Jenny's Library

Archive for the ‘Programming’ Category

Craft time again!

Today’s craft is another step by step one and…well, it doesn’t really have a name. I use it when we are reading stories about colors.  It’s a raincloud with a rainbow sort of, um, falling from it.  It doesn’t make much sense, but it looks cool and is fun to make and gives kids and parents a chance to sort and talk about colors.


Materials needed for each child:

sheet of white construction paper

about 15 cotton balls

construction paper strips, about 1 by 9 inches, in red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple


glue bottle



Step 1: Draw a cloud on the white paper.*


Step 2: Cut out cloud.*


Step 3: Glue colored strips onto the bottom of the cloud.


Step 4: Glue cotton balls onto the cloud.


*I will usually do step one for the kids by drawing a cloud template onto card stock, cutting it out, and then having volunteers trace it onto the right number of sheets.  You can also have the volunteers cut out the clouds too.

I have a little something different for you all today – a craft!

(Don’t get too excited, it’s meant for four year olds.)

Back when I first started doing preschool story times on a regular basis (about two and a half years ago now) I quickly realized that explaining that day’s craft to a room full of parents and very young children that had already been sitting and listening to me talk for, like, forever was not going to be the best of ideas.

My solution to the problem was to create samples of not only the finished craft, but also of each key stage of the craft.  Then I also made BIG signs that said “step 1” etc. and set it all up in order on a table at the edge of the room.*

Well, I took pictures of a few of these as I was setting them up, so I thought I’d share one of them with you today.  Today’s craft is “paperbag schoolhouse” – which I learned from my mom (she teaches kindergarten).

materials for paper bag schoolhouse

First you need your materials.  For each child you will need:

1 paper bag

1 newspaper sheet

1 black crayon

1 red crayon

1 piece of red construction paper, about 6 by 6 inches

You will also need a stapler and staples, but those can be shared.

paper bag school house step 1paper bag school house step 2

Step 1: Draw the door and windows.  Children will likely need help with this, but kids that are already practicing writing letters and learning their shapes should be able to follow instructions (“draw a rectangle here”).  It won’t look exactly like mine – but it shouldn’t!

Step 2: Color the schoolhouse red. It helps to use old crayons and take the paper off so they can use the side of the crayon rather than the tip.

paper bag school house step 3

Step 3: Fold the red paper in half (if your paper is a rectangle and not a square, fold it like a hot dog bun).  Draw roof tiles, if you wish.

paper bag school house step 4paper bag school house step 5

Step 4: Crumple the newspaper up and put it in the bag/schoolhouse.

Step 5: Fold the top of the bag down, put the roof on top, and then staple it all together.


*I did this for maybe 6 months with all my story time crafts, and then gradually started doing crafts that are more artistic and imaginative, which I like better anyway.  There are still a few crafts that I do each year that are “follow the steps” like this one (this one being one of them) and when we do them, I bring out the samples and the signs again.