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.

Plastic Egg Crafts & Activities

recycled easter egg bugsRecycle your plastic eggs after the chocolate and jelly beans have been consumed and make something fun ! These crafts are fast and fun and let your kids create while they learn.

 

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some plastic eggs that have pre made holes in them ( most do) , some pipe cleaners, label stickers and markers.
  2. Start by drawing on your label stickers ( they are matte so you can color them and it will stick). I was shocked with how much my son liked this step, glad I added it in.
  3. Next stick them onto the egg.
  4. Use two labels to act as eyes and draw some eyes on them with a marker!
  5. Pick out a pipe cleaner or 2 if you are a toddler and like to always say “Two?” whenever anything is offered. Thread them through the holes.

Egg Blossoms!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some tissue paper, pipe cleaners, scissors and eggs.
  2. Cut your tissue paper into a flower shape. I used multiple layers for each egg.
  3. Break the egg into 2 pieces if it has a connector, and thread the bottom piece onto the pipe cleaner.
  4. Add the tissue paper by making a small hole int the middle and threading it on.
  5. Add the top piece. Thread your pipe cleaner through and then gently tug, some eggs have one hole only, in this case make a little knot and tug, if there are 2 holes simply thread it back in.
Polka Dot Discovery
I have done this activity for years and never once called the eggs Easter eggs, they were polka dots with surprises inside. Obviously if you celebrate Easter there is no reason to call them anything else but if you don’t celebrate Easter you can still jump on the polka dot bandwagon and use them to have fun learning.
  1. Gather your materials. You will need some plastic eggs that open with room to hide things inside, you can also use small gift boxes. Some paper, a marker, some scissors and basket or bag.
  2. The great thing about this activity is that it’s versatile. If you are learning about shapes you can pop shapes in the eggs, if you are doing letters you stuff them with letters etc… So this next step is where you decide what to stuff them with and using a marker and paper make the surprises.
  3. Stuff the eggs and either hide them for a hunt, or place them in a basket for your child to choose from.
  4. When you child finds the egg make sure to ask them what color the outside is, and encourage them to open it up and find what’s inside.
  5. If your child is a young toddlers you can simply put fun toys in and they will be kept busy finding them. Just opening the eggs are great fine motor skills practice!
  6. One last note if you have an older sibling who is working on sight words at grade school you can pop those in some eggs for them too!

 

Letter Of The Week ! C c !

Caterpillar C !

There are so many children’s books with caterpillars in them that they are very familiar to most young kids. I always aim to use something they immediately recognize so that I am reinforcing the letter’s sound .

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2 pieces of different color construction paper, paint, a marker,glue,pom poms, a pipe cleaner, googley eyes, and scissors.
  2. Draw a big C with your marker on one piece of construction paper.
  3. Have your child paint the C, we are using paint rollers, I try to give my son options when possible and he chose the paint rollers. You could use crayons or markers too!
  4. Add as many glue dots as you have pom poms, make sure there is a lot of glue, pom poms need a good amount to stay put. Also add two smaller globs of glue for the eyes.
  5. Add your pom poms! I held them and asked my son which color he wanted, then he put it on.
  6. Add the googley eyes. Let dry.
  7. Cut the C out ,add the pipe cleaner by poking two small holes and threading it through, glue the C onto the 2nd piece of construction paper.
Books !

” 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!


” 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.

More Fun !

For another fun bug activity head over to

for my weekly activity .Older Children will love it!