3D Pasta and Paper Collage

butterfly pasta
I never get tired of butterflies, they are beautiful and fascinating and a great tool to learn about life cycles. This craft came about because I was using this pasta to make dinner last night . Dinner was a hit and I love how this turned out too.You could absolutely do this with younger children I would simply dye the pasta first, and either draw a branch or just skip the branch all together and make a butterfly only 3D collage!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 3 pieces of construction paper ( blue, brown and green) large scrap pieces would be great for the brown and green. You will also need bow tie pasta, markers and glue.
  2. Start by ripping your brown paper to make a branch. Lay it out on the blue paper before you glue it down.Glue it down.
  3. Rip your green paper into little leaves. Glue on.
  4. Color your pasta with the markers. I like the challenge of drawing on something so tiny, it’s a great fine motor builder. That said if this is too frustrating dye the pasta before hand or simply leave them plain.
  5. Add glue to your branch.
  6. Add your pasta
  7. Add your antennae with a marker. Let dry.

Bandage Lightning Bugs


This was one of those crafts that I was giddy about doing as soon as the idea came to me. I bought these bandages for my son to play doctor with but forgot I had them. While brainstorming and playing with them in my hands I realized they’d show up great on black paper! My son had no interest in doing this, he just wanted to cover himself with the bandages and ask for kisses, but I know other kids will love it.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2 yellow bandages for each bug and one of another color, we chose orange but any color with enough contrast will work. You will also need 2 googly eyes for each bug, a yellow and a white crayon and glue.
  2. Start by drawing your night scene, a moon, some stars!
  3. Open your bandages.
  4. Stick the bandages you are using as bodies on first.
  5. Next criss cross the yellow bandages over the body to make wings.
  6. Using the yellow crayon make antennae
  7. Add the glue for the eyes and add them.
  8. Let dry

Lyrics
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!


Bug Books

” The Very Grouchy Ladybug” by Eric Carle is more than a cute book about a crabby bug. The Lady bug is looking for a fight and each hour she finds a bigger and bigger animal to fight with until she is unintentionally slapped by a big whale’s tail! I loved using this book to teach telling time, as there is a picture of an analog clock on each page. I would use a play clock and as I read each page ask one child to come and set our classroom clock. Also don’t be put off by the fact that the lady bug tries to pick fights, no animal takes her up on her offer and you can spin that into a great lesson about not giving into people who are trying to pick fights.

“Beetle McGrady Eats Bugs” by Megan McDonald isn’t really about bugs at all, although they do play a supporting role, it’s about fear and over coming it. Beetle McGrady wants to be a pioneer, fearless and she sets out to prove that by eating an ant, but doesn’t quite reach her goal, at least not right away. I liked how Beetle was disappointed in herself and instead of continuing to sulk when an opportunity to try again arose , she took it.

” Two Bad Ants”
by Chris Van Allsburg is a very interesting story of two ants who decide not to return to the colony and hang out in a sugar bowl eating instead. Of course nothing is as it seems and they have quite an adventure trying to avoid all the dangers of a kitchen, realizing in the end that being a part of a colony isn’t so bad! This is a cute book for older preschoolers who will love trying to guess what each new adventure the ants face really are- they include a toaster, hot coffee and an electrical outlet.

Spaghetti Worm Painting

Worms are fun. We dig for real ones in the backyard, make them for lunch ( pasta ones) and even paint with them ( pasta ones again! ). I love this activity because it’s easy, different and with older children you can challenge them to paint specific shapes, or letters using only the pasta. It can also be used as an example of before and after, talk about the process of cooking and what happens to the pasta when it’s cooked.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some spaghetti, a pot, some paint , a plate and some paper.
  2. Cook your spaghetti. Let cool but don’t wait too long it will get too stiff to paint with.
  3. Add some paint to your plate .
  4. Dip your wiggly worm in
  5. Print onto your paper.
  6. Add more colors if you wish
  7. Let dry.

Song !

