This week, our kindergarteners and first graders at co-op read The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Grey Bridge by Hildegard Swift and Lynd Ward. The craft we did with this book took a little while to prepare, but it was a lot of fun that provided some good practice for their fine motor skills.
For the activity, the children created their own lighthouses using popsicle sticks. If you’d like to make a lighthouse with your child, here’s what you’ll need:
- 40 popsicle sticks cut in half, or 80 half-size sticks
- Red acrylic craft paint
- Paint Brush
- Paper towels
- Container with water (to clean the brushes)
- White school glue
- Something round (about 2 ” in diameter) to use as a pattern, such as jar lid
- Hot glue gun and glue stick
- Yellow paper or foam
If you are working with a lot of students (we have 11 in our class), you may want to do the first few steps yourself to save time. However, if you’re working with only your own children, you can show them how to complete each step themselves.
1. First, cover your table top or work area with newspaper.
2. Lay out the sticks on the paper. Using the red craft acrylics, paint one side of each popsicle sticks red. Allow the paint to dry (acrylic paints dry quickly, so if the paint isn’t very thick, a few minutes should be enough. You can also speed up the drying process by using a hair dryer).
3. If you are using whole sticks, you’ll need to cut them in half. Do this yourself, as it’s a difficult task for children. You can cut them in half with a large pair of scissors. Some of the sticks might split a little, but they can still be used.
4. Now, show your child how to “build” the lighthouse by placing two sticks parallel to each other on the paper, adding a drop of glue to each one, and then placing two more parallel sticks on the glue going in the opposite direction. Continue gluing and alternating the pairs until all of the sticks have been used.
5. To make the top of the lighthouse, draw a circle on the cardstock. Use the jar lid as a guide and trace around it. Cut out the circle. Then, cut one slit in the circle, going from the edge of the circle to the center. Stop cutting at the center of the circle.
6. At the slit, pull one of the straight edges you just cut under the other, forming a cone shape. Glue the edges with hot glue so that the glue dries quickly and the shape holds. Using the hot glue again, glue the edges of the cone to the top of the lighthouse.
7. To complete the lighthouse, cut a small circle from yellow cardstock or foam and glue it onto one side of the lighthouse as a “light.”