Sunday, July 24, 2011

O is for Octopus!

At our house "O" is usually for owl! College girl is a Chi O and owls are their thing. But I am gearing up for a new round of training presentations and I am doing some sample projects that I have been wanting to do forever but just couldn't make time.  I've been doodling ideas since Georgia Preschool Conference in March.
One of my "topics" in this presentation is a "Deep Blue Sea" unit. 

This guy, Mr. O, is a fun project.
I used one of the Dick Blick canvasses I like sooo much ( remember I don't get even so much as a free canvas from DB - I wish.) It is nice to send home a truly substantial project every so often but if budget doesn't allow this could be done for pennies with a paper plate, construction paper and yarn. Still cute and the lesson is still there.
I painted the canvas blue and spatter painted it with turquoise and white for the deep blue sea.
I used the amazing Crop-a-Dile to punch a hole in one end of 8 large craft sticks- 8. Do you see where we're going here?? I punched two holes at the top of the canvas for a wire or ribbon hanger and 4 holes at the bottom.

Then I found a circle to use as a tracer and
centered it over the side with the 4 holes punched in it - that's the bottom of the canvas.
Next question- what color to paint Mr. O?? You can allow total freedom or you can go with Orange like I did. O for Orange which is also the complimentary color of blue- don't you love it when a lesson comes together?? :)  There will be some pre-math coming up as well. :)
Next I wanted the 8 tentacles (jumbo craft sticks) to have the suction-y things just like a real Mr. Octopus. So I had to decide: go with painted polka dots made with a pencil eraser or decoupage polka dot scrapbook paper??? I tried a sample - yes, if you counted the sticks earlier you were right - 9!! I knew I didn't know which way I wanted to go :) so I made an extra tentacle!  I think the painted dots are "more the child's work" but I went with decoupage - we've done a lot this Summer in camps and VBS and it was fun so I went with that.  I just cut the strips to size and used the always awesome Mod Podge to decoupage them on. Either way works - your choice. I ended up leaving some plain and putting polka dot paper on 5.
So Mr. O is getting cuter by the minute. I used these little rings from the office supply to attach his legs. They are called notebook rings or index card rings and you can buy big boxes very inexpensively. It would also be cute to tie them on with ribbon or torn pieces of fabric or even yarn. Lots of choices for every budget! I mixed it up - I used some tentacles with dotted paper and some plain and I put two on each ring. A little math work here - you can number the legs, practice counting by twos, you could punch 8 holes and hang the legs individually as well.
Now he's stinkin' cute! I found these really cool bottle caps to use as big, ole Octopus eyes. They have white rims and clear centers so the orange shows through. Very cool. I glued those on and then put a google eye in the center. A litttle wire, a few scraps of ribbon and beads and he is complete!
He's a cutie and when you hang him up his legs wiggle and jiggle - just like a real octopus. He's fun, inexpensive and perfect for a lesson on complimentary colors, the number 8, counting by twos, and sea animals. Wow, Mr. O is a busy guy.
I am really "into" Octopuses? Octopi?? (whatever) right now. I don't know why.
But I think this guy is cute.cute.cute.
PS. There are 3 plural forms of the word Octopus... Octopuses, Octopi and Octopode.
Who knew??

1 comment:

  1. Found this little guy on Pinterest and am SUPER excited. I teach preschool and we are moving into a new center next month and my 2-3 yo class is moving into an ocean themed room. This will be awesome to hang outside of our door! I'll put where we are (outside, gym, etc) on the opposite side of the tentacles! Thanks for sharing such a fun project!