Here is a great Muffin Man themed STEM project to add to your nursery rhyme unit! It is creative, fun, and only takes a few basic materials. Of course, since it is a literacy based activity, it could also be considered a STREAM project (Science, Technology, Reading Engineering, Arts, Math). All you need are some leftover muffin liners of various colors and designs, paper, markers or crayons, glue, and some imagination! You'll have your kids creating muffin boys, girls, dogs, bunnies, babies, creatures, and anything else they can think of!
This is wonderful project took almost NO PREP time at all! All I did was set out the muffin liners and other supplies. I also had some volunteers fold a few of the muffin liners in thirds to facilitate the making of limbs and other long, straight objects. They also folded a few of the liners in half. This was because I did the project with my Transitional Kindergartners (TK), and I thought that they might have some trouble with this part. Another alternative would be to give them some cut paper for the rectangular pieces, of course!
I felt lucky that one of my faithful volunteers, a retired teacher friend named Sandy, brought in a bunch of leftover holiday themed muffin liners. The Valentine's Day liners were certainly a HIT with the girls, since they had all of the hearts on them!
I did make one sample in front of them, and had a sample picture of both a Muffin Girl and a Muffin Boy that I had made, but encouraged them to come up with their own ideas. Then we brainstormed for a bit about what else they could make.
I wasn't able to take pictures of all of them, but here are a few of my favorites! I especially liked the Muffin Dog pictured below!
In the image below, the child told me what the objects were, starting at the top going clockwise: Muffin Moon, Muffin Owl, and the large object that looks like a girl in the middle is actually a large Muffin Bird with wings! Below the bird is a stack of presents, and the two half muffin liners on the sides are both Muffin Trees. At the very top is a Muffin Tree! Oh, how I wish I had had the time to label them for him! LOL!
The best thing about projects like this is that they are totally creative, and once the kids get going, they just go and go and go! The biggest problem was that they simply didn't want to stop when the time was up!
Of course, we enjoyed singing "The Muffin Man" song from the HeidiSongs Nursery Rhymes DVD! However, somehow I forgot to grab a video of the kids singing! So here is one of them singing "One, Two, Buckle My Shoe" for you instead! The reason that they are spread out around my room is because we always sing a couple of songs in between each small group rotation. It gives them a chance to stand up, stretch, move, and get their sillies out a little bit in between each group!
Since my students are so young, I chose to leave this STEM/STREAM project open ended, but you could add a math challenge to it by giving them a certain number of muffin liners to use, or by having them count the liners when they are done. You could also challenge them try to build a three dimensional Muffin Man/Object by including some craft sticks. A technological challenge could be included by having them take a photo of it and then trying to label the body parts. However, for kids that have only JUST turned five, I think that just creating the Muffin Man was enough!
Thanks for reading! If you would like to see some of our other STEM ideas for early childhood, check these out!