Easy Easter Egg Craft

easter egg craft

We just got back from a nine day family vacation so I wanted to re-establish a routine quickly but gently. This Easter eggs craft was a perfect way to do that. It’s very process focused and I let the kids direct as much as they wanted. I had the paper cut out in eggs but also had extra as plain paper that they could make into any shape they wanted. This was quick for my son who was eager to play with new Lego sets (spoiled by a Great-Grandma) but my daughter explored for a long time after her brother was done. Expect a mess and enjoy!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some paper, bubble wrap ( the big ones works well), paint, a tray or plate for paint, brushes ( love ours from craftprojectideas.com) , some painter’s tape , scissors and if you want to display it a few sheets of construction paper and glue.
  2. Start by cutting out some paper eggs. I made sure to have plain paper on hand too but my kids just made a few eggs each.bubble wrap easter eggs
  3. Next attach the bubble wrap to the table. My daughter loved popping the wrap which is great for fine motor development.
  4. Dish out the paint. I have been teaching my son about colors and how adding white changes the tint so we did that. Adjust this step to your child. My daughter hated mixing and when we helped her with the first she started crying . My son mixed all hers for her after and showed her how he mixed his and then she was fine but I will find a new way of approaching this with her next time.
  5. Mix.
  6. Paint the bubble wrap. My daughter wasn’t sure at first so I sat down and painted with my son, soon she was asking for the brush too.
  7. My son painted with his brush but my daughter and I took turns, she often used her hands. Then wanted them wiped off, then … well it was a long back and forth but that’s ok.
  8. Print the paper on. She insisted on printing one in the same spot as her brother.
  9. Voila !
  10. Glue to construction paper and you have a super easy Easter craft for all ages.

Easter Egg Books

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Ollie’s Easter Eggs (a Gossie & Friends book) by Olivier Durea is a cute book about friends working hard to dye their Easter eggs, well all but one Ollie who is playing and looking incredibly adorable in bunny ears while the others work hard.  However Ollie may have missed out on dyeing the eggs but he makes up for it by masterminding a true egg hunt!  My 4 year old son loved this book and how sneaky Ollie was as he snatched the hidden dyed eggs and re hid them! Cute addition to this popular series.

Where Are Baby’s Easter Eggs? by Karen Katz is a great way of having an Easter egg hunt while reading a story. If you aren’t familiar with the ” Where are  Baby’s …” series of life the flap books, they are simple books where the reader searches for an item finding other things first before finally finding the title object, in this case Easter eggs. My daughter loves these books and plays with them even when we aren’t reading them together. I love the bright illustrations and the simple holiday theme.

Easter books

The Best Easter Eggs Ever! by Jerry Smath .The story follows the Easter bunny and his 3 young assistant bunnies as they prepare for their big day. The Easter Bunny is getting tired and a little bored of his polka dot design for the eggs and decides to send out his assistants in search of new designs. The little bunnies head out with one egg and paints to all different places to find inspiration. When one of the little bunnies is captivated by the night sky she doesn’t notice how dark it is and how lost she has gotten. The Easter Bunny and his other assistants find her and in the morning the new designs are celebrated. My son loves an inside look at any sort of secret place like  the Easter Bunny’s or Santa’s workshop so he was drawn into this book immediately. I liked the illustrations and how detailed they were , it certainly got me excited about Easter.

St. Patrick’s Day Sensory Play & Craft

St. Patrick's Day Craft

Crafts for toddlers often has more than one goal. My main goal is special time together but often I have a secondary goal like fine motor development, learning colors, or sensory play. My daughter is 20 months old and I have no laundry list of things I want her to know at this age , my goal is to expose her to lots of fun activities and see what she takes a liking to. She loves water play so I thought she might like to try puffy paint again, I was right. This is a great activity for preschoolers too, don’t think simple crafts like this are only for toddlers.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some plain old shaving cream, green paint ( darker the better), something to stir with , plain white glue, a marker , scissors and heavy paper. 
  2. Start by drawing a shamrock on heavy paper don’t worry about it being even close to perfect you will be slopping and squishing puffy paint all over it! 
  3. Time to mix. My son who was playing Lego in the playroom but didn’t want to make a craft did pop up to help mix.  I do this so often I don’t measure anymore. I usually use about a cup of shaving cream to about 1/4 cup of glue. Then add the paint until it’s the color you want. Ours was greener than it looks but definitely a mint green. 
  4. Start playing. 
  5. She wasn’t sure at first.
  6. But soon both her hands were squishing, spreading and exploring. shamrock craft
  7. Yay fun !! We played and played.
  8. She was not happy when I told her it was time to wash hands.
  9. But washing the container in the sink was a great treat… for both of us. toddler craft
  10. Let dry (at least 24 hours so the paint stays puffy even after you cut into it) and cut out. toddler st. Patrick's Day Craft

