Leopard Craft

I saw this awesome post using foam and a rolling pin on Dollar Store Crafts ages ago. I filed it away under things to do. When my son suggested we make a Leopard for “art project time”, it popped back into my head! We had so much fun , and found some great books at the library to go along with the theme!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a rolling pin, some sticky back foam, 2 pieces of construction paper, a marker, some brown paint, scissors, glue, black foam or paper, tape and some aluminum foil.
  2. Start by drawing an outline of a leopard. I drew a few before getting it right. Set aside.
  3. Cut spots out of your sticky back foam. Make them irregular.
  4. Next cover your rolling pin in aluminum foil. Tape the edge down.
  5. Peel off the backing and stick the foam onto your rolling pin.
  6. Brush your paint onto the foam pieces.
  7. Grab your leopard and roll!
  8. Add more paint and roll again.
  9. While your wee one is rolling, cut a nose out of black foam or paper.
  10. Cut the leopard out.
  11. Add glue to the leopard and add the eyes and nose.
  12. Glue onto the 2nd piece of paper and let dry.
Books!

“Lisa in the Jungle”by Anne Gutman made me giggle and my son really liked it to. It’s about Lisa who spent all summer at the pool instead of off on a wild vacation in the jungle. Lisa decides to ignore what she really did all summer and tell a tall tale to her classmates. It’s an endearing story because it’s told exactly the way a young child would tell such an outrageous story. My son loved the parts about stepping on sleeping crocodiles and feeding baby leopards.“Jungle Party” by Brian Wildsmith is a cautionary tale about a python and it’s tricky ways. In this book the jungle animals are tricked by a python into having a party with him, only to end up in his belly! Luckily a wise elephant is there to help and the animals get the last laugh. I liked this book although after about half way my wiggly 2 year old started loosing interest. I don’t think it’s the books fault, it’s just a little long for such a young audience. For slightly older kids this is a great book for making predictions about what will happen next.

“Deep In The Jungle” by Dan Yaccarino is a deceivingly deep book. While reading it to my son before nap today I was taken aback by how the Lion and the circus man in the book could be symbolic of so many historical and social things. However the surface story is about a Lion , the king of the jungle who is enticed out by a man who promises him a better life of fame in the big city. Soon the lion is in the circus, whipped, caged and with no power or fame. After eating the man and running back to the jungle he finds his subjects in cages as well. Although he was not a kind ruler before he saves his subjects from their captor. Seems all very heavy, but my son loved it. It is long and I was impressed he sat interested for the whole thing, he even said “Animals sad in cages!” proud moment for me!

Submarine Craft

submarine craft

This was a spur of the moment craft. We were going to make a lady bug but at the last minute my son said “I know! Ubb-marine.” So after I drew a few funny looking things I came up with this. Because it was last minute we only have one book today. If you have a great submarine book please leave the title in the comments for everyone to check out!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a piece of construction paper, some crayons, a marker, scissors, tape and tissue paper.
  2. Start by drawing a basic submarine.
  3. Hand it to your little sailor and have them color it to their hearts content!
  4. While they do that cut the tissue paper into small squares.
  5. Cut it out
  6. Fold in half and cut circles on the fold. I asked my son how many he wanted. Older kids can do this step independently.
  7. Flip over and add the tissue paper. Tape right over it all. I did this step, but handed my son some tape to tape some scrap paper and you’d think I gave him a huge bowl of ice cream he was so excited. So even though I was taping our project he was still participating.
  8. Pop it up in your window and let the sun shine through the portholes!

Book!

Super Submarines (Amazing Machines) by Tony Mitton and Ant Parker has been on my son’s dresser next to his bed for months. It gets read all the time. It’s the reason my son knows what a submarine is, and can say periscope. The text is fun and has great rhymes, the pages are filled with information presented in a fun way. I am in awe of the author and illustrator for being able to help me teach my 2 year old about sonar, propellers and submersibles! I admit I have learned a lot from this little book!

 

Snake Craft

My son has been laying on his belly and slithering here and there for days so I figured we should channel that energy and throw in a lesson as well. So this activity makes something for my son to push along the floor as well as reinforcing shapes. He was also so excited to use our new paint roller, it’s amazing how something as small as a new paint brush can make art time new again.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a paper grocery bag or large piece of paper, paint, a brush or roller, 2 googly eyes, some different color foam , a plate for paint, scissors and glue.
  2. Cut open the bag so it’s a one long piece and draw a snake. I taped it right to the table.
  3. Start by choosing your paint colors, I was itching for my son to pick something bright but he chose brown and orange- and I am so happy he did I think it looks great. Pour both colors into a plate.
  4. Start painting.
  5. While your child is painting ( or before you start if that works better for you) ask your child what shapes they want to put on the snake, or decide yourself if they are too young. Cut large pieces for little guys that are still mouthing things. We don’t want anyone to choke!
  6. Time to glue the pieces on! I put the glue on in dots all along the snake.
  7. Cover each glue dot with a shape. Older children should be doing a pattern !
  8. While they are adding the shapes, cut out a tongue from red foam.
  9. Add the eyes and tongue.
  10. Let dry and cut out!
Books!

