Friday, March 21, 2014

Itsy bitsy spiders and green, speckled frogs

If you have young children, there's a good chance that you have sung The Itsy Bitsy Spider and Five Green and Speckled Frogs many, many times. As I childcare teacher for the past nine years, I'm in the same boat. This month I created a bulletin board for each of those songs, and I think they turned out pretty cute, if I do say so myself.


This might just be one of my all-time favorite bulletin boards. The brick background is from a roll of bulletin board paper. I hand drew and cut out the downspout and grass, and the toddlers helped make the rest. They glued cotton balls on the cloud shapes and decorated the flowers with dot paints. But I think the highlights are the raindrops and, of course, the spiders.

To make the raindrops, the toddlers used sponges to paint dark blue and turquoise paint on light blue paper. I cut out the tear-drop shapes and taped them onto pieces of fishing line. I tied the top of each piece of fishing line to a push pin to add a little dimension and give them a little space to move. I did have to weight each strand with a penny taped to the back of the bottom raindrop; without the extra weight, the strands curled up because the paper wasn't heavy enough.

To create the spiders, we used handprints. For each toddler, I painted the palm and four fingers on one hand with black paint and then pressed it on white paper. I wiped the paint off that hand (important step!) and repeated with the other hand, lining up the second handprint so the bottoms of the palms were touching.

Once the paint was dry, I cut out the "spiders." I always let my toddlers put on their own googly eyes, so you never know where they'll end up. But that's what makes them extra cute.


This bulletin board is a close second in terms of favorites. The cloudy sky and blue water are bulletin board papers (although I added the dark blue waves). To make the log, I drew the shape on a large piece of brown packing paper with a permanent marker. (It was paper from an old Stampin' Up! order, actually. I've used that packing paper more than once on bulletin boards.) The paper was large enough to cover our table, so all the toddlers painted together -- some on the log, and some on the rest of the paper -- and then I cut out the log.

I wasn't exactly sure how to go about making five green and speckled frogs when I only have four toddlers, so I improvised. They each made a frog, and I made the legs of a fifth frog, jumping into the pool.

To make the frogs, each toddler painted white, yellow and green paint onto a piece of bubble wrap, popping a few bubbles along the way. When they were done painting, I placed a frog shape on the paint and had them help me rub over the paper to create the "speckles." We added the eyes when they were dry.

We made some "most delicious bugs," colored with markers, to finish off the scene. I folded up the wings on the bugs before adding them to the bulletin board to create some dimension.





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