Across the country, a majority of students are leaving behind their favorite outdoor activities to return to the classroom. Many of them are probably doing so reluctantly, so it's important to find ways to keep them engaged. Crafts are a great opportunity for younger students to explore their creativity and develop fine motor skills. The following ideas provide a starting point to help form early lesson plans.
No matter what age your kids are, they will likely be reading a number of different books throughout the school year. Customized bookmarks are not only a practical option, but they give kids total freedom to make a bookmark that means a lot to them. Younger students might make crude stick figures while older students can create more elaborate landscapes.
What will you need? Every school has a different budget for art supplies, which makes this project practical. As Southern Maryland Newspapers describes, you can work with simple thick cardstock, glue and markers, or you can add felt, ribbon, or other craftstore items as you please. For younger children, it is a good idea to precut the bookmarks into 8-inch long and 2.5-inch wide strips. For older students, you can encourage them to use rulers to let them practice measuring objects.
Educational Coloring Prints
Over at Vanessa Brady's Tried & True blog is a post about using coloring prints for kids. Though her idea is for a specific template she has created, these coloring prints provide tremendous flexibility to evolve into any kind of lesson plan. All you need is a little bit of time to create your own design, a copier to make copies for the students, and coloring supplies.
One good example project might be a refresher course on colors and shapes. On a given page you can include a series of shapes. You can work with students by calling out a particular shape and asking them to color it a certain color. For instance, you can say you want them to color the square green. If this exercise is too difficult for some, you can easily adjust things by labeling each shape or writing the name of a color inside of the shape.
There are really an endless number of ideas to engage kids on the first few days of school. Check out this Pinterest board for more inspiration! No matter what you decide as a teacher, any creative activity helps ease the transition from the backyard to classroom and builds trust that will last throughout the school year. Feel free to share your favorite tried-and-true craft ideas below!