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Tammy's Teaching Tips

On this page I have compiled a list of favorite activities I like to use that sometimes doesn't fit into the "theme".


TALK ON A TIN CAN PHONE. Help the students construct make believe telephones. Wash and dry two tin cans for every student. Use a nail to carefully punch a hole in the bottom of each can. Have each student thread four to six feet of string through the hole in each can and tie knots on the insides of the cans. Let the students play this game.

CUTTING CORNERS. Reuse envelopes to create colorful corner bookmarks. Save and bring to class used envelopes of various colors. Have students choose an envelope and cut the corners off. (One envelope will make two bookmarks.) Next, have them decorate their bookmark with markers, paints, or colored paper. They can slip the finished bookmarks over the corners of the pages they want to mark.

HANDY CARD. Fold a piece of paper as you would a greeting card. Help the children trace their hands with the top of the thumb on the edge of the fold. ( This way when you cut the hand out and open it, the hands are connected.) Cut out the hands. Decorate the outside of the hands. When the hands are opened, write a favorite message.

BONGOS. Cut off the bottom sections of two plastic bleach bottles and discard the rest. Cut holes the same size as the bottle pieces in the bottom of a shallow cardboard box. Flip the box upside down, insert the bottles, and fasten to the inside of the box with masking tape.

SANDPAPER SHUFFLERS. Glue sandpaper on one side of each of two blocks of wood. Rub the sandpaper surfaces together to make sounds.

TAMBOURINE. Attach several small bells to the rim of a heavy paper plate. Decorate the plate with crayons or markers if desired. Shake. Shake. Shake.

DRUMS. Turn round cardboard cartons or tin cans into drums. Pencils (that have not been sharpened) with big erasers make great drumsticks.

HUMBUZZER. Punch several holes around a cardboard tube about 1 1/2 inches from one end. Place a square of wax paper (2" longer than the diameter of the tube) over the end in which holes have been punched. Secure the wax paper with rubber band. Hold the humbuzzer against your mouth and hum through the wax paper to make buzzing noise.

SOUND BOXES. Fill small boxes, cottage cheese containers or ice cream cartons with "sound making" items such as marbles, rice, dried beans, pebbles, or sand. Secure the top or lid. Shake or beat to make lots of noise.

TAMBOURINE. This may not look like a traditional tambourine, but it sounds similar. Start with a wooden dowel or part of a discarded broom handle. Loosely nail bottle caps to the handle. Shake or twist from side to side for a jingle-jangle sound.

ART POTLUCK. Here are loads of suggestions of how to use some of that unusual stuff you have collected in your art closet.
Greeting Cards. Story starters, ornaments, collage, room borders, gameboards, personalized folders.
Sandpaper. Wood preparation, tactile letters and shapes, melted crayon canvas.
Magazines. Bead making, good murals, color collages, diorama stand ups.
Meat Trays. Engraving plates, paint trays, picture frames, diorama frames, cutups for sculpture.
Twist Ties. 3-D bend art, ornament hooks, brad replacement.
Buttons. Button designs, puppet eyes, flower centers, mosaic additions, game markers.
Toothpicks. Marshmallow sculptures, miniature fences, maze path.
Rope. Bulletin board border, western art, ceiling hanger, coiled coaster.
Wire Hangers. Yarn covered gift, bubble blower frame, embroidery hoop, mobile base, frame for hanging butterflies.
Felt. Bookmarks, flannel board cut outs, puppets, ornaments, costume decoration, headbands.
Aluminum Foil. Paint canvas, freeform sculptures, torn glitter bits.
Pop Top Tabs. Picture hangers, clay carver, dough carver, animal eyes, random designs.
Paper Tubes. Napkin rings, puppets, pencil holders.
Burlap. Bulletin board backing, paint canvas, fringed banner, Indian costume, gingerbread men.
Brown Lunch Bags. Holiday treat bags, hand puppet, stuffed turkey centerpiece.

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