The Birthday Gift

I got a Cricut Expression for my birthday last year. My mom thought it would be way cooler than using die-cuts, and so far, she’s been right. It’s a good thing I left all my yarn in storage, though, because this hobby takes up almost as much space.


I don’t want this to become a blog all about using the machine though. So my goal is that if I talk about a craft or activity we did where I cut shapes with the machine, I will have an alternative version that you can do without the machine.


This is definitely not a time-saving machine. Frequently I do little nitpicky things I wouldn’t even think about doing by hand, or make pieces and parts that I would just go to the craft store and buy.


Take this craft, the pizza plates. (Good for a pizza theme unit or for the letter P). Pizza Plates made with oregano paint


I cut out lots of tiny shapes to be the pepperoni, the olives, and the green peppers. I could probably have used foam shapes, or pompoms, bits of ribbon, or pipe cleaners, or any of a dozen other things I have in my classroom. The main idea with the pizza plates is that they are multi-sensory, so I mixed the paint with oregano in a cup before we painted it onto the plate. Use a thick brush so that you pick up the oregano and get it on the plate right with the paint.


The kids were pretty good at identifying the oregano as a pizza smell. “Yum!” said one little guy, rubbing his tummy. For me, a good project uses several senses and can inspire great conversation.


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