The Pacific Islands
There are approximately 30,000 islands in the Pacific Ocean, but the one you are probably most familiar with are the Polynesian Islands of which Hawaii is one. The Hawaiian islands are beautiful and lush with their tropical climate. When you visit these islands, you will notice the beautiful neclaces or lei made with fresh flowers. Flowers grow in abundance! So for our craft we will make a tropical flower...
1 large sheet of colorful tissue paper for each flower
1 green pipe cleaner/chenille stick
2 other colors of pipe cleaners
a few pony beads
Approximate cost: $.20 per flower
Fold the green pipe cleaner in half. Then fold the other two pipe cleaners in half, keeping these two together.
Slide your green stem through the folded end of your other two pipe cleaners.
green = stem yellow and orange = stamen
Take one of each color of stamen and twist together a few times. Do this with the other two stamen.
You should have something that looks like this.
Now take your large sheet of tissue paper and cut it in half lengthwise. Stack these on top of each other and cut in half width wise. You should end up with four sheets measuring approximately 8 x 10 inches.
In full disclosure: I was going to be making these with 30 preschool-elementary age children. I made everything up to this point beforehand to reduce the actual hands on time with the children. Remember one of the criteria for my projects is that it can be completed in 10 minutes!
With all your tissues neatly stacked, fold the short end up about an inch.
Flip your tissue stack over and fold up 1 inch. Continue to accordian fold your tissue stack all the way to the other end like you would to make a paper fan.
Fold your folded strip of tissue in half to find the center.
Slide the center of your tissue strip between the two green pipe cleaners all the way to the top.
Pinch close to the tissue paper and twist the green stems all the way to the bottom to make a sturdy stem.
Starting on one side, GENTLY pull the top layer of tissue straight up toward the stamen. I emphasize GENTLY because if you pull too hard, the tissue will tear. Out of 30 children, there was only one very rambunctious boy who pulled too hard and ripped his flower. He started over and his second flower was a success! One out of thirty is not bad odds!
Continue to pull each layer of tissue toward the stamen.
Repeat with the tissue on the other side.
Feed several pony beads onto each stamen and roll the ends around your finger so that they won't fall off. Give the stamen a trim before you roll the ends if they are too long and crazy!
Some of the girls wore these in their hair in true island style. The boys made them and promptly gave them to their mom's. "Or you could give it to your girlfriend!" suggested the same rambunctious boy who had to re-do his flower. Although I'm pretty sure he gave it to his grandma! Grandmas make good girlfriends!!!
Print a map of the Pacific. Keep a children's atlas handy and have the children draw and label the following islands: Fiji, Solomon Islands, Marshall Islands, Guam, Vanuatu, Tahiti.
Come back tomorrow to do some Island tasting!