March is National Craft Month, and there’s no better time to bring the joy of creativity into your classroom. To celebrate, try making these pretty sun catchers to brighten up the windows of your classroom.
Pony Bead Sun Catchers
This project uses the most classic crafting material ever: pony beads! All you need are some muffin tins, non-stick cooking spray and access to an oven. Give each muffin cup a shot of non-stick cooking spray; then let your students get creative by arranging pony beads into colorful patterns to cover the bottom of a muffin cup with a single layer of beads. Translucent beads work best, but metallic or opaque accents are also fun to add! Bake your designs in a 400 degree oven for about one half hour or until the plastic has melted (keeping windows open will help get rid of the smell of melting plastic).
Once the plastic is cool, pop the sun catchers out of the tins. To hang them, you can either drill a small hole near the top or use pipe cleaners or colored wire to make a hanger that wraps around the sun catcher. Hang them in the windows and enjoy your new and improved view!
Jolly Rancher Sun Catchers
For a delicious twist on the pony bead sun catchers, try using Jolly Ranchers or other translucent hard candies instead. This project works better for smaller hands since the candies are bigger and easier to place than the beads, and you won’t have to worry about creating a stink (literally and figuratively) by melting plastic in your school’s home economics room. Best of all, when you’re done enjoying the colorful projects in your classroom windows, these sun catchers are fully edible!
Crayon Shaving Sun Catchers
If you don’t have an oven available at your school, you can always make some good, old-fashioned crayon shaving sun catchers. This is a great way to re-purpose all your broken crayons near the end of the year. Have students remove the paper wrappers and use some box graters — or hand-held pencil sharpeners for the little ones — to make crayon shavings. It’s a good idea to have students work in stations for different colors: shades of blue at one desk, shade of red and orange at another, etc. Let each student sprinkle the shavings of their choice onto a square of wax paper to make a design; then cover with another piece of wax paper. Cover with an old t-shirt and iron until melted and fused together. Once it cools, kids can cut it into their desired shape — tracing a cookie cutter works well. Punch a hole and hang them in the window to enjoy these colorful sun catchers.