Sandpaper & Felt Shape Matching

sandpaper and felt texture puzzleThis was not a planned project at all.  My daughter and I were painting Easter eggs in the playroom when I saw all the materials for this all together in my closet and inspiration hit. This is a simple and quick shape matching activity but it also has elements of fine motor, sensory and the carrots give it just a touch of an Easter craft. You could do any shape to fit whatever theme you are learning about any time of year , another reason I think this is such a great activity.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some sandpaper, felt , yarn, crayons and scissors. sandpaper and felt carrots67
  2. Start by drawing your carrots with crayons. In my experience using marker on sandpaper is a bad idea. The sandpaper bits end up in the felt tip and the markers are never the same again. Crayons are much more forgiving and vibrant. sandpaper and felt puzzles for easter 2
  3. Cut your felt and yarn to size. Do not worry about an exact match. If exact means a lot to you reverse the order and use the felt shapes as a template and trace around them so they are exactly the same size. Either way your child will love it. sandpaper and felt texture puzzles
  4. Invite your little one to come explore the sandpaper. Talk a bit about the texture by asking questions and /or labeling what they are doing.sandpaper and felt carrots
  5. Time to match up the shapes.sandpaper and felt puzzles for toddlers Talk about how soft the felt is too if there is a natural chance to do it. If your child is engaged and not at all interested in exploring the textures don’t sweat it. Follow their lead .
  6. I had my daughter remove the shape after putting it down to see how “sticky” the sandpaper was. She was fascinated that her fingers didn’t stick but the felt did. sandpaper and felt puzzles for easter
  7. Add the yarn.sandpaper and felt fine motor skills This was tricky but it was supposed to be. Just remember to walk the line between challenging and frustrating. She matched up a few and that was enough – this is supposed to be fun not a test of fine motor skills. sand paper and felt puzzles

Books About Carrots

the carrot seed

The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss is a rare gem, it has been in print for over 60 years and has delighted generations . If you aren’t familiar with the story, a little boy plants a carrot seed and everyone tells him “It won’t come up.” this doesn’t stop the little boy from patiently taking care of this little seed, that eventually grows into a giant carrot. The message is a universal one of sticking to your guns even when everyone tells you you should give up. My son loved the story the simple pictures that will bring you back to your own childhood, at least they did for me. A true classic.

Coco The Carrot

Coco The Carrot by Steven Salerno is an absurd tale of adventure, and I loved it. Coco is a carrot who dreams of a life larger than the vegetable drawer . She dreams big and goes for it. Unlike most carrots that end up in stew she becomes a famous hat designer and is the toast of Paris with her Monkey companion Anton. If you are scratching your head but oddly intrigued you will like this book. It was long but my son sat with me giggling and telling me ” Carrots can’t do that?!” more than once. I loved it because it is so absurd that she is a carrot, but the story itself is about going for your dreams, hitting bumps in the road and realizing that your dreams shift and change and that’s OK.  There is great bits of humor for the adults as well, something I always appreciate!

carrot_soup

Carrot Soup by John Segal is a cute book about planting a garden, in this case carrots, tending it and then reaping the rewards…. or maybe not. Rabbit carefully planned out his garden, took care of it but when it was time to gather all the carrots they were all gone!  Throughout the pages there are hints to where the carrots might be, your child will likely figure it out before Rabbit does. My son liked this book and I loved reading it with him as he was rather exasperated that the Rabbit couldn’t figure out the mystery!

 

15 Easy Easter Egg Crafts For Kids

15 Easy Easter Egg Crafts For KidsEaster has kinda snuck up on me this year but I am proud to say my Christmas ornaments are finally put away. Well except that one roll of wrapping paper that was too tall for the container. After seeing Easter candy everywhere this week I thought I should share some of our favorite Easter egg crafts from years past.  These are easy crafts that are fun to make and all but one are dye free .  We will have a bunch of new Easter and other spring crafts on the way soon .

Marshmallow Easter Egg
Easter Egg Magnets
Easter Egg Yogurt Treats
E is for Easter Egg
Texture Egg
Yarn Easter Egg
Easter Egg Waffles
Tape Resist Easter Egg
Easter Egg Bugs
Easter Egg Letter Game
Easter Egg Sun Catcher
Polka Dot Dyed Eggs
Van Gogh Inspired Easter Eggs
Bubble Wrap Easter Eggs
Roll & Paint with Easter Eggs Dice Game

 

Still not enough? Check out 2 Dozen Egg Activities over on Kids Activities Blog  or 10 Easter Egg Decorating ideas on Red Ted Art and 26 New Ways to Decorate Easter Eggs on Hands On As We Grow.

Easy Easter Egg Craft

easter egg craft

We just got back from a nine day family vacation so I wanted to re-establish a routine quickly but gently. This Easter eggs craft was a perfect way to do that. It’s very process focused and I let the kids direct as much as they wanted. I had the paper cut out in eggs but also had extra as plain paper that they could make into any shape they wanted. This was quick for my son who was eager to play with new Lego sets (spoiled by a Great-Grandma) but my daughter explored for a long time after her brother was done. Expect a mess and enjoy!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some paper, bubble wrap ( the big ones works well), paint, a tray or plate for paint, brushes ( love ours from craftprojectideas.com) , some painter’s tape , scissors and if you want to display it a few sheets of construction paper and glue.
  2. Start by cutting out some paper eggs. I made sure to have plain paper on hand too but my kids just made a few eggs each.bubble wrap easter eggs
  3. Next attach the bubble wrap to the table. My daughter loved popping the wrap which is great for fine motor development.
  4. Dish out the paint. I have been teaching my son about colors and how adding white changes the tint so we did that. Adjust this step to your child. My daughter hated mixing and when we helped her with the first she started crying . My son mixed all hers for her after and showed her how he mixed his and then she was fine but I will find a new way of approaching this with her next time.
  5. Mix.
  6. Paint the bubble wrap. My daughter wasn’t sure at first so I sat down and painted with my son, soon she was asking for the brush too.
  7. My son painted with his brush but my daughter and I took turns, she often used her hands. Then wanted them wiped off, then … well it was a long back and forth but that’s ok.
  8. Print the paper on. She insisted on printing one in the same spot as her brother.
  9. Voila !
  10. Glue to construction paper and you have a super easy Easter craft for all ages.