 

Toddler Butterfly Craft

spring craftsMy toddler is in the eating paper phase and the fling the paint phase. We are still having fun with paint but when we do my camera is safely on a shelf since I need two hands to wipe down the playroom walls. Today while her brother was at school we made this mess free butterfly craft with ribbons something she has no desire to eat or fling. If your toddler’s reaction to an activity frustrates you find a way to connect and create with them that doesn’t push your buttons. I say all the time how if we make the challenge too great for our kids they shut down and stop learning well it goes for us too. If I am frustrated I am not connecting with my child and getting angry about exploration serves no one. Don’t give up on the messy stuff (they need it) just try it again when you have the patience to deal with their exuberance.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some sturdy paper , contact paper , ribbons in your choice of colors , scissors and crayons.
  2. Have your child color the paper first. I forgot. For really little guys skipping this like I did is probably best, it’s another step that might make it too long. While they do that cut the ribbon.
  3. Fold your paper and cut out a butterfly shape.
  4. Cut out the middle.butterfly craft
  5. Peel the back off your contact paper and press your butterfly on sticky side up.bug theme for daycare
  6. Trim.
  7. Give the butterfly to your child. She just felt it for a minute or two. I just let her explore.bug craft
  8. Hand them the ribbon. She immediately started adding it to the butterfly.toddler easy crafts
  9. No need to help unless they seek it, every now and then I would say ” That’s a nice red ribbon.” or ” You found a yellow one.” but it wasn’t a constant dialog.
  10. They will let you know when they are done. Activity will slow, items may start finding the floor… just know that toddlers typically won’t spend long on a structured activity like this and don’t feel like you are doing anything wrong . We spent about 5 minutes total. This is her “done” she claps her hands once and says “un!”
  11. Put it up where your little one can see what they made and know you think it’s fantastic!

 

Simple Penguin Craft

penguin craft

We love penguins and was one of my favorite themes for daycare and preschool when I was teaching toddlers. My daughter loves the penguin bath toy you see in this post so we decided to use a penguin to paint a penguin. This was a huge hit with my toddler who thought it was hilarious to whack it on the paper. With older children encourage them to do the cutting but with toddlers the goal is fun, exploration and making something fun to show off on the fridge. This penguin is on our fridge right now and my daughter likes to point to it saying her name and smiles.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 3 sheets of construction paper ( blue, black and orange) , white paint, a dish , a bath toy ( but a sponge will do), glue, scissors and googly eyes ( although I put them on at the end she is too little and still eats things).penguin craft
  2. Start by pouring paint into the dish, and placing the toy in it.
  3. Hand it  and the black paper to your monkey and start painting. My daughter carefully made a few prints…penguin craft
  4. Then really got into it.
  5. We paused to wipe paint off our hands and mouth and switched paper. The blue paper is the icy habitat so it needs paint too! penguin craft for kids
  6. I gave her snack after clean up #2 and allowed the paint to dry some. And cut out some feet and a nose from the orange paper. penguin craft
  7. Then cut out the black into the shape of a penguin.
  8. Time to glue.  We took turns gluing.penguin craft for kids
  9. If they want to take time to explore the glue bottle don’t fret, they are making connections. Just stay close so any giant messes can be minimized.
  10. Put the body on the glue.
  11. I added the glue for the nose and feet putting it on a wide area so she could choose where to place the pieces. Don’t correct your kids  and where they place things, this is their creation. If they are able to glue ( and get more than a few tiny drops) by all means encourage them to do it.
  12. Add eyes ( if your little bug is like mine and eating all small potentially hazardous items wait until they are napping or engaged in other play and add them on) and let dry.penguin craft

Penguin Books

Penguins, Penguins, Everywhere! by Bob Barner is a cute rhyming book filled with simple facts about penguins. My toddler loved the bold illustrations, and my son really liked the facts and it sparked a desire to learn more about the animal. That is one of my favorite things about non fiction books like this that look like stories , they plant seeds of interest that can be launched into deeper inquiry. Great book for preschool through Kindergarten.