” Hide and Snake” by Keith Baker is a fantastic book for a wide range of ages. The story follows a snake that hides in multi colored places. It is not too easy to find the snake , but easy enough that this won’t frustrate your child. With older children this book can open a dialog about camouflage and how snakes use it for protection and hunting. Younger children love books likes these because they can stay “busy” while you read the fun rhyming text.

“A Snake Is Totally Tail”by Judi Barrett is a great book for teaching about animals. It doesn’t go into great depth for each animal instead if focuses on the one most obvious attribute of them all. What I love is that for toddlers they are able to see that easily in the pictures as you read the story. It seems simple and sorta average at first but sit down with a child, read it and it’s simple genius is blatantly apparent!
“The Sea Serpent and Me” by Dashka Slater is a sweet dreamy book. A little girl finds a sea serpent in her bath tub and they become friends all the while knowing he belongs in the sea. She promises to take him back but they keep finding reasons to wait. When they do finally go and he returns to the sea you can’t help but get a little lump in your throat remembering all those times you have had to say goodbye even though you didn’t really want to. The illustrations by Catia Chien make the whole book feel like a dream.

 

Puffy Paint Moon Craft


space craft for kids

I used to do cloud paintings with this easy mix yourself puffy paint, but it struck me while reading one of the books below that it would make a great moon surface! It’s a perfect space craft for kids. The paint dries puffy and looks like the uneven surface of the moon. All of that though is secondary to how much fun my son had, I was planning on posting this next week but couldn’t wait!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some strong paper ( I am using craft paper but a cereal box or paper grocery bag would do), shaving cream, white glue, a marker and scissors. My son asked for crayons to color his moon first so I obliged.
  2. Start by drawing a “Big round moon” or any phase your child wants.
  3. If you want start by coloring it with crayons.
  4. Time to mix the paint. You will need 1/2 cup of glue and 1 1/2 cups of shaving cream.
  5. Mix !
  6. Now explore. My son kept saying “Goopy mama, goopy hands!”
  7. Spread and explore it more on the paper.
  8. Let dry- I let it dry for 4 hours and the thicker parts were still goopy in the middle. I’d let it dry overnight to make sure.
  9. Cut out your moon !
Books!

“The Moon Might Be Milk” by Lisa Shulman was the inspiration for our activity. The book follows a little girl and her animal friends as they all share their opinions of what the moon is made out of. While reading this today with my son he kept saying “No no not milk, shaving cream!” The story has a cute ending and I like how no opinion is made fun of or wrong. When I asked my son what he liked about the book “The cat”. There youhave it, a cute book about a moon but the cat stole the show.
“Night Goes By” by Kate Spohn is a book that explains how the sun goes down and the moon comes out and the cycle continues. The sun , moon and a star are all very cheery and enjoy their lots in life. The star and moon play all night! The book is simple and while I wasn’t too into it, my son really liked it. I would suggest it for toddlers and young preschoolers.


” The Moon” by Robert Louis Stevenson and illustrated by Tracy Campbell Pearson is a beautiful book. The poem was written in the 19th century but my two year old loved it paired with these stunning and warm illustrations of a family’s adventures at night. I really am so impressed with how well the words were put to life by the pictures, and my son loved it. It’s inspired me to find more classical literature and poetry to share with my son.


Moon Rock
Pick Up !

This is a fun fine motor activity that my son was all over. All you need are some mini marshmallows, a toothpick and 2 containers. Yes he ate many of the marshmallows but not all. He thought the toothpicks were very cool and when he was done transferring them we counted the “survivors”.

Necklace Craft

 mother's day craft for kidsWe had so much fun making this necklace, I really thought my son would lace a few shapes and proclaim he was done but he did every single one ! I helped him get the hang of lacing but in true 2 year old fashion he wanted no help after a few times. This can and should be made into a patterning lesson for children ready for that challenge.Fine motor skills , shape recognition and hand eye coordination all get a great workout while your little one makes something for someone special.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some foam sheets, scissors, a hole punch, and a large shoe lace. Shoe laces have a nice hard tip which makes lacing possible. Smaller shoe laces will work but the beads will pool at the bottom so don’t forget to tie a knot.
  2. Cut out different shapes from the foam. I asked my son which shapes he wanted and cut a handful of each.
  3. Time to punch holes. I did this but let my son explore with the hole punch and try before moving on to the next step. He was trying so hard I never got a still shot.
  4. Start lacing! With this over sized lace you don’t need a know at the end, but skinny laces will.
  5. Celebrate when they get a shape on, ask what shape and color it is.
  6. Tie a bow
  7. Wear it proudly moms!