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Make Fall Frames

Show off all you have to be thankful for in this adorable frame….I am talking about your family!  So, I have a super crafty friend who had us over to make these adorable frames for Halloween. I chose paper that could be kept up for the fall and Thanksgiving, simply because I like to do less decorating and have less storage.

Fall Frames

These are simple and are a great craft for children and adults alike. The frames with a family picture or child’s art work make a perfect gift for family or the Thanksgiving hostess this year.

What you need:

Wood frame (the one I used is a dollar frame from Michaels

Wood cut out (pumpkin used in pictured frame)

Scrapbook paper (I used 12×12 to have the two frames match)

paint

paintbrush

adhesive (glue)

sandpaper

scissors and Exacto knife

This is the back of the frame and you can paint before or after paper is applied.

If you choose before,  leave time for drying before you complete the craft.

Back of the FrameWhat to Do:

First paint the inside and outer edges and allow to dry.

During this time, cut the paper to fit whole frame. This will not be perfect and can be cut closer to edge with exacto knife and will then be sandpapered to get that smooth look on the edges.

Smear glue onto front of wooden frame and place paper on to dry. Cut out the middle square with an exacto knife and then smoothing the edges with sand paper.

Repeat the same process with your chosen wooden cut out and glue to your frame when it is all dry. I placed the pumpkin in different locations, you can also print the year or family name onto the wooden cut-out. I kept mine plain in case I wanted to change the picture in the future.

Here are the edges of the frame after the sandpaper.

Fall Frame

These frames are so inexpensive and can be used throughout the year. The same craft above can be used for all holidays with the appropriate paper. Think of all the beautiful paper for Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, birthdays and vacations. Check out other ideas for these frames such as the summertime Life is a Beach frame and the Nuts and Bolts Father’s Day frame.

These frames can be used for girl scouts, birthday parties and in classrooms for parents gifts. Of course, if you choose to use paper get some adult helpers for the exacto knife part. But, children of all ages can do some variation using these frames. Happy decorating!

A Flag Worth Waving

“In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt

There are many reasons in America to wave your flag. Here is a simple idea to show your pride and instill some tradition in your children. A dear friend of mine had us over for Fourth of July and gave us blank linen flags to take home and write words that we thought would show our feelings of the brave men and women on the

Fourth of July.

Blank Mini-Flag

When we returned home with our blank flags, we read Star Spangled Banner by Peter Spier and then wrote with Sharpie marker onto our mini-flags.

Each year on Fourth of July, Veterans Day and Memorial Day we display these in a glass jar with confetti, curling ribbon or whatever I have on hand.

This activity is ideal for classroom or homeschool children when learning about american symbols. It may be used for Flag Day, Fourth of July, Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day. Flag day is in June and falls during National Flag Week. Search your area for flag raising ceremonies and celebrations. The National Flag Day Foundation is focused on educating and organizing activities and events that honor the country.

Flag Facts:

-On June 14, 1777 the continental congress changed the symbols on the Grand union flag to a new design. The new flag had thirteen stars, one for each state at the time, in a circle on  a background of blue and also had thirteen red and white stripes.

-The United States flag is also called “Old Glory” and “Star Spangled Banner.”

-The modern flag has fifty stars, one for each state and thirteen red and white stripes for the original thirteen colonies.

-Flag Day is observed on June 14th.

Four Seasons Paper Plate Craft

How to Make a “Four Seasons” Paper Plate Craft

What you will need:

White, plain paper plates

Construction paper (green, brown)

Glue

Cotton balls

Crayons or markers

Hole punch

Yarn or pipe cleaners

Tissue paper

This is a fun craft project to go with learning about the seasons. It can be done over several days or as you speak about each season and then display the while craft at the end. This would be appropriate with help for preschool age kids and also for kindergarten and first grade students. Classroom teachers could use this lesson in center time.

To make the Craft:

Winter

Cut out tree with brown construction paper, color background black and ground white (leave blank), glue cotton balls or torn white construction paper for snow.

Spring

Cut out trunk in brown construction paper, color background, crumple small tissue for new buds and glue on branches.

Summer

Color background on paper plate, cut and glue brown tree trunk and cut out green tree tops.

Fall

Color background, cut out brown tree trunk, green leaves and glue falling leaves.


Hanging the paper plate season craft:

Hole punch the top and bottom of paper plates, have children use pipe cleaners to attach together. For younger students, the parents or teacher may need to tie the plates together. On the top plate make a loop to hang on the wall. These hang nicely at home or in the classroom.

Books and Poems:

There are many books, songs and poems about the seasons and each can be used for literature and the thematic unit. Children can make their own poems for each season, which can also be displayed along with the craft or made into a seasons book. Teachers can create thematic books and folders to compile all of their thematic papers and art to take home neatly at the end of the seasons study.

Four Stories for Four seasons by Tomie dePaola

Arctic Winter, Arctic Summer by Reid and Canizares

Scholastic offers many choices

Moonstick: The Seasons of Sioux by Eve Bunting

Music:

Listen to Vivaldi during craft time. For further discussion, have children listen to corresponding season and dance and feel the music and discuss how it reminds them of certain month or season.

Studying the seasons of the year has science and more behind it, this craft and introduction to the seasons is ideal for younger students at home or in school.

Veterans Day Celebration

Honoring military veterans, the holiday Veterans Day falls on November 11th.  This is the anniversary date of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War 1.  In the 1950′s the name of the holiday Armistice Day was officially changed to Veterans Day to honor all veterans.

Each Veterans Day check your local area for celebrations, parades and activities.

Here are a few things and activities to do with your family at home:

IDEAS:

READ STORIES (Appropriate for age)

My favorite book is The Wall by Eve bunting. Most of her books are my favorite!

  • Activity Idea:  In the story they make a rubbing of the name on the wall, you could place objects like a quarter under paper and rub with the side of a crayon to make your own  rubbing.

Books about Flag

  • Design flags
  • Write words/phrases on flag as below that have to do with story read or Veterans Day

Here is the plain flag that was bought from the store. The child could draw or paint the flag and then write on it when it is dry.

The words were written on the flag with a fine point sharpie permanent marker.  The words below were written by an eight year old boy who studied the civil war in his second grade class and also had just read the Star Spangled Banner.  That may explain some of his words he chose to write on the flag!

WRITE LETTERS

  • Design notes and letters to send to troops or veterans.
  • Younger children draw pictures and have the adult write a short message and note the child’s name and age.  If the child would like a certain message, put quotes around the message along with child’s name.

If you do not know anyone to send letters to, we  have found troops to send to through churches, local VA medical centers and check with local retirement center for veterans that would like to receive notes of thanks.

RESEARCH

Older children can research American war heroes such as George Washington. Have them write or present their findings. They could even act out the part for a meaningful experience they will not forget!  Give some creative free choice on how to present the material, children (and students) always amaze me how creative they can be when allowed the time.

Recipe For Friendship Writing Activity

The beginning of the school year is the perfect time for children to discuss and write about what friendship “looks” like.  This is a great writing activity and a way for classroom teachers to start creating the community of friends and learners they desire for the rest of the year. In a classroom, these pages could be collected and copied into a recipe book for each to take home or just to keep in the class library. The same thing could be done for a family, small group organization such as Girl Scouts etc.

Back to School Celebration

As the children head off to school you may feel relief or sadness. Either way, make the first day a special and memorable time for them!  Start the tradition of a first day celebration.  Invite a few children over after school for a small get together and yummy snack.

Ideas:

Bake cookies: Prepare cookie dough ahead and have children cut out shapes, letters and numbers. Bake, frost and enjoy!

Homemade popsicles and swim or run in sprinklers:

Use popsicle molds or ice cube trays to freeze any juice or nectar. Make a creamy treat by adding ice cream. Use one cup juice (we like orange) and 1C vanilla ice cream, stirred together until runny but not liquid, and pour that into the mold to refreeze.  For a yogurt treat, blend plain yogurt and fruit (you can add powdered sugar to taste) and pour in molds to freeze.  There are many popsicle recipes, that include sugars and gelatin to make the popsicles not melt as fast, but we just keep the ingredients simple.

Design a scrapbook for the school year. Have everyone design a cover page and a first day page.  Take pictures at school to add later. Use pre-made scrapbooks or use a binder with page protectors to add to throughout the year.  This is a good place to keep school papers, pictures, and report cards.

Design a frame:  Make frames and decorate. Take a picture of child and friends to place in frame.

A mellow evening with just the family. Order pizza and eat a picnic style dinner outside, give each child  journal or new book to read that night as a family.

Creative Writing Ideas for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving was not an official holiday until 1863 when President Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November “a day of thanksgiving and praise.”

75 years later, in 1939, President Roosevelt set Thanksgiving one week earlier to lengthen the shopping period before Christmas. Finally, in 1941, Congress ruled that the fourth Thursday of November was going to be the legal federal holiday to celebrate Thanksgiving.

A few writing ideas for a classroom or family at home:

Pretend you are president. Write a proclamation for Thanksgiving Day.  When do you think it should be and how should we celebrate?

Make up your own holiday and describe what should be done on that day.

Read a book about the Mayflower’s trip to America. Write about what it would be like on the Mayflower. If you could only bring one or two items from your home, what would it be?

Keep a Thanksgiving journal. Every year, write the things you are most thankful for and let each member of the family contribute. What a neat tradition and keepsake to look at every Thanksgiving!

Craft Ideas for First Day of School Pictures

Holiday Napkin Rings

These simple napkin rings jazz up any celebration and a perfect craft for the little ones to help out during any holiday, especially Christmas and Thanksgiving.  A great center idea for the classroom, and makes a nice gift for mom and dad.

Cut paper tubes (paper towel rolls or wrapping paper tubes) into desired width. We cut about two inches wide. Then decorate the rings to match the holiday!

  • Choose paint colors and sponge paint the rings. Allow the rings to dry and then roll a napkin and insert it through napkin ring.
  • Use glitter glue, buttons, confetti or other items to decorate.

If you use paper napkins you can decorate those too.

Spin A Web

This easy craft is fun and children love to dip the string in paint!

Dip string into white paint.  Press the string between two sheets of black or a dark color construction paper.  Then, remove the top paper and string.  The design will look like a spider web.  Just in time to decorate for halloween.

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