Caterpillars Don’t Meow !

Classic Egg Carton Caterpillar
This is a classic craft but hopefully some of my tips will help you enjoy craft time a little more!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need an egg carton, some paint, a pipe cleaner, some sharp scissors, a paint brush and some markers.
  2. Start by painting the egg carton. My tip with this step is to leave the whole egg carton intact even though you will only need to use half of it. It makes it easier for little guys to paint, and you to hold or tape down for them.
  3. Add more colors of paint. My tip here is for parents to add the paint to the egg carton with really young preschoolers or toddlers. What I do is ask my son what color he wants, then put a small amount on and he brushes it.
  4. Let the paint dry.
  5. Cut the egg carton in two length wise .
  6. Poke 2 holes in the top of the first section.
  7. Thread your pipe cleaner through.
  8. Twist the ends however you want!
  9. Add some eyes and a mouth with markers if you have little guys, or use googley eyes with older ones.
Song!

The Little Caterpillar
( to the tune of The Itsy Bitsy Spider)

The little caterpillar snuggled on a leaf,
Spun a little chrysalis and then fell asleep,
While she was sleeping she dreamed that she could fly,
When she woke up she was a butterfly!

*Sorry no video today, I am sick and I sounded worse than usual, and I don’t want to frighten your kids! I will try to upload one soon!

Books!

” Percival the Plain Little Caterpillar” by Helen Brawley is one of my son’s favorite books right now, due to the fact that there are shiny and shimmery pictures throughout! The story though leaves something to be desired, as the message seems to be that being plain is bad and the only fix for poor Percival is when he turns into a beautiful butterfly! When reading this to my class I would often interject with Questions to my students about what they thought was cool about Percival, and that combated the undesirable message that you have to be beautiful to be worthy.

” The Crunching Munching Caterpillar” by Sheridan Cain is another story about a caterpillar who is not happy about his lot in life. There is a fair bit of language that some parents would object to. This caterpillar is often reminded that he is too fat to fly- so that poses a few challenges to parents like myself who are trying to instill healthy body images as well as using respectful words with others in our children. I have dealt with this book in two ways, first by saying that the caterpillar is getting fat but it’s a good thing because he will be sleeping for a long time in his chrysalis and needs that fat to live. Also I have simply replaced fat with big, a word that is much less ugly to many people’s ears.


” The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle is the standard that neither of the previous books come close to meeting. This is a classic and a personal favorite of mine from Kindergarten! This book helps to teach days of the week, counting and even has a great message about healthy eating! While this book states that the caterpillar gets big and fat, it’s said as a statement not a judgement which is much more appropriate in my opinion. If you don’t have this book you need it!

B is for Bird !

Recycled Bird Feeder!

Some times nature needs a little bribe to come close, here is how to make that bribe!
  1. Gather your materials. You will need an empty Milk Carton, a bamboo skewer, dowel or chopstick , scissors, ribbon and birdseed. You can also paint the feeder with non toxic paint, but if you live in a wet climate like myself I would and did skip this step!
  2. Cut an opening in the milk carton. You will want it to start about an inch from the bottom.
  3. When that is done poke a hole under that for the dowel/chopstick and one on the opposite side of the carton.
  4. Poke the dowel through.
  5. Poke a hole in the top of the carton for the ribbon that will be used to hang the feeder. Thread the ribbon through and knot it, you can use twine or string too, I am just using what I had available.
  6. Fill with bird seed.
  7. Hang it outside and wait for the birds… I am still waiting but I am hoping we see some soon!

Feather Painting !

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some paint, a few feathers, a small plate and some paper .
  1. Spread a little paint on the plate.
  2. Dip your feather in and start painting. Toddlers are quick to discover how the feather with paint on it tastes!
  3. Add more colors of paint , and you will probably have to get a new feather after painting a while, they aren’t very sturdy!

Everything in its place , and a place for everything!

Pretty Paper Place Mats

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some construction paper or card stock, some glue, scissors, crayons and contact paper.
  2. Have your child color , write their name, draw a picture whatever they want on a light color paper.
  3. While they are doing that you can cut out some shapes using another piece of paper , or if your child is able you can have them do this step as well.
  4. Glue the shapes to the paper, for young toddlers I would suggest putting small drops of glue on the paper and having them put the shapes on them.
  5. Cut a large enough piece of contact paper to fold over the place mat.
  6. Place the drawing/ collage on another piece of paper to use as a backing.
  7. Place both pieces face down on the first half of the contact paper, then fold the rest over. You want to do it face down to avoid big bubbles on the front of the place mat.
  8. Trim and you are good to go!!


Books!

” The Princess and the Pizza” by Mary Jane and Herm Auch is a cute revamped fairytale about a Princess who discovers Pizza and independence all at once. There are some sassy parts to this story so you may want to keep this book for older children , but the message of independence is refreshing.

