The roar of the audience, the flashing lights, the first strains of your big number thrumming through the arena…grab the mic…it’s time for some kitty karaoke. We made rockin’ oatmeal container cats and then hit the stage to sing our hearts out. But, given the feline nature of this rock star, you could only sing in “meow.”
We read Cats Got Talent by Ron Barrett (Simon & Schuster, 2014). Hal, Dora, and Geneva are cats. Once, they had homes and owners, but there were issues. Hal has a tendency to shred curtains and destroy furniture. Dora lived in a dress store where she admired all the pretty frocks. Until she tried to become one herself. Geneva was surrounded by love, but the starlet who owned her went broke, and out Geneva went. Now, living in an ally, the three friends decide they’re going to make a new start and form a band. Opening night arrives, and the cats give it all they’re worth! Soon, they are showered by the audience’s “avid” reactions to their singing. But those fish heads, old shoes, and wilted flowers? They’re exactly what each cat is looking for – food, fashion, and adulation. So… who’s ready for an encore?
- 1 large oatmeal container
- A selection of construction paper
- A selection of self-adhesive foam pieces
- 2 pieces of twisteez wire (each approximately 5.5″ long)
- Rock star decorating supplies (more on those below)
- 1 small rectangle of black poster board (approximately 0.75″ x 2.5″)
- 1 small rectangle of silver mirror board (approximately 1.25″ x 1.5″)
- A black permanent marker
- 1 rock star stage (more on that below)
- Tape, scissors and glue for construction
- Metallic markers for decorating
- Hot glue
Wrap a large oatmeal container with construction paper, then add an additional strip of black construction paper around the middle for a “jacket.” To make whiskers, tape 3 Twisteez wires to front of the oatmeal container:
Then peel and stick an oval of self-adhesive foam over the tape.
In the above photo, you’ll also notice how I used self-adhesive foam shapes to make eyes and a pair of lips (but you can also just use markers).
Use construction to make hair, feet, arms, paws, ears, and a tail for your cat. To glam up our cats, we offered small gemstones, embossed foil paper, metallic dot stickers, iridescent fabric shapes, and the the Bling Bin. We also used paper crinkle for hair, and it was WAY popular.
The final step is to make a microphone! We prepped these in advance. Taper the bottom of a rectangle of black poster board. Round, and then taper, the rectangle of silver mirror board as well. Hot glue the two pieces together. Use permanent marker to add some “mesh.” Hot glue (or tape) the microphone to the cat’s hand.
Now for the concert! We made our stage out of an old archive box. As you can see in the image below, we hot glued the lid to the base (and reinforced the connection with packing tape). The stage lights are toilet paper tubes wrapped in black construction paper with black masking tape wrapped around one end. The stage lights are attached with hot glue, then reinforced with a bit of packing tape.
We used black and fuchsia poster board, mirror board, and a ton of metallic dot stickers to create a sparking wonderland of rock-stardom. Oh. Yeah.
For the final touch, we wrapped two LED floor lights with purple and blue cellophane, and pointed them at the stage. You certainly don’t have to go this elaborate. A shoe box wrapped with tin foil, a sparkly scarf on the floor, a section of carpet with a light shining on it. Really, it all works!
For the concert potion of story time, we closed the shades, turned off most of the lights, and had the audience sit in front of the stage. Then, kids were invited up to sing with their cats. Singing was, of course, optional. Some of the shyer kids preferred to just watch, even though many of them warmed up and gave it a go in the end.
There were many performance styles. There was facing outwards to the audience…
Facing inwards to the stage…
Facing inwards to the stage with backup singer…
The power duet…
You might notice the kids are using a real microphone! I use a wireless amp for my story time programs, so I busted out a hand-held microphone and let kids experience the power of amplification. A cheaper (and less noisy) option is to make a paper and tin foil microphone. You’ll find instructions for that right here.
And what would this post be without some concert footage?
Here’s an awesome “Down By the Station” and “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” mashup:
Bring it home Marissa!
[Raises cell phone flashlight] Woooooooooooooooooo!