Bubble wrap prints
We just got back from a 9 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- Next attach the bubble wrap to the table. My daughter loved popping the wrap which is great for fine motor development.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Print the paper on. She insisted on printing one in the same spot as her brother.
- Voila !
- Glue to construction paper and you have a super easy Easter craft for all ages.
Easter Egg Books
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 snachted 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.
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.
Chinese New Year is almost here and today we made a Chinese dragon to celebrate the year of the dragon. When I suggested we make a dragon today my son said ” Okay but it has to be huge!” My request was that it was a project that we could all do together. I also wanted a longer project since we are stuck at home in the snow and needed a long project to break up the at home day.
- Gather your materials. You will need some craft ( butcher block) paper, red, yellow and green construction paper , green paint, a rolling pin, cutting board, potato masher ( optional), scissors, glue, bubble wrap and a googly eye. Oh and painters tape to hold it down while you create.
- Start by taping the paper down and draw a dragon. I free handed the dragon and while perfect it’s not , I am trying to model effort not perfection for my kids and we are focusing on making something fun, not something perfect.
- Using the construction paper make triangles for spikes on the dragon’s back and head, long strips of red and orange for fire . If your child is cutting make some long strips with guided lines or blank strips thin enough for them to hold and cut easily. My daughter isn’t cutting yet but she still enjoyed ripping so I made sure some of our construction paper was in strips the right size for her to rip and even made little rip to get her started. Set these aside for later.
- Wrap bubble wrap around your rolling pin and grab a potato masher – both will give a reptilian like print when your child uses them to paint.
- Spread the paint on a cutting board .
- Roll and paint.
- They were both into it. I moved my daughter’s booster around to different parts of the dragon and my son moved around the table painting and printing.
- She loved the rolling pin.
- Let dry – I popped this up in my bathroom to dry while we played , went out in the snow and had lunch.
- Add glue
- Add the spikes!
- He had fun with the fire .
- Let dry and cut out.
- Hang up and celebrate the year of the dragon!
Books About Chinese New Year
D is for Dancing Dragon: A China Alphabet by Carol Crane is a in valuable book when teaching about China and Chinese New Year, it is more than a simple alphabet book, going into detail about lanterns, chopsticks, panda bears and so much more. What I love about these books is that younger children can be shown the pictures and given a easy to digest synopsis of the text, while older children can read the whole book. The illustrations by Zong-Zhou Wang will make the most reluctant traveler want to get on a plane to china, they are simply spectacular!
My First Chinese New Year by Karen Katz is a simple introduction to Chinese New Year for young children. It’s a board book so if you have let’s say a 4 year old who , let’s say has decided he thinks board books are only for babies, you may want to have him be a reading helper for this one.I had to cajole my son into helping me read this book to his sister but once I started he was into it and enjoying the simplistic way the author illustrator explains the Chinese customs. Even adults may learn something new. Did you know that cutting hair for a fresh start for the new year is a tradition? I never did! The illustrations are bright and cheery and for those of you who aren’t fans of the baby lift the flap books from this author you may want to give the author another chance because her holiday books are really great.
Bringing in the New Year by Grace Lin is a wonderful book to explain Chinese New Year and some of the customs that comes along with it to your preschooler. The illustrations are bright and help explain the festivities and preparations that go into the celebration. The book culminates with a fold out page with a huge dragon briging in the new year. There is also a great explanation of the holiday for parents at the back of the book.
This was supposed to be a craft just for my daughter, but when my son and his friend saw what we were doing they jumped in too. I was not planning on 3 kids doing it all at once so it was a little chaotic but the playroom and all the kids survived… remember to use washable paint . The kids have all used bubble wrap to print on things before so switching it so they painted the bubble wrap was new and a big hit.
- Gather your materials. You will need some bubble wrap, paint, painter’s tape, paint brushes , heavy paper ( paper grocery bags are perfect), a pencil and scissors.
- Start by taping the bubble wrap to the work surface with the painter’s tape.
- Next paint the bubble wrap with green. For my toddler I gave her a big brush for the green to encourage coverage. She was encouraged …
- Next add the lights colors. Let kids decide which colors they want, this helps with color recognition too.
- Ok this is when the boys busted in pretending to be Anakin Skywalker and Darth Vader ( I know impossible right… not for two imaginative 5 year olds! ) and grabbed some brushes.
- Keep painting the wrap.
- Draw some trees on the paper and cut out.
- Press the paper into the wrap and peel back carefully.
- For my toddler I left the paper big so she could do as much as possible herself , the small tree would have probably gotten ripped. Leaving it big let her do it herself feeling the wrap under the paper and “bang banging” her hand to make the print.
- Let dry and cut out the tree shape for the toddler.
