Monday, July 16, 2012

The "Craftiness" of Craftivities (and a Freebie)

     As kindergarten teachers, we all know the developmental benefits of doing cutsie crafts in our classrooms. Not only do they strengthen eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills, but they also foster creativity and the ability to concentrate. When I first started teaching kindergarten, our days were filled with cutsie crafts because we knew how important these skills are. Construction paper, glue and paint were tools we used for learning every day.  EVERY day.
     Jump to the present.  Academic objectives and intense curriculums are the standard now and there is little time for crafts, which are now considered frivolous. The same administrators that complain about the penmanship of 2nd graders are raising their eyebrows when they see a room full of kindergartners making construction paper hearts for Valentine's Day.  Everything we do in our classrooms has to support an official learning standard and has to be connected to the curriculum.     
     Enter the newly popular "craftivity."  By combining curriculum content and academic skills (usually writing) with a big dose of cuteness, craftivities are a win-win!  We now have something to say other than "We're working on fine motor skills" when we have to justify the activity to an eyebrow-raising administrator. The craftivity is a sneaky double agent, working in a covert, crafty way to bring back our construction paper and glue!
     I've seen so many cute craftivities (just search Pinterest and you'll be in heaven!) and even created some of my own (stick with me 'til the end of the post for a freebie).  These are some of my favorites that I found while blog hopping that I've either done with my class or plan to do this year:

How cute are these Seuss Week Freebies from Mel at Seusstastic Classroom Inspirations?

And this one from Alisha at the Bubbly Blonde is a great way to kick off the year.

Teri at A Cupcake for the Teacher came up with this tasty treat:

 Jennifer at Herding Kats in Kindergarten is a girl after my heart - We love Mo!

And now for my contribution to the cuteness.  I always start the year with everyone's favorite kindergarten teacher, Miss Bindergarten.  I thought this craftivity would be a good way for me to assess fine motor skills and how well my new class follows directions.  I think they'll also make a super cute bulletin board for Open House. Templates, a writing prompt and step by step picture directions are included. You can grab a copy below the pic if you'd like to give it a try.  I just dare any administrator who walks into your classroom to raise an eyebrow!

Leave a comment if you grab a copy and you'll make my day!

20 comments:

  1. I really love the term "craftivity" and just found out about it this summer by starting my blog and joining pinterest. I've always had to integrate art into my writing activities since art is not allowed and such a taboo word in my district. Your Ms. Bindergarten craftivity is adorable, I'll pass it onto my sis who teaches kindergarten! I love how craftivities can allow kids to just be kids and experience the love of school projects I had when I was growing up. Come visit my blog and enter to win my first ever giveaway while you're there - wishing you the best WINNING luck!
    :)
    Antonia @ forkin4th

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  2. I love all the craftivities you showcased and I saved yours, as well. Very, very cute!

    Ѽ Lori
    Teaching With Love and Laughter
    luvyorkies@gmail.com

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  3. This is such a fantastic post, and I agree about the importance of these activities! Thank you for sharing your wonderful craftivity!

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  4. Love this! Will use it in the first few days of school. Thanks! :)

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  5. Love the craftivity! My kinders love Miss Bindergarten!

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  6. I love it. Thanks for sharing.
    Megan
    mhorman@north-cedar.k12.ia.us

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  7. Thank you for sharing my craftivitiy!

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  8. I just came upon your blog today, (a true blog stalker that I am) and your blog is wonderful!!! Thank you so much for all you do and share!

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  9. Awww! That is super cute! I am excited to try it with my kids! Thanks so much for sharing!

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  10. I love Ms.Bindergarten!! I can't wait to use this!

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  11. What a great way to enhance this read aloud!

    Thanks so much for your creativity!!

    I am new to blogging: check me out!
    http://sweetkinders1.blogspot.com/

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  12. Love this activity! we always read miss bindergarten in the first weeks of school!

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  13. Super cute! Thanks for sharing!

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  14. I am excited to use this craft with my class! They love anything involving art. Thank you!

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  15. What a cool and creative activity. My students will love it. Thanks!

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