Welcome to our first individual edition of Introducing Geography! In this series, I will be sharing our books, crafts, recipes, field trips, and so much more that all relate back to either our continental or state studies for our very first Kindergarten year. I picked Australia as our first continent to learn about because it seemed like one we could have some fun with without it being an overwhelming amount of information. We needed time to focus and keep our routine steady while figuring out how to make all of this work for us. I shared our overall plan for our continental studies in my official Introducing Geography post if you would like to see the layout and how it is pieced together around the holidays. Below, you can find the two crafts we decided on and also the four books we read. I had originally planned on three but the fourth just happened to leap into my cart one day. We also colored our map of Australia, pointed out all of the continents in our Beginner’s World Atlas, and sang the continents song from Wise Little Owls just to reinforce the idea of the 7 continents.
*All posts on our site may contain affiliate links which help support our family.*
Our Book Selection
Paper Plate Kangaroos
Anyone who thinks of Australia and doesn’t think of kangaroos cannot be trusted. Well, in my opinion at least. The original idea for this craft came from Alphabet Action and there are some adorable ideas for kangaroos over on Danielle’s Place but as usual, we kind of went with our own thing.
- Brown markers, crayons, or paint
- Brown construction paper
- Paper plates (1.5 for each child)
- Writing utensil
The first thing you are going to want to do is distract the littles. I gave them each a whole paper plate and a brown crayon so they could begin coloring the entire white side of the plate. Paints would be fabulous for an older child or even markers would make the process a bit faster. Next, I cut a paper plate in half which was perfect since we had two children completing the craft. Allow them to color these as well while you draw a kangaroo face onto the brown construction paper. The next step will vary by age and maturity but I allowed our five year old to cut out the faces of the kangaroos while her sister scribbled some more on her plate and helped me set out the glue. They each glued their “pouch” onto their “body” and then we added the heads at the top, again with glue. That’s it. Such a simple and adorable craft that they can be proud of! One of my favorite aspects of this craft is that it is quick. We completed it in less than 30 minutes so the baby wasn’t feeling left out, the 2 year old wasn’t getting antsy, and the 5 year old got to ask a million questions about joeys, pouches, and living in Australia. Seems pretty perfect to me!
Paper Plate Snake
- Finger paints (we chose blue and yellow)
- Googly Eyes (optional but we felt they were totally mandatory)
- Paper plates (one per child and one for the paint)
- Q-tips (optional)
- Writing utensil
First, take each paper plate and draw a spiral on the front of the plate. This will make cutting the snake at the end a lot easier for the littles. Another thing that will help is using q-tips for the painting but this is not a necessity. Pour your paint onto the paper plate and let each child have their turn painting polka-dots all over the back side of the plate. If your preschooler and/or kindergartener are like mine then there will be a few globby areas. Yes, I said globby. It isn’t a legitimate words but it just fits in around here. I’ll say it again: GLOBBY. Deal with it. Anyway, the easiest solution for this is to fold a paper towel in half, place the plate down, gently push it onto the paper towel, and then on a clean area of paper towel, repeat the process until it is deglobbified. Sorry, I’m having fun with this! After your plates have sat out for a bit and are completely dry either you or your littles can cut along the line to create a snake. Add some googly eyes and be prepared for seriously cute giggles to radiate through your home!
The original idea for this craft came from Crafty Morning and used a rolling pin with bubble wrap. It looks like some amazing fun but we still lack the, um, *cough* self control for that kind of project. Maybe on a cooler afternoon while outside with a water hose nearby. Inside the camper? Not happening. I’m not that awesome of a mom yet. 😉 Give it some time! If you do try out her method though then I want to see photos. Heck, I want to see photos of all of your crafts. Post them to Instragram and tag @the.vetetoe.family or share them to our Facebook page. I would love to see what you are all up to!