” Mmmm, Cookies!” by Robert Munsch is a silly story about a boy who makes cookies out of playdough and tricks people into eating them, and their revenge. The story itself isn’t extraordinary but the way that the actions in the story are coupled with sounds keeps even the most uninterested reader turning the pages!

” If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” by Laura Joffe Numeroff is a fun story about a demanding mouse and the consequences of giving into his whims! The illustrations by Felicia Bond have adorable details and compliment the simple but entertaining story perfectly. I like to use this book while teaching sequencing, and after reading it ask the children ” Well what happened next?” .

That Blows! Frustration , Feelings and Fun!

Blow Painting!

This is a great project for preschoolers on up but would probably prove to be incredibly frustrating for toddlers.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some paper, drinking straws, paint, a small container and a little bit of water.
  2. Thin out your paint with a little water in a small container. It should be thin enough to splatter but still thick enough to hold the pigment.
  3. Using your straw drip some paint on your paper.
  4. Keeping the end of your straw close to the drip of paint , blow through it and watch the paint spread! If it’s not spreading try thinning it out a bit more, or blow harder!
  5. Add another color and keep going! Spin the paper around to get the splatters in all directions.

Song!



Cooperation Song

The more we work together,
together,
together,
the more we work together,
the happier we’ll be,
cause I like to help you,
and you like to help me,

the more we work together,
the happier we’ll be.

Books!

I decided to focus my song and books about feelings because young children need a lot of reassurance about feelings in my experience. Toddlers and Preschoolers have always reminded me of teenagers, seeking independence from the baby stage but not sure about where the boundaries should be. All of these books have been useful to me while teaching and talking to young children about feelings.


“The way I feel” by Janan Cain is a useful book. It labels feelings with a short rhyming piece of text and fanciful illustrations. While I wouldn’t suggest this as a book for a nightly read it is useful while specifically learning and talking about emotions. I like to have children show me their faces in the same feelings as the book progresses. If you are reading this with a small group or your child stop and talk about times when you felt these emotions.

” The Grumpy Morning” by Pamela Duncan Edwards is a great book. I think I got it as a freebie with a scholastic order years ago, either way I am so glad I have it. The book follows all the animals on a farm as they wake up grumpy and hungry and needing attention from the farmer. As a teacher i love this book because I could talk about whining, and demanding and ask my students if there are better ways to get what you want. As a parent I love it because the text is musical and my son loves seeing all the animals and what sounds they make since he is still a little young to appreciate the lesson about feelings at 16 months.

” Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.” by Judith Viorst is a modern classic. I have loved this book since grade 2 when Madame Griffin had us write our own versions of the story. I stole her idea many times over the years usually doing it as a circle time activity with each child adding one thing that makes them mad. This magic of this book is that the end isn’t happy , Alexander goes to bed still mad and that’s okay, sometimes days are bad.


Ball Painting


This activity is super easy to do but will delight your child!
  1. Gather your Materials. For this art activity you will need a ball, I am using a golf ball but if my son was older I’d use a marble or 2! Also a few colors of paint, some paper and a shoe box or shoe box lid.
  2. Place a piece of paper into the box , along with a small amount of paint, then carefully place the ball on the paint.
  3. Tip the box this way and that way and watch the ball “paint” the paper. Younger children will want to catch the ball, so just make sure you are using non toxic paint and a ball big enough not to fit in their mouth.
  4. Repeat with more paint colors!
Song!

Today’s song is the French version of ” If you are happy and you know it” but the literal translation is ” If you love the Sun” . I don’t expect you to sing this exact song with your kids unless you speak French ( in which case ignore my horrible accent ) but I urge you to sing songs in other languages if you know them even if your accent is horrible !


Si tu aimes le soleil!

Si tu aimes le soleil… frappe des mains!
Si tu aimes le soleil ….frappe des mains!
Si tu aimes le soleil, le printemps qui se reveille
Si tu aimes le soleil… frappe des main!

Repeat with:

Tape des peids
Cliques des doights.

Books!

I decided for this “mixed bag” I would focus on one author I love, so today I am showcasing David Shannon! His books make me laugh and every student I have ever read these to has enjoyed his humor and characters too!


” A Bad Case of the Stripes” is about a little girl so worried about impressing others that she keeps changing and looses who she really is. This story is a cautionary tale about being yourself, and NOT being yourself. A great book for older preschoolers and young elementary aged children.

” Duck on a Bike”
is a more than just a story about a duck riding a bike, it’s about trying new things and how if one person dares to do something different they can urge a whole group to change too! This book can be the start of a great dialog between you and your child about trying things that seem impossible!

” No, David!”
is probably David Shannon’s most known book, it it we follow the misadventures of little David and his eventual dicsiplining and hug from his mom! This book is a wonderful gate way into talking about rules with a class, I have successfully used ti as a reminder about rules and why we have them. Kids love watching other kids do naughty things , so this book is always a hit with toddlers on up!