Making balloon octopuses (octopi?) is a quick and easy after school craft activity. All you need is some balloons, tape, crepe paper (or streamers or tissue paper) and permanent markers. I blew up a balloon for A, but L blew her own up, and tied it off. I added string to the knot so that the octopuses could be hung up.
They each cut up some crepe streamers into eight pieces for the tentacles (another opportunity to practice some counting!). Then they used tape to stick these on around the bottom of the balloon. A used the permanent markers to draw a face, including hair, ears and cheeks, while L covered her balloon in red spots, and told me it was a ‘red-ring octopus’. L also put some red spots on the tentacles. They had to be careful not to use too much pressure when drawing on the balloons so they didn’t pop. A glued a few pieces of pink tissue paper to the back of hers to make it pretty.
Once they were finished, I used blu-tack to stick the strings to the roof so that the tentacles hang down and swish in the breeze.