I participate in a forum for Kinder teachers on Facebook and this time of year means everyone is looking for ideas of "cute" activities they can do with their students. Yeah, I don't do that. We do crafts, but they are authentically-100% the student's work. When I look at pictures on Pinterest and other places of activities that teachers are sharing I can see that the teacher probably cut out all the pieces and the student glued them together. To me, that's not allowing a child to express their own artistic vision-not teaching them how to truly be creative. In my class, I model for them what to do and then send them back to their seats to do it themselves. They will ask "what color do I use for this?" or "can I put this here" and my response always is--you are the artist.
I wanted to do something fun and crafty yesterday. We made handprint wreaths! The kids traced and cut out their own hands and glued them to the outside of a paper plate. Some wanted to decorate with berries and flowers-which of course, I had no problem with. I loved watching the intensity in their faces as they figured out how to cut around the fingers they drew. The outcome is an authentic craft that the students were very proud to take home and show their parents and that I'm sure the parents will still very proudly display. Every one was different from the others. It probably won't end up on Pinterest but I'm ok with that! ;)