Thursday, March 1, 2012

Crafting: Thing 1 and Thing 2....puppets?

When our kids started getting close to the age when they go to school, we decided to move to an area where the schools were good schools. And it paid off! I have the honor to work first hand with the teachers at my kids' school. We have been blessed with some incredible teachers: Mrs. H and Mr. F, Mrs. G and Mrs. M, and the very creative and very energetic Mrs. R. I am currently serving as room mom in Mrs. R's class and am so impressed with her teaching style. So when she asked me to help her with a project for her class this week, I was so excited to be a part of it!

If you didn't already know, this week is Read Across America week. The school is celebrating this week with so many activities (I'm wearing my crazy socks as I type) in honor of Dr. Seuss's birthday on March 2nd. Mrs. R asked me to come in Monday morning to help the children make Thing 1 and Thing 2 (or whatever number they are in the class). Let me tell you, this was FUN! and easy. So very easy to do, and I'm going to have my kids do them at home as well and make puppets out of them to re-enact Dr. Seuss books. So here's how to make them:

Making Thing 1 and Thing 2

What You'll Need:

  • White construction paper (1 sheet per kid and/or character) *see note
  • Finger paint or washable paint in white, red, and blue
  • A sponge paint brush 
  • A black or blue permanent marker
  • A laminating sheet (enough for each character) 
  • A popsicle stick (for each character)
  • Hot glue gun and glue 
  1. On the left hand** paint the fingers blue and the palm white. With their fingers slightly apart, help the child firmly press her hand down at the top of the page. Pull the hand straight up so the handprint does not smudge. This will be the face (the palm) and the hair (the fingers). 
  2. On the right hand, paint the palm white and all the finger except the middle finger red. With the palm almost touching the already printed palm, and the fingers spread W-I-D-E, help the child firmly press her hand down on the page. Pull the hand straight up so the handprint does not smudge. This will be the body (the palm) and the arms and legs (the fingers). 
  3. At this point, assess the character. Did the palm not get completely printed? Take the sponge paint brush and fill in the blanks just a little. It should look like this: 

      4. Once dry, which should only take a few minutes, have the children draw, using the permanent marker,  the face of their character in the top white spot and decorate the shirt on the bottom white spot. Because this is for Thing 1 or Thing 2, the students wrote "Thing ____" (whatever their class # is) in the bottom white spot. 

     5. Laminate the sheets. This is as far as Mrs. R got in her class. I think she is going to post them around the room. I am suggesting you take it a step further if you are doing this at home. So...
     6. Using the hot glue gun, the adult will need to glue the popsicle stick to the back of the character. This should only take a few seconds to dry. 

These little guys turned out great! I love any kid-craft with handprints on them, so this is right up my alley! It was fun and easy to make, and I had a blast helping all the kids put these together. You could really do this with any type of character. Paint their palms like little shirts and their hair crazy colors. It doesn't have to be just Thing 1 and Thing 2 style. Be creative and let your (and your kids') juices flow!

*If you notice in the picture the hair turned out green? Although it was a fun quick mini-lesson in art for the kids while I was helping them, we were aiming for blue and not green. Hence the reason I suggest white paint. BUT if you still want to use the yellow construction paper (to make the colors POP), you may need to use an acrylic paint instead. Those don't bleed as easily, but are a little harder to wash off.

** You don't HAVE to paint the left hand and the right hand those specific ways. I just want to make sure you know one hand is for the body and one hand is for the head. Switch it up if it's easier for you! :)

More on Read Across America Week:
1. Seussville
2. Read Across America
3. Dr. Seuss Games and ideas 
4. Other ideas for Read Across America

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