We have started spotting butterflies in our yard when we are outside playing and I am so happy that my son still stops what he is doing to watch them flutter by. This is a classic kids craft but by using the colored glue we made and glitter it’s a little special even for a jaded crafter like my son . I like how the colored glue can be seen through the wings and in the window it looks like a sun catcher. My kids had a ball and I think it was a great reminder that classic crafts are classic for a reason.
- Gather your materials. You will need some coffee filters, some colored glue, glitter and pipe cleaners. My kids love the sparkly ones from craftprojectideas.com . Also when we are doing glitter I like to shake it into a bow lid, or other container to keep it a little contained.
- Start by drizzling the glue all over the coffee filter. While my daughter did this my son was playing nearby.
- She loved squeezing the glue and we took the opportunity to talk about colors too.
- Add the glitter! She was tame compared to her brother …. you’ll see what I mean in a bit.
- She was happy with one so I invited my son who wasn’t ready yet. So we played for a while then started the craft. This worked well because I got my daughter engaged so she was happily playing alone when my son decided he was ready. He wanted to make a monarch butterfly because they migrate. OK. So he was trying to mix the red and yellow paint to make orange.
- And guess who decided she wanted to make another. I only had one box and my son was using it so I gave my daughter about 5 layers of coffee fliter so the colored glue didn’t seep through to the unprotected table. It worked well.
- Then he added glitter.
- And he went bananas. He made up a silly song about glitter and had us all giggling. Yes it was a mess but it was funny and silly and happy and I am a total sucker for funny.
- We let them dry over night ( on way paper so the glue that ran through the filters wouldn’t stain anything). Did you really think I’d have a post without at least one of my kids in PJs?
- Then wound the pipe cleaners around them.
- Put them in the window .
I still have glitter to clean up – my son helped but I think he just spread it. The library may get a few books returned that shine figuratively and literally.
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.
We are digging murals lately so when my daughter refused her nap for the third day in a row instead of breaking down and crying like I wanted to I grabbed some paper and we made something. This mural like our alphabet wall mural isn’t finished in one sitting, in fact I leave things to add to it out until it’s removed weeks later. I love having on going art projects that grow and change over the course of a few weeks. There is no wrong way to do this just choose materials you have, that are safe for whatever age or stage of development your kids are at and have fun!
- Gather your materials. You will need a large piece of paper for the wall, I love craft paper but the underside of extra wrapping paper will do too. We also used painter’s tape, glue sticks ( avoid with kids who may put them in their mouths, those suckers are choking hazards) , scrap paper , pom poms, double stick tape… these are just what we used you can add in whatever you can, just try to mix a few materials together. I love handing my kids something new and saying ” How could we use these for this project?” and watching the wheels turn.
- Put the paper up. Grab some construction paper and start ripping . I just sat by the mural while my kids were playing with their usual favorites in the playroom ( Duplo and board books) soon enough they came by to see what I was doing.
- The plan turned into a garden so we added the stems first and the kids went straight for the glue sticks. Oh and yes I ripped the stems at my son’s request, he had a hard time ripping them in long strips. I want to make sure parents know there is no issue with helping your kids create. I get emails asking ” Do you ever help?” at their request of course! I try not to do anything my kids can do on their own but if they get frustrated and ask for some help of course I will. Projects aren’t tests to see what they can do it’s time to work as a team, especially ones like this that is meant to be collaborative. They had fun adding the paper.
- My daughter stuck to one side of the mural. We aren’t sure of her creative vision – but both my son and I thought that her collage looked like a butterfly!
- I was giddy when I heard my son call me back over ( I’d gone to the book nook to read with my daughter) to see how he discovered he could glue ends of paper down but make the middle pop out at you. In true 5 year old boy fashion these were named ” Missile attack flowers” .
- This is how it looked for days ( you can even see it in the background of a few previous posts) A few days later when we were in the playroom and they were busy playing I grabbed the double stick tape and pom poms and set them out. Soon I had two kids creating once a again.
I think when we return from our holiday we’ll get another material out and see how it fits with the paper and pom poms. What do you think we should add next?
Books About Flowers
Planting a Rainbow by Lois Elhert is a wonderful book to use for teaching about flowers and colors. The illustrations are bold and bright, perfect for little curious minds. I have always liked this book because you can sit down and dive into it reading each flowers name on every page , or browse it more casually with a younger child simply noting the colors.
Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes is a lovely book about having confidence, loosing confidence and regaining it in the end. Chrysanthemum is a little mouse who loves her name until she goes to school and is picked on for it being out of the ordinary. Who can’t relate to this? I know I can . Thankfully my son has yet to experience this all too common, but still so heartbreaking experience . I love that I have a book like this to share with him and open up about it before it happens. Ultimately Chrysanthemum learns to love her name again and regains the confidence she once had. Another fantastic book from a consistently wonderful author.
Zinnia’s Flower Garden by Monica Wellington is really useful not just about teaching about flowers and gardens, but also about patience and the annual cycle of a garden. Zinnia plants and waits, waters, enjoys her flowers, then they die, she collects the seeds and plans her garden for next year. I love that the main story is perfect for my almost 3 year old but there is much more for older children with longer attention spans. There is a little journal with notes about what’s happening with her garden, and various facts about plants as well. Like in so many of her books the author celebrates hard work and her characters take great pride in what they do. A fantastic message for readers, big and little. I also love the mix of illustration and photographs in this book especially, it gives the illustrations depth and a really interesting look.
This craft was spur of the moment, I was sitting looking out at my backyard and decided to replicate our little cherry tree. While my son played with play dough I made this. He stopped playing and I offered him the option to make one but he just wanted to watch. I love how the Q-tips made perfect little buds and how rich the colors are. Young kids could easily do this if you made the tree for them , and older ones would have no problem doing the whole project independently.
- Gather your materials. You will need some white paper, a brown marker , water colors, a tiny bit of water in a dish..or perhaps an old sippy cup that happens to be on the table….and q-tips.
- Start by drawing the outline of a bare tree.
- Dip your q-tip in the water and then get it nice and covered in paint.
- Dab it on.
- Add more colors.
- Paint the bark if you want.
- Let dry.
I don’t often do chapter book reviews but this book is so good I recently re read it for fun ! So many great messages and with spring break coming up I thought I’d give a nod to an older book in hopes that some of you with older kids ( girls especially) would grab this for them.
Gaia Girls Enter the Earth by Lee Wells . I couldn’t be more excited to share a book with my older readers. The story follows Elizabeth as she spends her summer on her parents small organic farm, learning that not all farming is as responsible as her family’s. But that’s not all Elizabeth meets someone magical and discovers she has a special power that can help her fight against the factory farms moving into her area. I love the magical aspect of this book, the author manages to make it work in a very down to earth way and it sucks the reader in. The strong environmental call to action in the book is wonderful, not only are the issues like factory farming explained but solutions and alternatives are as well. The girl power undertones are well done too, Elizabeth’s power isn’t exerted irresponsibly and she is conscientious about how to use it. I wish more books were this good.
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If you are preparing for St.Patrick’s Day or just urging spring and all the green that comes with it to hurry up and come this sensory tub activity is a must. So fun, so earthy and a huge huge mess. Seriously skip the mung beans, they roll when you sweep. If you haven’t tried scooping activities with your child do, they love this and a little tub like this can lead to wonderful pretend play, basic understanding of measurement and is just plain fun!
- Gather your materials. You will need some split peas, yellow lentils, mung beans ( if you dare… or have a drop cloth down), the green rice is called bamboo rice, some fun gold coins if you are doing a St.Patrick’s Day theme, and tools to scoop and pour.
- Pour your lentils, peas and rice into your tub.
- Add the gold coins and tools.
- Invite your child to play.
- Let them go. Find the gold, count them, hide them again, and just explore.
- This spill was much much larger than I managed to capture on camera. Accidents are forgiven but pouring on the floor is not . He gets one warning then the tub goes up until later in the day when we try again. Still it’s well worth it and still fun a few hours later too!
Looking for more Sensory play ideas?
This is such a simple activity that kids of all ages can enjoy, perfect for the weekend when your family is together all day. Cookie cutter painting is a fun way to make recognizable shapes without too much structure. My son loved doing this and I thought it was the perfect,simple way to end a great Spring Fling Week here at No Time For Flash Cards. Thanks for celebrating the changing of the seasons with us!