contributed by Leanne Guenther
A simple construction paper crown the kids have fun making, decorating and wearing! Perfect for children celebrating the olympics or learning about ancient Greece. This craft can either be a laurel wreath (crown) or an olive wreath (crown). They are commonly called "wreaths" but they're worn on top of the head like a crown.
Olive wreaths (crowns) were given to the winners of olympic games in ancient Greece and are associated with Hercules in Greek mythology. They were originally made from a branch of the olive trees growing in Olympia (the place in Greece where the Olympics were held). In Greek mythology, the wild olive trees in Olympia were planted by Hercules near the temple of his father Zeus. And, yes, these are the trees that olives grow on!
Laurel wreaths (crowns) were given to scholars, poets and conquering heroes (like Julius Caesar) in ancient Greece. They are associated with Apollo in Greek mythology. Laurel wreaths are still given to some graduates of university. The laurel wreath was made from laurel bushes. Laurel leaves, also known as bay leaves, are nice smelling and can be used to flavour food (I use them in soup!)
- green construction paper (preferably two different shades)
- Optional: staples
- Optional: printable templates (see bottom of this page)
- Cut 2 or 3 strips of green construction paper about 2" wide and as long as you can make them.
- Tape the pieces end to end to make a really long piece.
- Wrap around the child's head to measure how long you need and trim off the excess, leaving a bit of overlap (don't tape into a circle yet).
- Cut leaves out of construction paper (or use the printable templates at the bottom
of this page). I actually prefer construction paper leaves, not the template, because the construction paper is green on both sides. However, if you're encouraging scissor skills with
preschoolers, the templates can be a nice opportunity to practice.
- Fold a piece of green construction paper in half. Rub your finger along the crease so it's a nice clean fold.
- NOTE: older children and adults can fold 2 or 3 times before cutting to make a group of leaves. Young children should stick to a single fold, at least to start with.
- Cut a half leaf shape out along the fold, so that when you open your leaf it's symmetrical (the same on both sides) with a fold down the center.
- Repeat this process until you have a lot of leaves (we used about 4 sheets of construction paper).
- Glue leaves (preferably two different shades of green) all along the strip of
- Encourage the children to glue the leaves on firmly (use a fair amount of glue) so the leaves don't fall off when we roll it into a crown.
- Let the kids be as creative as they like -- they can make the leaves all point upwards, make patterns with the two shades or just randomly glue on leaves.
- Let them make their crown as full or as empty as they like (some like to overlap leaves, others like to space the leaves out so they don't touch)
- Let dry completely (an adult can go around with a glue bottle and touch up any leaves that don't look like they'll stay on -- remember, you're going to have to roll it into a crown shape, so they should be glued quite well).
- Tape the construction paper ends together to form a crown!
- Close the template window after printing to return to this screen.
- Set page margins to zero if you have trouble fitting the template on one page (FILE, PAGE SETUP or FILE, PRINTER SETUP in most browsers).