What Ms Patty and I decide on for Storytime crafts comes about in a variety of ways. Sometimes, we have certain books we are dying to include, so the craft comes after and has to fit in with the theme. Sometimes, the craft dictates the storytime - i.e. We did alot of painting crafts already so maybe we should do playdough or collage, etc.
Sometimes, we find something wonderful on Pinterest or on a storytime blog.
Then there are the times when we want to do what we want to do, and just aren't finding the right craft, so we make it up. Then you better watch out and not disturb us because the wheels are in motion! This happened last week when we were set on doing books about puffins, and couldn't find a craft we liked.
Ms Eileen came across a photo in Google images of an actual puffin costume made out of fabric, etc. But it had a cute head, so of course, we thought: let's make hats!!! Our kids LOVE to make hats as crafts. It took an hour while we were working on the desk to get it just right (don't tell our Director!). The eyes had to be in the right place, the top couldn't be too pointy or look like a pilgrim. Here's the prototype:
Next comes the setup - how are we going to do this craft so the kids can take it home dry, and we can fit in all the great books we want to do? (Plus we wanted the kids to be able to watch a puffin cam we found online that showed a baby change from an egg to a fluffy ball of fur, to a youngster!)
Puffins of Seal Island, Maine
We decided to have the kids paint their puffin beaks before doing stories so it would have time to dry. They practiced making the correct stripes on scrap paper first. The key was to not let them have a lot of paint (too gloppy!). We were amazed at the differences in ability depending on the children's ages. Eileen's 4s & 5s were clearly better at painting stripes, but even within that group, some 4s couldn't make full stripes across the beak, while a few of the youngest ones still wanted to 'color' the beak instead of making the stripes. Or some made stripes that didn't reach from end to end. We just love seeing the different stages of development in things as simple as stripes. Kids are amazing!
And finally, our cutie-pie kids playing puffin. They had a ball, some had puffin parades, and some just enjoyed talking to each other in 'puffin'. Cuter than muffins! ;)