Toddlers love bugs. I have often thought about what it is about bugs that interests children so much and I think it’s that they are so accessible. No matter where you live you live near some bugs. These bug activities were all done with at least one of my children when they were a toddler. For me that is from about 18 months until 3 , but these activities would be fun for older kids too. It’s easy to find books about bugs for toddlers as well and you can find some of my favorite in this book list about bugs.
My kids know that I will play along with pretend play. I will press imaginary elevator buttons, have conversations with imaginary friends, and fill a plate for them at the dinner table too. I love pretend play because by playing along I have been invited into my children’s world and have learned things about who they are and who they want to be. Their rich imaginations carry them through most of their pretend play but sometimes they decide they need some props or a costume. Then it’s time to hit up Mama for help. When your kids come to ask you to make them something I beg you to help only as much as they need you to. My goal is to support but not direct , to act as a scaffold not a blueprint. If a young child has a clear image of what they want and it’s far beyond their ability to make still try not to swoop in, instead remind them that anything is possible when you imagine it.
My daughter came to me begging to help make Ladybug wings costume. The first thing I asked her was how she thought we could make them. We looked around together to look for materials. I showed her some cardboard and she explained to me how we could make wings… so we did.
Gather your materials. You will need some tape, cardboard, a pair of good scissors, red paint, dark paint ( she chose a purple do a dot paint marker) , a paint brush or two, two rubber bands, and some pipe cleaners. We also used our drop cloth because it was too wet to do this outside.
Next attach some pipe cleaners 3/4 of the way up the bottom side of the wings. I curved them into circles and attached them with masking tape.
Add a rubber band and the end of the wing. This will go around the child’s wrist. Use tape to secure it.
All our book lists include affiliate links.
The 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.
Ladybug Girl Dresses Up! by Jacky Davis is one positive girl book that my daughter at 2 already adores. In this board book Lulu dresses up in a handful of different costumes including both “girl” ones and “boy” ones. She is equally happy in a princess dress as she is as a pirate. The one costume she loves above all the rest is her Ladybug Girl one, because as Ladybug Girl she can do anything. The message I want to send to my daughter more than any other, she can do anything even if she may have to work as hard as a superhero.
Dads are rad. We need to celebrate all they do for our families with some fun and funky Father’s Day gifts. These Father’s Day gifts go from simple and stereotypical to off beat and quirky. All can be made by kids with some ( sometimes a little sometimes a lot) of help from an adult.
Father’s Day Tie Cookies
Kid Art T-Shirts For Dad
Super Dad Medals
Toddler Made Book Mark
Coupon Book of Experiences With Dad from Carrots Are Orange
Smart Phone Picture Frame
Custom Cork Board
Write Dad An Action Figure Story
Mustache Match Puzzle
Bird Bath ( that kinda looks like The Stanley Cup)
Surprise Notes For Dad ( Printable) from Teachmama
Neck Tie Canvas Art
What are you making for the dads in your life this year ?
I hope you like butterflies as much as we do! This butterfly craft was inspired by our first monarch butterfly sighting ( or at least we think it was a monarch). When my daughter and I were digging through our craft cabinets for inspiration we saw the party streamers saved from Halloween and this is what we made. I wasn’t sure how it would turn out or if the streamers would stay in the clothes peg. We made these a week ago and they have stayed in place perfectly.
Gather your materials. You will need some wooden pegs like these from craftprojectideas.com , party streamers in orange, yellow, white, and black, markers, scissors, and pipe cleaners.
Next color your peg with markers. My daughter loved this and colored both of ours at the same time. We used smelly markers and in the split second that I was putting the camera back down she stuck both the markers up her nose. Can’t really blame her, they smell so good! Guess we will need to get new markers.
What I love about this butterfly craft is that there is no drying time. No paint and no glue means no wait needed to send it home or play with it!
Books About Butterflies
Extend or introduce this activity with a story or two about butterflies. All our book lists include affiliate links.
From Caterpillar to Butterfly by Deborah Heligiman is part of my favorite non fiction for kids series ” Let’s Read and Find Out Science”. I always grab these books at garage sales and thrift stores. In this edition you follow a classroom of students observing a caterpillar as it metamorphosis into a butterfly. A classic spring activity for preschool age children to discover and learn about life cycles. Also a perfect match for your own Insect Lore Live Butterfly Garden which I highly recommend and will be doing this year with my son. Reading non fiction with your preschoolers is important as it teaches them seamlessly that writing and reading is not just for stories but for information too.
Butterfly Butterfly: A Book of Colors by Petr Horaeck is such a wonderful book! I love the simple text and engaging story about a little girl who is trying to find the butterfly that she saw the day before. In her attempts she finds many other colorful bugs in her garden. At the end of the book is a beautiful pop up butterfly that will delight your little readers. I read this to a class of 2 and 3 year olds who were glued to every page and both my kids who are 3 and 7 loved it as well. Great book!
While you are reading this I am hopefully happily running a half marathon here in Washington State – I can’t wait to see all the awesome kids activities and crafts you link up after my race. I will be cozy in my sweats getting totally inspired by the amazing posts y’all share week after week.
Also DO NOT FORGET our Summer Reading Calendar starts today! Click the image for more info and follow us on Facebook for the daily mission and extra resources to help you fulfill the mission every day.
Have a great day and thanks again for sharing your ideas with No Time For Flash Cards readers.