes, so that the kids would be able to see through them. Definitely the quickest craft of the day, but fun!

And finally, we finished up with blow paint monsters! I saw this post linked on Pinterest awhile ago, and it remains one of my very favorite things.

This one is Miss Jan's template - isn't he cute? Haha, I think he looks like a sea creature, a bit. 

The blue paint was a bit too thick when we first mixed it, which is probably clear from the picture. I like my paint watered down enough so that you can get some really awesome spidery branches. For this project, we just used your basic tempera paints mixed with water. Then we had our amazing volunteers go around and dribble a bit of each color on the kids' papers. In retrospect, we could have given them more paint, probably, and we ended up doing second rounds for people who didn't get enough the first time, but we were pretty focused on trying to keep the mess minimal.

Ahhhh, a terrifying monster! In the interest of keeping the program fast-paced (since we had numerous squirrely toddlers to contend with) we just gave the kids googly eyes to stick on, but I did love the idea of the kids being able to cut accessories from paper to give their monsters that little something extra.

And a final bunch of this week's crafts!

 I had a GREAT time with this week's projects. Since it was our final week, we'd had plenty of practice setting up, which really enabled things to run smoothly. I'd say this was maybe the smoothest program of the summer, despite it clocking in at four crafts!

I'll be posting about our superhero program next, so keep an eye out for that!

Monday, August 20, 2012

SRP 2012: Wacky Wednesday (Part 2) | The Night Sky!

And here we are with Wacky Wednesday Part 2: The Night Sky! This is another week with fewer pictures than I would like, but this time I actually have a good reason for it. That is, a reason that does not involve me simply forgetting the camera!

Somehow, Miss Jan and I completely failed to realize that since July 4th fell on a Wednesday this year, the library would be closed on the actual holiday. This led to some last-minute scrambling, as we decided to bump our "night sky" theme up a week, since we preferred to have it the week before the 4th, as opposed to the week after. We had a few activities and crafts in mind, but not all that much set in stone, since we thought we'd have an entire extra week of planning. And since nothing was too terribly set in stone, we (of course) managed to change our minds on almost every single craft approximately two days before we had to have them ready! Because we are awesome.

While clicking around, hoping for inspiration to strike, I stumbled across this amaaaazing depiction of Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Night:

Super beautiful and fantastic, right? Unfortunately, also waaay beyond the scope of our program. But while I was looking at this, I couldn't help but think about other ways we could do a 'Starry Night' of our own. And then I remembered salt painting!

Hah, not quite as impressive as the quilling, mayhaps, but well-suited to the age group we had, and lots of fun besides! We used black paper and watered down acrylic paint, which resulted in some really awesome, vibrant colors, and also meant we didn't have to worry about getting liquid watercolors! (We tried food coloring, but it was way too light.)

We decided against eye droppers, too, and just gave the kids those thin paintbrushes that come with every set of kids' paints ever. Those worked perfectly! They let the kids transfer enough of the thinned paint to color their pictures, but didn't completely soak the paper.

Our second activity was creating a "mural" of the night sky. We rolled out a huge sheet of black paper along three tables, then set out some chalk and let the kids have at! This wasn't a terribly time-consuming project, but I think it turned out really cool.

The chalk showed up well against the black paper, and you could also smear it for a neat effect. Once the entire paper was full, we hung it up in the hallway, behind our book tables!

My favorite part was probably the many suns that turned up in this version of the night sky!

And finally, we have our last craft, which is also the reason I have so few pictures of this week.

We made rocket ships! We got the instructions from Family Fun, and they turned out AMAZINGLY. Once you get the hang of launching them, they really fly! We even set up a launching site for the kids, to see who could send their ships flying the farthest.

Now, you might be wondering why this craft so severely impacted our picture taking. WELL. See that little circle where the kid has drawn in a face? We decided it would be cute and oh-so-personalized to take pictures of all of our kids, then cut them out so they could put themselves in the peep hole of their rocket ship. Unfortunately, we not only overestimated how long it would take to snap all the pictures, then upload them to our not-always-fast computers, but we didn't count on everyone being finished with their crafts so quickly! This was our shortest program of the summer; half an hour after we started, I had people wandering down to the children's room to ask if the pictures were ready to go yet, which they most decidedly were not. I eventually got MOST of the pictures handed out, after some serious scrambling, but it basically kept me tied to the desk until the very end, meaning I didn't get any pictures of the program. Still, the rocket ship cup was a big hit; I would absolutely do it again, probably just not with the individualized pictures this time.