Saturday, June 5, 2021

Classroom Campfire

Pinterest has a lot of ideas on how to make a fake indoor fire, and I immediately fell in love with the idea. I already had left over cardboard tubes from paper towel rolls, scraps of tissue paper and cellophane, old Christmas lights, and scrap mat board. All I had to buy was a $2 wreath from the dollar store to serve as a fire ring. I cut out a circle from the board and hot glued it to the bottom of the wreath with a hole off to the side to pull the end of the string of lights out. Then I nestled the rest of the lights in the center. I spray painted the tubes and used brown marker to make the bark texture, before gluing some them around the edge and towards the center to make a tee pee. Then it was just a matter of tucking in the tissue and cellophane with the red in the center, then orange and yellow towards the outside.
I look forward to sitting around it as a class for story time, song time, or maybe just keep in the corner for quiet work time.

Percussion in a Bottle

Old pill bottles turn into homemade music makers in a matter of minutes by simply filling with uncooked rice, beans, pasta. I used colored masking tape around the side of the lid and half way down the bottle for a stripped patter. I glued construction paper circles hot glued to the top of the lid to match the color of the tape, and then smaller decorative tape added a little pattern. Students can use the shakers to keep time with songs during dance or singing time. 
Baby food jars are another free option to fill with things to make sound. This works better for older children because they're less likely to drop and break the glass. Someone gave me a bunch of pecan shells and I found that those made a nice sound.
I spray painted the jars and glued discarded wall paper around the sides for decoration. It can be fun to guess what is inside (plastic beads, sand etc, can add more variation). 
I also made some jingle sticks by just threading jingle bells into a pipe cleaners and wrapping them around dowels. It only takes seconds to make these.
Kids can use their percussion instruments in a drum circle to echo any rhythms heard, or to make sound on the down beat of a song. It's a fun way to add motivation, participation and movement to a music activity without spending a lot of money, using a lot of prep time, or taking up a lot storage space between usage.