Welcome to Paula's Preschool and Kindergarten! My class blog is the place I share information about some of the fun learning activities we are doing at school. I hope to provide parents with insight into what we are doing, and why, and to share ideas with other early childhood educators. Please don't use the photos or text of this blog without permission, but please do use any ideas you find useful. Thank you for stopping by!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Torn Tissue Paper Poinsettias

Torn tissue paper poinsettias, from Paula's Preschool and Kindergarten
 As we approach the Christmas season, teachers everywhere are trying to teach children the skills they need to learn, as well as incorporating fun seasonal activities.  It isn't always easy!  Our students get more and more excited as the holidays approach, and who can blame them?  It's an exciting time of year!  Today I thought I'd share one of my go-to activities for December learning.
Torn tissue paper poinsettias, from Paula's Preschool and Kindergarten
 I always have a stash of used gift wrap tissue on hand.  Yup, used.  I remember as a child looking at all the beautiful tissue paper and wrapping paper, and wanting desperately to play with it.  I've always had this thing about paper. :-)  As a teacher, I try to remember what it was like to be a child, and to honor the spirit of my kiddos.  I also have to be budget conscious.  Reusing beautiful cast offs is one way to do both.  (After birthday parties and holidays I smooth out the tissue paper and fold it up, ready for the next craft occasion.  I've done it so long, my daycare parents know to set it aside, and often help with the folding and saving.)

Tearing is a great fine motor work out, and there is no wrong way to do it, so the children typically enjoy tearing red and green tissue paper into strips for their projects.

Torn tissue paper poinsettias, from Paula's Preschool and Kindergarten

Next they glue the tissue strips onto a plain white background, I usually use printer paper.  There's a trick to this: don't put the glue on the tissue paper, it will tear easily.  Rub your glue stick onto the background paper, then push the tissue onto the damp glue.  (Of course glue sticks are also another fine motor work out for young children, but don't tell them that!)  I encourage my kiddos to put down 4 - 5 strips of one color, then to make an AB pattern by inserting the other color between them.  We add a little crumpled yellow tissue in the middle of the poinsettia.

Trim around the edge of each strip of paper (I do this for my preschoolers, but first graders are pretty good at it), then have them glue the finished poinsettia onto a solid colored background. Ta-da!

Torn tissue paper poinsettias, from Paula's Preschool and Kindergarten

This is a fun and simple center activity your students can do by themselves or with an adult, and makes a lovely art companion to one of my favorite Christmas books, The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie dePaola.

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