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Arts and Crafts

Arts and Crafts are a fundamental aspect of the elementary school curriculum. Such creative assignments are indispensable to inculcate some basic skills in young minds. Hence, teachers must be trained to make the Arts and Crafts classes an enjoyable as well as a learning experience.

Here are some suggestions for learning sessions that can be introduced from the kindergarten level. Some of the constructive Arts and Crafts projects like:

Mask making

Target: K+ grade

Resources required:

  1. Colorful paper
  2. Scissors
  3. Junk objects
  4. Coloring material
  5. Glue and pins

What to make?
Masks can depict things that kids see around them like birds, animals, clowns etc or historically and culturally significant subjects.

What do kids learn from masks?
Apart from firing their imagination, mask making is an enjoyable and meaningful activity. Students also learn about various cultures and history. They understand the importance of creativity. Some appreciation for the stuff they make can be inspirational.

Drum making

Two common types of drum crafts:

  1. Coffee cup drum:

Target: K-4 grade

Resources required:
- Empty coffee can with a plastic lid
- Paper, glue and scissors
- Paint, markers, water etc
- Twigs from trees
- Scrap like beads, buttons, strings, etc

The procedure:
The first option is to color the can or wrap it with paper. The plastic lid on the can is the drumhead and can be neatly covered with aluminum foil. If you wrap with paper, you can paint or draw on it. Let the paint dry and embellish with scrap and glue. Now, use the twig or a wooden stick for an enjoyable drumming session.

  1. African Drum

Target: Grade 4 to 12, students aged 8+.

Resources required:
- Cardboard carpet tube (3" to 4" in diameter): You can find throwaway tubes at carpet and flooring outlets.
- Plastic flowerpots: The bottom of the pot and the cardboard tube must share the same diameter in order to fit into one another.
- A two-piece plastic embroidery hoop: The hoop and the top of your plastic pot should share the same diameter.
- An inflatable pool toy or heavy gauge plastic: A balloon would be fragile; rather a junk beach ball is better. An old rubber tire is ideal.
- One to two inch wide packing tape.
- Paint, paper, brush or fabric.

The procedure:
Cut a tube approximately 12" long. Cut a piece of your beach ball, rubber tire or plastic tool to size. Make sure to leave some extra inches for smooth overlapping later. Take the plastic embroidery hoop apart, place the sized beach ball over the inner hoop and while extending it place the outer hoop over the plastic and inner hoop. This forms the drumhead.

Then position the "drum head" over the flowerpot and fix it with the tape. Put the flowerpot over one end of the tube and fix with tape. Finally, create art on the drum with paint, paper or fabric. Then cover the bare tapes with yarn or jute.

What do drum craft teach?
Drums form an important ritual and ceremonial aspect of almost all cultures. It can be a great way to know about world culture.

Fan making

Target: Grade K-6

Resources required:
- 12x18 white paper
- Coloring material
- Real fans or pictures
- Popsicle sticks
- Tape, glue and staple

The procedure:
Fold the paper into horizontal halves or more easily like a book. On the folded half draw a fan shape and cut. Use coloring material to create arts of the students' choice. Let it dry. Pleat the paper. Gather the creased structure in the form of a fan and staple or glue it. Fix the Popsicle sticks together with tape, to make a handle.

What does the art of fan making teach?
Fans can be of a variety, either Japanese, Chinese etc. This Arts and Crafts session can teach a lot about the country's culture.

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