Caterpillars Don’t Meow !

Classic Egg Carton Caterpillar
This is a classic craft but hopefully some of my tips will help you enjoy craft time a little more!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need an egg carton, some paint, a pipe cleaner, some sharp scissors, a paint brush and some markers.
  2. Start by painting the egg carton. My tip with this step is to leave the whole egg carton intact even though you will only need to use half of it. It makes it easier for little guys to paint, and you to hold or tape down for them.
  3. Add more colors of paint. My tip here is for parents to add the paint to the egg carton with really young preschoolers or toddlers. What I do is ask my son what color he wants, then put a small amount on and he brushes it.
  4. Let the paint dry.
  5. Cut the egg carton in two length wise .
  6. Poke 2 holes in the top of the first section.
  7. Thread your pipe cleaner through.
  8. Twist the ends however you want!
  9. Add some eyes and a mouth with markers if you have little guys, or use googley eyes with older ones.
Song!

The Little Caterpillar
( to the tune of The Itsy Bitsy Spider)

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!

*Sorry no video today, I am sick and I sounded worse than usual, and I don’t want to frighten your kids! I will try to upload one soon!

Books!

” Percival the Plain Little Caterpillar” by Helen Brawley is one of my son’s favorite books right now, due to the fact that there are shiny and shimmery pictures throughout! The story though leaves something to be desired, as the message seems to be that being plain is bad and the only fix for poor Percival is when he turns into a beautiful butterfly! When reading this to my class I would often interject with Questions to my students about what they thought was cool about Percival, and that combated the undesirable message that you have to be beautiful to be worthy.

” 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.


” The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle is the standard that neither of the previous books come close to meeting. This is a classic and a personal favorite of mine from Kindergarten! This book helps to teach days of the week, counting and even has a great message about healthy eating! While this book states that the caterpillar gets big and fat, it’s said as a statement not a judgement which is much more appropriate in my opinion. If you don’t have this book you need it!

B is for Bird !

Recycled Bird Feeder!

Some times nature needs a little bribe to come close, here is how to make that bribe!
  1. Gather your materials. You will need an empty Milk Carton, a bamboo skewer, dowel or chopstick , scissors, ribbon and birdseed. You can also paint the feeder with non toxic paint, but if you live in a wet climate like myself I would and did skip this step!
  2. Cut an opening in the milk carton. You will want it to start about an inch from the bottom.
  3. When that is done poke a hole under that for the dowel/chopstick and one on the opposite side of the carton.
  4. Poke the dowel through.
  5. Poke a hole in the top of the carton for the ribbon that will be used to hang the feeder. Thread the ribbon through and knot it, you can use twine or string too, I am just using what I had available.
  6. Fill with bird seed.
  7. Hang it outside and wait for the birds… I am still waiting but I am hoping we see some soon!

Feather Painting !

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some paint, a few feathers, a small plate and some paper .
  1. Spread a little paint on the plate.
  2. Dip your feather in and start painting. Toddlers are quick to discover how the feather with paint on it tastes!
  3. Add more colors of paint , and you will probably have to get a new feather after painting a while, they aren’t very sturdy!

Thrift Store Finds!

Three great books for $1.25 !

I love getting new books, and garage sales and thrift stores are great places to find books for next to nothing. Ebay can be a good source too but unless you are buying a big lot, or looking for a specific book I haven’t found it very cost effective.

” Eight Silly Monkeys” by Steve Hascamp uses the familiar children’s song as the story and has cut outs and small plastic monkey faces that count down with you. Books like this are great for toddlers, they like touching the raised faces, and they will absorb the large numbers and counting. Also the cute pictures of the hurt monkeys will probably get a few ” uh oh- no no no!” from toddlers who like to point out things they ( or monkeys) shouldn’t do!


