Cowabunga dude! If your little one is a ninja turtle fanatic, take him away from the tube and get him creative with crafting. Turn his favorite characters -- Michelangelo, Leonardo, Donatello and Raphael -- into true works of art that will also help your little learner to expand his imagination and refine fine motor skills.
Instead of struggling to freehand the ninja turtles, help your little one out in the drawing department. Download a ninja turtle printable from a crafting sight, such as DLTK's Crafts for Kids. If you want to add a touch of imagination to the already-made printable, choose a basic picture of each turtle. Print out the pictures and have your child color in the turtles with markers or crayons. Cut the pictures out and turn them into fun-filled dramatic play puppets by attaching each turtle to a craft stick with glue, a finger puppet by gluing a ring-shaped piece of paper to the back or a collage by putting them together on a piece of poster board.
Shape Ninja Turtles
Combine your kiddo's adoration for the ninja turtles with an actual learning lesson. Your little one can make a shape turtle shell, and then decorate the rest with one of the character's colors. Start with a green poster board circle that is roughly the same size as a dinner plate. Cut out yellow- and tan-colored squares and circles. Have your child glue the shapes to the poster board, naming each shape as she goes along. Make a circle head, oval arms and legs and a triangle tail from colored construction paper. Choose a different color for each turtle's head, according to the ninja turtle's signature hues: Michelangelo is orange, Leonardo is blue, Donatello is purple and Raphael is red. Glue these to the shell to complete the craft.
Turn a plain old paper lunch sack into a cool craft for your preschooler to try. Flatten a paper bag and point the flap side upward. Give your young artist paints, markers or crayons, and have him create his favorite ninja turtle. Have him color the entire bag green with green tempera paint or a marker. Cut a piece of colored felt -- choose one of the turtle's trademark colors -- to glue around the top of the bag as a mask-like bandana. Add large googley eyes and nostril circles on the bag's flap.
Instead of buying comics for your turtle-loving kid, help her to make her own book. Fold at least two pieces of light-colored or white 8- by 10-inch paper in half. Position the paper horizontally to make the folded paper into a book. Staple the page together at the center. Cover the staples with masking tape to prevent any injuries from the sharp edges. Give your child a pack of crayons, markers or colored pencils and have her draw her own ninja turtle story. Ask her what happens first, in the middle and at the end to make the story-telling easier for her.
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