Life-Sized Paper Me
wide roll paper
filler--rolled up newspaper etc.
optional: a few large bulldog clips
paint/markers/crayons etc. to decorate and add features with
Roll out paper so that you have a little more than the height of the child. Do not cut the paper off yet! Have the child lie down on the paper and trace their body on it. Ask the child to move off the paper, then unroll more paper until you can fold the outline back on itself and have a double layer. Cut this from the roll. Cut out the doubled outline (if the child does the cutting, use some bulldog clips to help hold the layers together). Staple one side of the figures together, adding a staple every 5 cm or so. Add a thin layer of filling, then staple the remaining side together. Decorate as desired. Suggestions: copy the clothing, facial expression etc. as you (the child) is that day or write in descriptive words, interests, etc. all over the doll that describe you inside and out.
a strong, directed light source such as an oveerhead projector or spotlight
paper--at least 12 x 18" (use black for a dark silhouette)
a pencil or piece of chalk
masking tape or sticky tack
optional: contrasting paper to use as a background, and glue for mounting
line up the light and chair so that the person sitting on it will cast a shadow of their profile on the wall. Mount the silhouette paper so that the shadow lies centred upon it. Outline the shadow of the profile on the paper. Cut out the outline, then lightly pencil in the name of the person on the back. Mount it if desired. If you do this with a group, challenge everyone to identify each other by their silhouettes.
Make a paper doll chain to use as a bulletin board border or just for fun.
long strip of paper
The trick to making chain cutouts is to make your folds, then be sure that the image extends past those folds. For a typical doll, fold your paper accordion-style. To make it even, start by folding it in half, then open and lay it flat. Bring one side up and fold toward the middle. Fold the other end under towards the middle. For longer chains, measure out multiples of your starting width before folding accordion-style.
Trace your design on the top side, making sure that it extends to the folded edge. If you cut all around a shape, making it into an "island", it will not connect and fold out but will make lots of unconnected "islands" instead. Now cut out your shape. Unfold the paper and enjoy.
an apple for each participant
small paring knives
a bowl of water big enough for an apple
Items to decorate: small beads, scrap fabric, batting/brushed-out yarn for hair, etc.
Peel the apple but do not core it. If the child has not yet managed proper use of a knife, either sit with them and carefully guide them in its proper use, or have them trace their pattern on the apple then carve it out for them.
Some general guidelines about carving facial features can be found here. There are also suggestions for clothing and hands/feet at that link.
When the carving is done, soak it in a bowl of water with ~ 3 Tablespoons each of salt and lemon juice per litre of water, for about 5 minutes. Remove and pat dry.
You can either let it air dry if your weather is not very humid, or speed up the process (and avoid mould) by putting it in a convection oven at the lowest temperature setting for 2-3 hours, then let it continue to dry for several days. You can also use a dehydrator, or even just place it on a car dashboard in the sun. The entire drying time may take up to 2-3 weeks.
To embellish your head once it is dry, add a couple of large round white beads for eyes. Use paint or permanant markers to draw in the iris and pupil, then glue them into place. You can also add a little powdered tempera "blush" to the cheeks and lips as desired.
Instructions and pictures for making an elf head from an apple can be found
Newspaper Palm Tree
This one comes from my grandmother.
a section of newspaper
Open the newspaper section out so there are no folds. Starting at one of the short edges, roll up the paper into a tube. Apply a few pieces of sticky tape to hold the tube together. Use the scissors to cut down from the top from the inside of the cylinder so that you have a slit that extends about 1/4 of the way down the tube. Continue making more of these cuts, spaced about 1" (2.5 cm) around the top until you have reached your starting point. Carefully reach inside and gently pull the paper at the centre of the tube upwards, releasing the cut sections which should fall out like palm fronds.
Sidewalk Chalk Games
Sidewalk chalk allows for art and games on a larger scale than most other places.
Hopscotch: Draw out numbered squares, slightly bigger than a footprint, as follows: 3 squares labelled 1, 2, 3 in a column. Squares 4 & 5 are next and sit side by side, followed by 6 (centred) 7 & 8 (side by side), 9 centred and 10 which is the turnaround spot and can be any shape you wish. Play by tossing a rock onto the playing surface. Hop through the course avoiding the square with the rock then picking it up (still avoiding hopping on that square on your return back to the start. Take turns playing with a friend.
Obstacle Course: Draw out an obstacle course, complete with hazards to try while walking/running, and/or on a bike or skateboard.
Tic Tac Toe: Play the classic game outside. Draw a 3 x 3 grid by making 2 vertical and 2 horizontal lines. The first player, X, makes an "x" in one of the squares. The second player, "O", makes an "o" in a different square. Players continue taking turns filling the squares until one player wins by getting 3 of their symbols in a row vertically, horizontally or diagonally, or until all the spaces are filled.
Variation: make it a 4 x 4 grid, and try and get either 3 or 4 in a row (agree ahead which one you will try for).
London Calling: Use chalk to draw a large vertical rectangle, then divide it into seven sections in a row. Draw a semicircle on one end and write "London" inside. Players take turns tossing a stone onto the playing surface. When the rock lands inside one of the rectangles, that player uses their colour of chalk to draw a body part in the space (Hangman style, starting with a head, then a body, then 2 arms and 2 legs). If the rock lands on "London", that player may add a body part to any of the spaces. The goal is to draw a body in each of the sections before your opponent does. Alternative version: players must draw 3 bodies in each section, then on the next move in that space, draw a line through them to link them together. The first person with linked bodies in all spaces wins.
4-Square: You will need 4 or more players and a bouncing ball for this game. Draw out a large (6-10') square and divide it into 4 equal squares. Number the squares 1-4 sequentially. The first 4 players each stand in a numbered square. The player in square 4 serves by bouncing then tapping the ball so that it enters another player's square. That player must bounce and tap it into another square and so on. If a player misses or overshoots, the players rotate in sequence. #4 player either moves to #1, or if there are more than 4 players, joins the end of the line and the leader of the line enters square #1.
Variation: players must say something as they play the ball, such as calling out the square # to which they sent the ball, or naming a colour, place name, animal, etc.
Tic Tac Toss: Play tic tac toe, but on a still larger scale. Make a large grid, about 5-10" wide and high. Use coloured markers to hold your spot (rocks, bean bags, etc.). To play, take turns tossing markers onto the squares. Where it lands is where it stays. 3 in a row wins the game.
Trail Blazers: This is a neighbourhood trail-following game my son invented. To play this game with younger children, break into 2 teams with an adult in each group. Complete rules can be found here.
Musical Spots: Just like musical chairs, but this time you use chalk-drawn circles for your "chairs".