15 Swamp Craft & Activity Ideas

swamp theme for daycare and preschoolCreepy, crawly and slimy are a few ways to describe these swamp craft and activity ideas for kids. You could also say fun, educational and engaging. Check out  these 15 swampy ideas!

Paper Plate Frog Craft
Swamp Sensory Tub
Shape Snake
A is for Alligator Letter Craft
Painting with Bugs
Walnut Shell Turtles
Band-aid Lightning Bugs
Paper Plate Tadpole
Doily Painted Dragonfly
Lily Pad Math
Painting with Snakes ( or worms)
S is for Snake Letter Craft
Paper Bag Frog
Venus Flytrap
Paper Plate Turtle

Coffee Filter Crafts – Snail Suncatchers

coffee filter snail suncatcher craft for kidsThe flowers are starting to bloom on our apple trees and bugs are everywhere so it’s the perfect time to make a few not so slimy versions of the bugs we see outside. I had planned for her to just make one snail but when I gave her the pile of construction paper she asked to make a whole family so we did.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some construction paper, coffee filters , markers, glue, double stick tape , googly eyes, some water and an eye dropper. If you want glitter  (she REALLY wanted glitter ) grab some glitter glue. We love these little tubes of glitter craftprojectideas.com sent us.Coffee Filter Snail Craft For Kids 1
  2. Start by coloring your coffee filters. While she colored we chatted about colors and the different marks she was making . Dots were her favorite. coffee filters coloring the coffee filters
  3. Add the water! coffee filter adding the waterShe started with the eye dropper but quickly asked if she could pour. If you are going to let your child pour you will want to have two small cups on hand so you can give them small amounts of water to pour and then refill.coffee filter watching the colors run
  4. Let the filters dry and go play outside or in my daughter’s case raid your brother’s closet and get dressed in his clothes.  If you need to speed up drying time use a hair dryer on low.
  5. Cut out the snail frames. Use a coffee filter as a guide for the center circle. Make sure it’s smaller than the coffee filter so you can tape it in.coffee filter snail craft
  6. Using double stick tape tape the coffee filters on the back.coffee filter snail
  7. Time to add eyes. I love the 3 eyed snail . I was shocked when she insisted on doing all the eyes. I was prepared to do most of them. coffee filter snails adding eyes
  8. Add glitter if you wish. One thing I can say about my little girl is she is determined and she was determined not to let me help after I showed her how to add the glitter. She eventually got it out ( this color was almost all used up… when they are full they are super easy to squeeze). coffee filter snail glitter
  9. While she did that I cut out easy antennas from the scrap paper and taped them on.
  10. A family of glittery snails !family of snails
  11. Add it to a window and see all the colors shine! snail sun catcher craft

 

Books About Bugs !

19 books about bugs

Check out our 19 favorite books about bugs. These aren’t just some good bug books, they are some of our all time favorites!

 

Big Caterpillar Craft For Kids

caterpillar craft for kids

For a few weeks now my daughter who is almost 2 has been ordering objects by size but instead of using terms like big, small or bigger, smaller she oders using ” Dada, Mama, Bubba, May-May” which is our family from biggest to smallest. While I think it’s awesome that she is I also see it as a signal she is ready to learn more about size. This is a basic cut and paste craft that incorporates a lesson about size. You could also use it for colors, shapes or more.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need multiple colors of construction paper ( We used 5- 1 full sheet and scrap for the circles), glue, a pipe cleaner, scissors , markers/ paint daubers and one googly eye.
  2. Start by having your child color/ paint the full sheet. I told my daughter that the caterpillar needed a home . I think she said something about a polka dot bed. I think.toddler craft
  3. While they create cut 4 different sized circles. Make sure they are obviously different in size if you have a really little one like me. We aren’t trying to trick them, just teach.
  4. Get the glue ready and help them decide which is the biggest circle. With older / more capable children you can simple say ” Glue them in order of size”.shape craft for kids
  5. Keep going. If they are overwhelmed by too many options clear all but two circles from the table. Say something like this ” The yellow circle is small and the blue circle is much bigger. Let’s find the bigger one.”
  6. Glue them on. While they glue or my daughter’s favorite part banging the circles on the glue use the time to do more labeling . My daughter latched on to the size terms easily so I was using this time to talk about colors , something she is still just starting to grasp.
  7. When all the circles are on grab a marker and add legs!
  8. Glue on an eye ( if you are worried about chocking hazards like the googly eye just draw it on).
  9. Add pipe cleaner antennae and voila!

Books About Caterpillars

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 Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle is a classic, that most preschool teachers like myself can recite from memory. It really is a fantastic book, not only does it explain the life cycle of a caterpillar/ butterfly it also is useful for lesson about day of the week and healthy eating! It was a childhood favorite of mine and if the fact that he fell asleep holding his ” Pillar” is any indication it is already one of my son’s favorites too!

The Caterpillar and the Polliwog by Jack Kent is a sentimental favorite. I remember being read this book in elementary school when learning about life cycles. It’s more than just about life cycles of butterflies and frogs, it’s about becoming comfortable with who you are. I remember thinking it was hilarious when the caterpillar tells the turtle that she will be changing into something else not just getting bigger and bigger and he replies with ” I don’t blame you.” It made me snort as an adult too. Good for preschool through the early elementary years and if like me you read it as a child there is of course the sentimental factor. I love sharing books from my childhood with my kids.

 

Baby Bumble Bee Craft

This craft can be adapted to almost any ability, as your child is able do less of the steps for them. Obviously my almost 11 month old had limited participation but letting her loose with the marker was the highlight of her day. She kept squealing so loudly I thought the neighbor’s dog would start howling. To say she was happy was a huge understatement and that is the point of activities with such young children, happy experiences, exploration and play. No need to turn it into a bee if you want to keep their masterpiece the way it is but let little ones explore ( with you in arms reach for safety).

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some yellow construction paper or card stock, some ribbon, black construction paper, scissors , pipe cleaner,  a black marker and painters tape.
  2. Start by taping down the yellow paper with painter’s tape. This is a must with toddlers.
  3. Hand the marker to your child. My daughter was sorta like… hmmmm what is this ? So my son jumped in to demonstrate.
  4. She got it all over her hands and started making prints, which works fine too!
  5. Next fold the colored paper in two. So it’s colored on both sides. Cut into the shape of a bee.
  6. Make a slit in the bee’s back.
  7. Make a rectangle of black paper and fan fold it.
  8. Using some of the extra black make a triangle for a stinger.
  9. Using double stick tape ( or glue) put the bee together with the stinger on the bum.
  10. Thread the fan folded paper through the slit. Trim if needed.
  11. Draw a face .I don’t use googly eyes with baby/toddler crafts usually but if you are doing this for older kids feel free.
  12. Poke a hole for the antenna and thread the pipe cleaner through, poke a hole and thread the ribbon through.
  13. Hang up!

Great Book About Bees

Buzz by Eileen Spinelli is a really sweet tale about a little bee who loves everything about being a bee, especially flying! When she finds out that bees should actually not be able to fly her confidence in herself and her favorite thing about being a bee is lost.  Luckily that is not where this adorable tale ends and your children will love it. My son came running into the kitchen where I was reading this to my daughter who screamed at me until I let her hold the book so she could touch the adorable little bee. * She is in the ripping books phase so when I read her books with paper pages ( vs board) I pop her in her booster.