Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Construction Theme

    The theme for the month of August is construction. After searching the Internet and not being able to find a lot of ideas on how to decorate the classrooms/center we decided to come up with our own. Here are a few ideas that our teachers came up with or found online to decorate their classrooms. All of the decorations that we made were laminated for durability. Plus, it will give us a jump start for decorating next year since we going to save them.

1. Skyscraper with hand print windows - This was made by one of our two year old classrooms.The skyscraper was created using construction paper. The teachers cut squares out of white construction paper. Next the teachers painted each child's hand with different colored paint and pressed it to the squares. The children used the same paint to paint tongue depressors. The tongue depressors where glued together around the hand print to make the frame for the windows. Once dried the teachers taped them to the skyscraper.

2. Homemade Blocks - These blocks were added to discovery lab to encourage the children to "construct" big skyscrapers and buildings. 

To make the blocks you need:     
  • Boxes of different sizes
  • Butcher paper (on a roll) 
  • Colored contact paper (any will do but we used some that looks like wood)                 
Wrap the boxes like you would when wrapping a present. The butcher paper will need to have all the edges sealed with tape so the children can't unwrap them. 

We started out with the butcher paper but found that the colored contact paper was better to work with plus it eliminated the need to have to tape up the edges of the paper. The boxes also stand up to the wear and tear better when the children are playing with them. Another idea is to have the children decorate the butcher paper blocks. Either way the blocks turned out really cute!              

3. Blue Prints - We used blue prints as decorations around the classroom. The children also made their own blue prints. You can find blue prints at construction companies. Usually they are glad to give you old blue prints for free. Another idea is to let the children color the blue prints and display them around your classroom.   

4. Egg Carton Dump Trucks - Our four year old class made these cute little dump trucks. The children had a great time making them!


5. Bulletin Board/Wall Display: Children Working Together - One of our four years old teacher came up with this cute display. Along with our construction theme the fours are learning how to "work together." It takes team effort to help "build" a great classroom! Everyone has an important job to do, just like the construction workers!

To make this display you need:
  •  Poster board
  • Pencil
  • Black permanent marker
  • Foam letter stickers
  • Letters to spell out - Kids Working Together (You can buy or make them yourself from construction paper)
  • Foam letters (for the children's name)
  • Construction boarder (optional)
  • Ruler

Making the crossword pattern will take some planning. Using a scratch piece of paper, start with the longest child's name in your classroom and go from there, creating a crossword puzzle design. Each display will be different based on the names of the children used. Once you figure out how to have each child's name connected to the other, use a pencil and a ruler to make the crossword pattern on your poster board. When finished trace over the pencil using a permanent marker. Finally, place the foam letters in the boxes. After hanging your display place boarder around the poster board. Add the title, and you have your "kids working together" display!  

6. "Roadwork" Collage - Here is a cute idea for an art project. All you need is construction paper and glue. Cut out white construction paper for the white lines on a road, yellow for the yellow lines on the road, and orange for caution cones. Have the children arrange them anyway they like!

 7. Construction Signs - These signs were created using construction paper and a permanent marker. Then they were laminated.     

8. Construction Signs - This sign was printed on yellow copy paper and laminated. We found this sign using Google search. It was displayed on our glass door leading into our center from the front office.  How cute is that!?


9. Building Houses Craft - Our three year old class "constructed" these houses out of various containers and boxes of different sizes. They taped and glued construction paper on the containers. Then they colored and decorated them to look like houses.

10. Construction Patterns - We used Google to search for various construction patterns. Some cute ones we found were of a construction hat and traffic cone. These were printed on yellow and orange copy paper and then laminated. We also found a construction theme bulletin board set at our local teacher supply store. They made great decorations for around the center! You can also find plenty of coloring sheets of cranes, trucks, and other construction machines.

11. Caution Tape - Caution tape makes great decoration for a construction theme. The only problem is that we didn't have very much and it is extremely hard to find unless it is Halloween time. So we decided to make our own! All you need is yellow construction paper, ruler, and a black permanent marker. We also laminated them.

12. Pictures of "construction" - You can find pictures of construction related vehicles, buildings, etc. in magazines and off the Internet. When printing pictures, make sure they are in color and then laminate them for durability. These pictures should be placed around the classroom and especially in the block center on the children's eye level. This gives the children the opportunity to talk about the pictures with their teachers and peers. It helps get the creative juices flowing!

13. Caution Sign File Folder Game - here is a math file folder game I made. You can find it on my TpT  store for free!  http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Kristina-Foss/
File Folder Game

Bringing it all together: Along with the above ideas, here are a few other things that you can do to bring the construction theme all together:
  • Add different block and/or building materials to the block center
  • Add tools (real or toy) to block center
  • Add hard hats and tool belts to dramatic play center
  • Add books about tools and construction to literacy center
  • Add saw dust to sensory table
  • Use tools instead of cookie cutters for play dough
  • Add pictures of construction and tools in color around the classroom and encourage children to look at and ask questions about them.
  • Add a scrap wood with nails hammered into them (just enough so they don't come out), small hammers, and small hand held saws to the sensory table (this would be a well supervised and for older children activity) For younger children you can use golf tees and have them bang them into a cardboard box with a hammer. 

    I hope you enjoy these ideas and good luck in your classrooms!

1 comment:

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