Dragonfly Craft

spring craft for kids

I made this ages ago, and with all the holiday crafts it has been bumped. It couldn’t wait any longer. I love , no adore how this turned out and wish I had a reason to make more! The stenciling will probably be very frustrating for toddlers and most preschoolers but my son loved playing with the finished product.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a few doilies, a marker, a piece of construction paper,a few pieces of white paper scissors, tape and a art dauber or a bingo dauber.
  2. Start by drawing 1 large and 1 smaller wing on your white paper.
  3. Layer a second piece under it and cut out.
  4. Lay your doily on the wing and stencil. Simply paint on it by going straight up and down, it’s pretty forgiving but you may want a few doilies on hand in case it gets soggy.
  5. Let wings dry.
  6. Draw a body and head on the construction paper.
  7. Paint
  8. Cut out and let dry.
  9. Tape the wings onto the unpainted side of the body and you are done.
Is your child too young for this project?
Try this ladybug project or maybe this fun butterfly one.

Snail Craft

This took a long time ( mostly drying) and I won’t lie, I did a good amount of this craft, I should have made the snail half the size for a toddler and cut the tissue paper much larger. It would be great for a 4-5 year old. I love the final result though especially the texture.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some heavy paper ( we are using a paper grocery bag), a marker( darker will be better), tissue paper of various colors, one sheet of plain white paper big enough for the snail, scissors, googly eyes, tape and a pipe cleaner.
  2. Start by drawing a snail and a snail head- don’t worry if it’s perfect it will all be covered anyway. * if you have a really little guy you could hand them some markers to color the snail , that would help fill in the gaps if they aren’t too enthusiastic about adding so many pieces of tissue paper.
  3. Cut the tissue paper into small pieces, another tip for younger ones, use bigger pieces. This was my mistake I made ours way too small and my son only put about 1/4 of the paper you see on.
  4. Add LOTS of glue
  5. Add your tissue paper
  6. Add some more glue
  7. Add more tissue paper. See why I should have made it smaller? Yeah the wee boy was off playing garbage trucks telling me ” I share project,mommy’s turn” like how he spun it ?
  8. Cover the snail head in just one color. Let dry.
  9. Cut the head out and add googly eyes. Let dry
  10. Cut the snail out following the marker lines if you can. It should spiral . Go back a second time and trim it all the way along so there is extra space.
  11. Glue the head on and let dry ( see snails pace… the end result is worth it, hang on!! )
  12. Add the pipe cleaner by poking tow small holes and threading one through.
  13. Tape the snail onto a plain white sheet of paper. I couldn’t wait for more glue to dry.

Books!

“Ace Lacewing: Bug Detective” by David Bierdrzycki is such a fun read, I started it thinking it would go over my son’s head but he sat listening the whole time. The mystery begins with a missing Queen be and will have you guessing who is behind her disappearanceas Ace tries to solve it. There was a lot of humor that was lost on my 2 year old but the fun Dick Tracy like illustrations kept him happy while I snickered at the jokes he missed. Very fun read for kids that aren’t yet ready for a chapter book but outgrowing pictures ones.” Bob and Otto” by Robert O. Bruel is a lovely story about 2 friends who must part ways , in this case because one is a caterpillar who needs to build a chrysalis and the other an earth worm who needs to dig deep into the ground. What I like about this book is that it goes on to explain that the earth worm’s digging is vital for the trees to grow so that the caterpillar can eat the leaves and turn into a butterfly. I like the lesson about how we all play a part!

“Jazz Fly” written and performed by Matthew Gollub is a fun idea, a book with a CD. The story is about a fly who plays drums in a jazz band, on his way to the gig he gets lost. Trying to find his way back he asks different animals for directions but they just make sounds at him. Later those sounds save jazz fly and his band! I liked the book and the music on the CD as well but my son had no interest which shocked me. I really thought he would like it, he loves Jazz . The monochromatic illustrations by Karen Hanke were cute but I think the lack of color while stylistically cool didn’t grab my son’s attention. The CD included got my son off the couch and dancing in the playroom until the author started narrating, at which point my son stopped playing air upright bass and asked to stop the CD. I’ll try this book again when he’s older.