Penguin by Polly Dunbar was an unexpected delight! The book started with Ben who got a penguin as a gift but no matter what he did he got no reaction from his penguin. Finally as happens with young kids Ben lost it, has a temper tantrum and a lion eats him. Yes I said a lion eats him. My son loved it. He howled with laughter and don’t worry in the end it’s happy so nightmares are unlikely if you read this before bed. I loved the rhythm of this book and the simple illustrations were a perfect fit. Big thumbs up from kid and parent on this one!

Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester is such a cute and funny story, your kids will love it! Tacky is an odd bird but when hunters come to get some pretty penguins is funny odd ways of doing things turn off the hunters and saves Tacky and his perfectly not odd companions. This is a sweet look at being different and being happy as pie about being different.  My son loves this book and will often point out that Tacky is proud to sing just the way he wants. I love that it can preach to kids without preaching at all.

 

Playdough Play Mats – Silly Hairdos!

This sensory activity allows kids to use their imagination to give you or themselves a new hairdo with playdough. My toddler is a huge fan of playdough play and it’s great stuff for toddlers and preschoolers… but my 5 year old gets bored easily sometimes. It’s not essential we all play the same things but it’s nice to play and be silly together .It was inspired by this paint project from Putti Prapancha . Adapting it to playdough  allowed us all to sit and play together .

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some sheet protectors, some photos of faces that you can cut, playdough ( ours is store bought but homemade will work a-ok), a few sheets of construction paper, some scissors, painters tape, double stick tape and a garlic press.
  2. Start by cutting out the faces from some family pictures. Cut off the hair! playdough ideas
  3. Tape them onto the construction paper using double stick tape.
  4. Slip it into a page protector. I had to trim my construction paper to fit.Tape to the table with painter’s tape if you have a little one like my daughter who takes great pleasure in “clearing off” tables.
  5. Start playing. We used the garlic press, our hands and scissors to make the hair. preschool play dough stuff
  6. My daughter loved putting it on my face, apparently she wants me to have a goatee. Don’t worry about toddlers putting the hair in the “right” place, there is no “right” place.  Talk about who they are looking at , talk about how squishy the playdough is and ask if they have hair etc… no need to make it a battle of wills, this is supposed to be play, so let them explore.
  7. We rotated through the pictures taking turns ( another good lesson) .He loved mixing the colors in the garlic press.
  8. Squeezing it out.
  9. Adding it on. For some reason the concept of chest hair has been a big topic at our house – not something I was expecting until closer to puberty but ok. He added some on his sister and himself. Have fun with this.

Books About Families

Something From Nothing by Phoebe Gilman is one of those books that you read and think oh I love it, but will kids? I am here to tell you yes! They love this old Yiddish folk tale about a little boy, his very special blanket and his grandfather who made it for him. Over the years Joseph’s blanket transforms into a jacket, a vest, a tie, and handkerchief and finally a button. The story is beautiful and kids love not only the repetitive text when the grandfather is sewing but also the continuing storyline of the mice that live under the floor boards who use the scraps of material for all sorts of things. There are no goofy gimmicks, no lights or sounds just a great story and beautiful illustrations in this gem! A fantastic book about family and growing up.

All Kinds of Families! by Mary Ann Hoberman was not what my son or I expected at all. The story is really disjointed both connecting similar objects into families and talking about the generations of a family. I like  that it explains that there can be all sorts of families  and that it talks about how your family makes you into new things like a son, sister or cousin but I think mixing the two is too disconnected for the average picture book reading kid. To be honest it was a little disjointed for me too.  My son was ready for it to be over half way through and that is never a good sign. Usually by the time he’s asked if it’s over he’s tuned out. The illustrations were cute but even they didn’t save it for us.

The Family Book by Todd Parr is a book that doesn’t give readers a narrow definition of family , it doesn’t say that your family has to look a certain way, or be the same as your neighbors. As a teacher I really appreciated the matter of fact way it embraced diversity. Kids see that families are not all like theirs and it’s important to validate the truth while recognizing that while they may not all look alike, all families are made with love. Great book , cute illustrations and children love it.

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