- Hang up and show off the fun ( and wee bit of chaos…) remember washable paints!
A great way to get children interested in science is to go on field trips to learn first hand. I like to take my children somewhere exciting every Friday then use our trip as a launching pad for more learning with books and of course a creative craft. Last week we went to our local aquarium and checked out a new octopus, some jelly fish , crabs and of course starfish! For the craft when we came home we used both bubble wrap for my preschooler and a easier to manipulate tool for my toddler. I am always happy when we can find crafts that work with both kids at the same time.
- Take a trip to your local aquarium, beach or even a pet store and check out some sea life!
- Gather your materials. You will need some paper ( we love using grocery bags), self stick bubble wrap ( regular works too but man was the self stick awesome), paint, a plate for the paint, marker, toilet paper roll and scissors. If you are doing this with toddlers you may also want a dish scrubber with a handle.
- Start by drawing a starfish on your paper. I taped the paper bag right down to the table with painters tape to use it as a drop cloth and project all in one. I had one kid at each end of the table.
- Cut your bubble wrap so it wraps around your toilet paper roll. The self stick stayed on like magic , I am in love. I swear this post isn’t sponsored by the bubble wrap company .
- Choose your paint colors and pour into a plate. Not too much or the bubble wrap won’t show. Roll the bubble wrap in.
- Roll it on your starfish.
- We never get sick of how awesome bubble wrap prints are, and we’ve made a few over the years!
- Now for the wee ones. I gave her the same plate and let her smack her star with the scrubber. As you can see it did go to her lips but because it’s harder plastic all she could do was lick it. This is why I don’t sponge paint with her yet, she could bite off a piece and choke. Another tip for babies and toddlers, keep some stained clothes for art time, many will refuse a smock and it’s easier to get a good fit with clothes.
- Let dry and cut out.
Books About The Ocean
A House for Hermit Crab is a book I have owned for many years. It offers so many learning opportunities for young readers and doesn’t loose any of the entertainment in trying to hard to teach. The hermit crab feels drab and each month he asks different sea creatures to help decorate his shell . As the shell is getting more and more beautiful it’s also getting more and more snug and almost time for the hermit crab to leave it behind and find a bigger one. The book teaches about sea creatures, months of the year and moving. More than moving it teaches about change . Change is difficult for all of us but a little trickier for most preschoolers which makes this book so valuable
Hooray for Fish!: Candlewick Storybook Animations by Lucy Cousins gets are huge “Hooray” from our house. I thought my son would think this book was a little young for him. He’s started saying board books are for babies, and he’s a big boy and even though this isn’t a board book it’s simple, big and bright like one. Nope, he loved it. Little Fish takes the readers on a tour of all the different kinds of fish , the bright fun illustrations are so interesting to look at , and choose your favorite fish on each page. The rhymes are fun and when we finished reading my son immediately asked to read it again! Edited for 2011 – now that he is almost 5 he flatly refused to read this with me but his sister who is 14 months liked it!
Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea by Jan Peck is about a little boy swimming in the “deep” looking for treasure. Along the way he encounters different sea animals and greets and says good bye to each before swimming away on his treasure hunt. The cute kicker is that all along the little boy is really in his bath tub and the animals are just toys. I liked the twist and so did my son who then requested a laundry basket to play bath, funny how he didn’t actually want a bath… a mom can dream! Edited for 2011 – my son re discovered this book as we were setting up the playroom in our new house. It’s still a hit with him after 2 years.
I have been waiting to do this craft for ages but you will see that even fun projects sometimes don’t appeal to cranky 2 year olds, no biggie, just improvise and everyone will have fun. Although I am doing this as a Thanksgiving craft , you can do this while learning about nutrition, cooking or gardening too!
- Gather your materials. You will need 2 pieces of paper, a crayon, paint, a piece of bubble wrap, a paint brush, glue and scissors.
- Draw 2 ears of corn on a yellow or white piece of construction paper.
- Mix some paint on a plate, and dip the bubble wrap in it, I blotted it in paper towel first. This was as much as my son would do with the wrap, right after I took this picture I got told ” No , no brush, pease” .
- If your child likes bubble wrap have them press the bubble wrap on their corn. My son used a paint brush instead. I did a bubble wrap one though, so you can see the results below ! Let the corn dry.
- When your child is painting with bubble wrap or a brush, draw some husks on the 2nd piece of paper.
- Have your child paint it brown with a paint brush, as you can see my son was all over this step! Let everything dry.
- Cut out the corn – you can see that as cool as the bubble print corn is the one my son made is just as wonderful, so don’t stress if your child goes “off book” it’s all good! It looks almost like he used the wrap in places but it was all dotting with the brush.
- Cut out the husks, if your child can use scissors let them do the cutting, and glue to the top of the corn.