” I Love You Stinky Face” by Lisa McCourt is a really cute book perfect for bedtime reading . The story follows a little boys questioning his mom if she would love him if he were a whole list of scary horrible monsters! Of course her answer is always yes but the author write in a way that isn’t saccharine and really captures a mom’s love for her son! The illustrations by Cyd Moore complete the dream like story , this book is definitely worth a look!


” How to Make an Apple Pie and see the world” by Marjorie Priceman cost be a total of 15 cents! It is worth so much more than that. This book is a gem! Perfect for older preschoolers who are getting a sense of the world beyond their own home and city, this book takes you on a ride around the world! You follow the little girl to Italy, France , Sri Lanka, England, Jamaica and back to Vermont! As soon as I read this my mind was racing with classroom activities ! I will be posting some soon. I LOVE this book, I just wish I had read it when I was still teaching it would have been so much fun to teach geography with!

Parent’s Corner: Product Review

Crayola Beginnings
Triangular Markers

I am always on the look out for new art supplies that are geared towards the preschool crowd.
These markers have the suggested age of 24m + right on the box but I know many if not all of us usually subtract a few months off those suggestions because we all know how brilliant and advanced our kids are . So I thought I would buy them and test them out with my 17 month old.


Here are our findings.

  • What I liked: I love that there is no cap, as a teacher I would have killed for these. I hated chasing after the caps to all my markers. I also liked how vibrant the colors were and that the felt tip doesn’t stick out much from the plastic casing, this is great with my son who recently bit the tip off a regular crayola marker !
  • What I didn’t like : The markers are designed for children who are starting to use the proper writing grip, so obviously this is still a ways off for my son and really I have seen plenty of 3 year olds not ready for that yet either. So that was frustrating for him and that resulted in throwing them and they made a fun sound on the wood floor, another negative in my mind!
  • What my son liked: He liked the colors, he exclaimed ” Oooooohhhh when he saw how bright the Orange and yellow were! He liked how the markers didn’t roll away from him when he put them down . He also liked biting on the plastic casing, and the fun sound the marker made when it hit mommy’s floor!
  • What my son didn’t like : It was harder for him to draw and hold with little hands and the tip is too far up to bite off and give mommy a heart attack ( mommy disagrees that this is a bad thing) . Also I forgot to add that the ends look very similar so he would try to color with the wrong end and again get frustrated.

** Obviously my son was too young for these but overall I was pretty impressed, I will pop them in my cupboard and pull them out in the fall! If there is a product you are wondering about or have a review for please contact me and I would be happy to include it in the next Parent’s Corner !

Under the Sea !

Paper Bag Octopus!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a paper bag, a magazine or newspaper, some paint, a brush and some tape.
  2. Start by painting your bag, open it up to paint all the sides. I like to use a few different colors to make a fun multicolored octopus!
  3. Paint the bottom of the bag last and let dry.
  4. Rip some pages out of a magazine and crumple them into balls.
  5. Stuff your bag and put a piece of tape tightly around the gathered bag.
  6. Cut the remaining bag into 8 tentacles. Add eyes by using a marker with younger children or googly eyes with older ones who are less likely to try and eat the googly eyes!
Song!

Oscar the Octopus


Oscar the Octopus has 8 legs
Oscar the Octopus has 8 legs
Oscar the Octopus has 8 legs
so swim Oscar swim!
Boom! Boom! Boom!
*Continue to 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0 legs
and end it with ” Oscar is a fish!” after zero legs.


Books!

” Commotion in the Ocean” by Giles Andreae is a fun look at the different creatures in the ocean. The short rhymes for each creatures are all in all cute and somewhat informative as well! The illustrations by David Wojtowycz are bright , endearing and I think they steal the show!

“Super Submarines” by Tony Mitton and Ant Parker rhymes along as it explains to the reader how a sub works, and all the ways we use submarines to explore deep down in the ocean!

” What it’s like to be a Fish?” by Wendy Pfeffer is a fantastic non fiction look at fish and how they move, eat and breath underwater! The text is too lengthy for toddlers and young preschoolers but older preschoolers will love it!