Easter Egg Books

All of our book lists include affiliate links.

Ollie’s Easter Eggs (a Gossie & Friends book) by Olivier Durea is a cute book about friends working hard to dye their Easter eggs, well all but one Ollie who is playing and looking incredibly adorable in bunny ears while the others work hard.  However Ollie may have missed out on dyeing the eggs but he makes up for it by masterminding a true egg hunt!  My 4 year old son loved this book and how sneaky Ollie was as he snatched the hidden dyed eggs and re hid them! Cute addition to this popular series.

Where Are Baby’s Easter Eggs? by Karen Katz is a great way of having an Easter egg hunt while reading a story. If you aren’t familiar with the ” Where are  Baby’s …” series of life the flap books, they are simple books where the reader searches for an item finding other things first before finally finding the title object, in this case Easter eggs. My daughter loves these books and plays with them even when we aren’t reading them together. I love the bright illustrations and the simple holiday theme.

Easter books

The Best Easter Eggs Ever! by Jerry Smath .The story follows the Easter bunny and his 3 young assistant bunnies as they prepare for their big day. The Easter Bunny is getting tired and a little bored of his polka dot design for the eggs and decides to send out his assistants in search of new designs. The little bunnies head out with one egg and paints to all different places to find inspiration. When one of the little bunnies is captivated by the night sky she doesn’t notice how dark it is and how lost she has gotten. The Easter Bunny and his other assistants find her and in the morning the new designs are celebrated. My son loves an inside look at any sort of secret place like  the Easter Bunny’s or Santa’s workshop so he was drawn into this book immediately. I liked the illustrations and how detailed they were , it certainly got me excited about Easter.

Books About Bunnies

Something any classroom teacher will tell you is that kids ( I am talking the little ones 2-5 especially) will talk and role play about holidays for what seems like months after the fact. It’s not just your 3 year old who is still talking about trick or treating at Easter , most kids play and replay holidays a long time after the adults around are done with them. So for all of you who are set to hide eggs this weekend and for those of you who do not celebrate Easter here are some great plain old bunny books for you to enjoy.

A Boy and His Bunny by Sean Bryan is magical. It’s absurd and playful and struck a chord with the goofiness that we are often partaking in at our house these days. The text is filled with dry humor  but even if your child is too young to grab it’s subtlety they will still love how silly it is that this boy has a bunny on his head! The best part is the end and I don’t want to give it away but I will say a bunny isn’t the worst thing you can have on your head.

Ben’s Bunny Trouble by Daniel Wakeman is free of text but easily qualifies as an epic story.  No young adventurer would be board by this book about Ben who is searching for the right planet for his bunnies. This is a great “quiet time”or ” independent reading ” book for kids who aren’t yet readers since the pages are filled with comic book like illustrations by Dirk Van Stratlen with amazing detail. This is one of those books that each time you open it you notice something new. It is however way too long for most toddlers in it’s entirety , though still fun to hunt and peck a page here or there.

Bunnies on the Go: Getting from Place to Place by Rick Walton is awesome … with one little detail that drives me bananas. Ok so the book is great , I loved the traveling theme and the text that had a page turning rhyme that revealed the next mode of transportation that the bunnies would be taking.  See if you can read it before your little detectives yell it out!  After a time or two you will loose with every turn of the page.  That little detail I didn’t like was the bunnies riding in the bed of a pick up truck. Yes the author said it was dangerous but I just wish it wasn’t in the book at all. I still read it and yes I think it ended up being a teachable opportunity but it left me wondering what the author was thinking besides looking for a rhyme. Anyway check this one out for yourself , the great way outweighs the bad and I imagine we will be renewing this one for a few weeks!

A Bunny is Funny by Harriet Ziefert and Fred Ehrlich is a good book but not really funny like the cover claimed, perhaps quirky.  It is still a wonderful book and not so much about bunnies, instead it about a lot of animals and the odd details about them that make them “funny”.  The illustrations are bold and the rhyming text is natural and written in a way that will keep a wide range of ages interested in this quirky look at familiar animals that we nonchalantly accept despite their unusual features.

Easter Relief Painting

I love Easter crafts and we usually make a ton for weeks before the holiday but this is our first Easter activity this year.  We were both so excited with how easy it was to make and how beautiful it turned out to be .  All week I will have even more Easter egg crafts over on FamilyEducation.com .

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a canvas ( the tape pulls off it like a dream! ), a roller sponge brush, painters tape, scissors, a plate, and paint.
  2. Start by making a frame in tape. Press hard.
  3. Now make the outline of the egg.  I did these steps, elementary aged kids should be encouraged to try though.
  4. Invite your child to come add the flair! Rip small pieces of painters tape and press them onto the canvas inside the egg.
  5. The ripping is fun and great for fine motor skills.
  6. When they have added all the tape pour some paint on the plate and roll!
  7. Add new colors as the mood strikes!
  8. Get the edges too.
  9. Set aside to dry. 
  10. When dry pull the tape off.