Our “creation station” is one of the most used learning centers in our homeschool area (which is actually our entire house!). I wrote about some of our fall craft activities here, if you’d like more inspiration for things to make with your kids at home.
We bought a couple Ed Emberley drawing books recently, and Superman has been having fun with the super simple instructions for drawing pictures. This book (Picture Pie) is a bit different though – it explains how to create pictures using shapes made entirely from cut up circles. (affiliate link: Ed Emberley’s Picture Pie (Ed Emberley Drawing Books))
The set up is pretty simple (which is a nice change of pace from complicated, messy crafts!) – I just stacked several sheets of construction paper and traced a cup several times on the top sheet. I cut out the circles, cut most of them in half (always with as many layers as my scissors could cut!), cut most of those halves in half, etc. Then I scattered them all over the table and gave each kid a blank sheet of paper.
Math Connection: Fraction Circles
With older kids, you could talk with them about fractions as you
- cut the circles in half (two halves make a whole),
- cut those in half (each is one quarter),
- decide how to cut sixths (need to fold each half circle in thirds, then cut on the fold lines),
- decide how to make eighths (cut each quarter in half),
- talk about names for different fraction sizes (“quarter” vs “fourth”)
- compare sizes of fractions circle pieces and talk about how the smaller pieces have “bigger names.” (I.e. The smallest size piece is the “eighth” but it has the biggest number (eight) … why is this?) This helps kids see that the fraction names means how many equal pieces make up a whole.
You could definitely have fun with these paper crafts without even using the book – just cut up circles and experiment making different designs or creatures. If you want more ideas, though, or step-by-step instructions, the book is full of ideas for making all kinds of creatures and some pretty fancy geometric designs. We looked through the pages and the boys decided to make some fish.
Of course, the fish also needed googly eyes (a staple of our craft corner).
Lil Dude made a caterpillar! (Just kidding. I made a caterpillar and took a picture with his hand in it.)
He did enjoy playing with the glue stick and feeling like he was part of the action though!
Even Mommy had some fun with these paper crafts :).
Sometimes I let the boys get lots of craft supplies out and make messy masterpieces … and sometimes I promise them that someday we’ll have a bigger house with a dedicated craft room where I can let them make crafts for real, and even use paint!. (I hope I’m not lying!) This type of craft, however, was super simple to prep and clean up – we put all the leftover pieces in a ziploc bag and taped the bag to the inside cover of the book. Their crafts went on our “bulletin board” (which is pretty much just a wall in our living room with a rotating display of their artwork before it hits the “files”).
I hope this simple craft idea gives you something to work with for your next creative time with your kids!
For the record, you could do something very similar with squares, triangles, rectangles, etc. If you just cut out a bunch of colorful shapes and give a pile of paper “fraction-shapes” and a glue stick to your kids, they’ll have fun playing around – and might even create some pretty neat scenes!
I have another post here about an interactive notebooking activity (with a free printable!) that helps preschoolers learn their shapes.
Other easy construction paper crafts:
Here’s a short list of some other things we like to make with construction paper:
- paper doll chains
- paper chains
- pop-up cards
- mosaic scrap art with shredded pieces of different colored paper
Learning Resources for Teachers, Tutors, and Parents
If you’d like to visit my store to see my library of learning resources (focused on Pre-K – 3rd grade Math, Reading, and Writing, and High School Algebra and Geometry), you can check it out here: