Thursday, July 31, 2014

Lassoin' Cowboys and Dress-Up Fun

I'm finally wrapping up our Wild West week, about 3 weeks after it happened. For this last project, I printed out a coloring sheet of a cowboy (found here), used white-out to get rid of the lasso and photocopied it on the far left side of the paper. The kids colored the cowboy and drew in a background.
Then they used white glue to make a line from the cowboy's hand to the right side of the paper and make a loop. They put a yellow piece of yarn on top of the glue to make the lasso.

All week long, the kids were dressing up as cowboys and cowgirls. I brought in a bunch of props, like hobby horses, cowboy hats and handkerchiefs. I also brought in two vests that my mom made for one of my classes many years ago. She also made some "chaps" with fake leather material and pieces of elastic. I thought the kids could wear one on each leg, but they just wrapped one of them around their waist and were good to go!

We also had a Wild West Day, where the kids came to school dressed as cowboys or girls. We had the cutest bunch of cowgirls I ever did see!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Wild West Sunsets

I love this craft. I did a post about desert sunsets, which are similar, a few years ago but I've received some e-mails from my readers asking for more details. So here it is. I put several drops of red and yellow food coloring in separate cups of water. The kids used droppers to decorate a coffee filter. (You will definitely want something under the coffee filter so you don't get water everywhere. We used construction paper.)
The red and yellow blended together to make orange in some spots. Once it was dry, I used a glue stick to attach it to a white piece of paper. Putting white paper behind it made the colors "pop" a bit more. It also made it sturdier. I left about an inch off at the bottom and then cut it off after it was glued to the paper so the bottom would be flat.
Then I cut a landscape out of black construction paper and glued it to the bottom of the filter.
Then I trimmed off the sides. Finally, the kids added cacti and a cowboy I had cut from black construction paper.
So that's it!

When I made my example years ago, I had also cut out a cowboy on a horse.
But who's got time for that? :0)

**If you like these, check out our Tropical Sunsets!**

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wild West Wanted Posters

Every time I do a Wild West theme, I make wanted posters of the kids. They wear a cowboy hat for the picture and they either smile or make a mad/mean face. Then I come up with a fun name for them. I make the poster using Microsoft Word, change the photo to black and white, and print them on sepia colored paper to make them look old.
You can always add more, like why they are wanted and where they were last seen. And you can make the reward something fun, like candy or hugs. But I always keep it simple.
My first year making these, I played around with them a little, trying to make them look really old and worn. I tried burning the edges and crumpling them up. But I didn't like them that way. It took away from the cuteness of the child's photo. So now I just hang them up normal with the title, Have you seen these Outlaws?
The hardest part about this is coming up with the names. Sometimes I had 24 kids in my class that needed unique cowboy names. (This year I had it easy with seven!) In case you are interested in doing something like this, here is a list of names you can choose from. I use either the child's first or last name, depending on what sounds better. The child's name usually comes last, but sometimes it is first. (In the list below, if it's a last name I only included the first letter.)

Quick-Draw Jackson
Easy-Ridin' Ian
Two-Steppin' Tanner
Mud-Kickin' Max
Lawless Logan
No Heart Noah
Jo Jo Jingles
Wild W...
Crazy Horse C...
Heartless H...
Zeke the Sneak
Boot-Scootin' Brooklynn
Saddlin' Up Sam
Lassoin' Liam
Stink-Eye Elliott
Gallopin' G...
B... the Bandit
Black Jack Justin
Poker Face Ace
Jack Rabbit Jacob
Horseback H...
Do-Si-Do Daniel
Gold-Rushin' R...
Rattlesnake Ryan

I hope that gives you some ideas!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Paper Bag Cowboy Boots

A couple weeks ago we had a Wild West theme. I haven't done this theme in several years and it was fun to get back in the saddle again. (Sorry -- couldn't resist!) One of our projects was making cowboy/cowgirl boots. I got the idea from Momstown Calgary.
We pretty much followed their directions. I found a boot template from a quick google search, enlarged it to fit the paper bag and cut out a bunch of them from different colored construction paper. The kids decorated them with circle and star confetti/sequins.
I also photocopied some spurs that I found in the July/August Teacher Idea Book. Those were glued on around the ankle and decorated as well.

I had actually considered cutting out the bottom of the bags so the kids could wear them, but then I thought they would all get crushed and destroyed as they walked around.
But paper bag boots fit their legs/feet perfectly, so it's definitely an option! I told the kids they could cut the bottoms out when they got home if they wanted to. Still love how they turned out, though!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

July Fourth Party Shakers

I really don't know what to call these things, but this is how we made them. (These are similar to our Pom Poms from last summer with a little added "bling.")
You need contact paper and either construction paper or regular paper. Because we were making ours for Independence Day, I chose red, white and blue construction paper. I also found some star garland at the dollar store, but it isn't necessary.
Cut some of the paper into 1/4-inch strips, or use a paper shredder if you have one. Save some paper to cut directly in half. And cut the contact paper to be the same width as the regular paper. If using garland, cut that into strips as well. Take off the cover of the contact paper and stick on the strips of paper and garland.

The more you use, the better it will look, in my opinion. But don't fill it up completely. You need to leave some of the contact paper open so it can stick to the half-sheet of paper, which is the next step -- flip the contact paper over and stick it to the paper.
Then you just roll it up and tape it closed!
We took ours on a walk, along with some red, white and blue musical instruments, so it was like a little parade!