I would like to sincerely apologize for my lack of consistency with my posting lately. I'm truly trying to get myself back on track, and as of next week, I should have a more regular schedule which will actually have blogging time carved out (yay!)!
Anyways, hope you're all having a fun Sukkos. Although this isn't super preschool related, I'd like to share my latest "Craftcapade". This year is the first year we have our own Sukkah! My husband is super handy, so he went to Lowes, bought the wood for the frame and the canvas, built it in what felt like minutes (ok it was really hours, but who cares?), and then suggested that I paint the Sukkah. At first he was suggesting that I actually use a brush and paints (for those of you who don't know, I'm currently pursuing a BA in Art), but then I thought why not use spray paints? So- I headed over to Michaels, coupons and teacher card in tow (you get %15 your purchase with teacher ID) and chose my paints. I found some great Krylon paints that actually ha a vertical spray hole which was fun for the lulav in particular.
Anyways, I had a blast, and I highly recommend the experience- just prepare appropriately! I wore a pretty heavy apron and vinyl gloves, plus I had a thick newspaper to practice spraying on. Spray paint is extremely permanent so make decisions wisely, and then have fun! I sure did!
It's that fateful day! Right before the holiday, or at the end of whatever your current unit is, and you need to pack everything up and send it home, so that parents can ooh and aah over your creative genius! Now, if you've just finished a run of the mill unit- say transportation,- you'll pack up the crafts and send them home, explanations included in the newsletter. But when holidays roll around, like today when sending home Chanukah crafts, I think it's important to wrap them specially in order to convey the importance and "specialness" of the contents. It's a way to tell parents, babysitters, or whoever's picking the kids up to handle the crafts with care, and that the contents should be examined with joy and fanfare.
So how do you do it? Well, that depends on what and how much you're sending home. We sent home our Menorahs and Menorah mats today. I wrapped the menorahs in cellophane, tied them off with some repurpose fabric remnants and trims, then taped the ensemble to the Menorah mat. I placed them on each child's cubby, ad had a sign on the door asking parents to please take their child's crafts from there.
When I send home more than that, I try to find paper gift bags. If you don't have the budget for that, give the kids regular paper shopping bags, and have them decorate the bags with glitter, paint, stickers, sky's the limit! This also adds another craft to your schedule, and the kids are doubly excited to be taking home crafts in the bag they "made".
Then, a nice touch is to have the kids pack up their crafts by themselves. You can do this either by setting up the table with a bag and each child's items stacked next to it, or 1 on 1 with the kids to reinforce literacy, and have them find their crafts t place in their bag.
Finally, during your goodbye circle or routine- take one child's bag, and show the children what they'll be taking home. Go through each item, reminding them of the process and what it is. This also reinforces the kids' excitement when taking the crafts home.
So Sukkos has just passed and while the pictures are still fresh on my computer, I'd love to share them and the process of creating a fun floppy Lulav with you. Please see the end of this post for photos illustrating the more complicating steps and the finished product.
You will need:
1 green poster board
1 yellow poster board
10-15 popsicle sticks
green do-a-dot markers
lighter green construction paper
1. Cut 4 or more 1 1/2" strips of the green poster board. You may do these vertically or horizontally, depending on how tall you would like your lulav to stand. Trim the tips of one side of the strips, so that they are pointed at the center.
2. lay one strip flat and glue popsicle sticks side by side (as though you were laying bricks) to reinforce the lulav, as nobody wants a lulav that is too loopy to hold upright!
3. Add glue to the exposed sides of the sticks and press a second lulav strip to the glue. This will be the center of your lulav.
4. When dry, add your remaining lulav strips to either side of the center. Cut off a 6" piece of masking tape and wrap around all lulav strips approximately 2 inches from the bottom. This is your first "lulav ring". Add 1 or more lulav rings progressively moving upward until you are happy with your lulav.
5. Cut 2 vertical strips from the yellow poster board, also 1 1/2" wide, and then cut them in half again so that you have 4 equal strips. These will be your hadasim. You may get rid of one of the strips as we teach that there are typically 3 hadasim. Use the do-a-dot markers to dot hadasim in clusters of 3 or just all over the strips.
6. Cut one 1 1/2" vertical strip from the green poster board. Fold it in half and cut it so that you have 2 equal strips. These will be your aravos. Take the light green construction paper and cut long thin leaves to resemble aravos. Glue them to the 2 green strips.
7. You are ready to assemble your lulav! Place the hadasim on one side of the lulav, fanning them slightly, and the aravos on the other side. Cut pieces of masking tape to wrap around the ensemble. creating more rings until the lulav is appropriately secure.
Give it a few test shakes!