Caterpillar Craft For Kids

easy caterpillar craft for kids We’ve been doing a lot of home renovations and have a lot of remnants of them around. We decided to use one of these paint stir sticks that always seem to arrive with new cans of paint even though we say we don’t need them. Instead of letting this stir stick go to waste we turned it into a caterpillar craft. You don’t need to sneak into Home Depot to get a stick  if you don’t have one laying around, you can use old rulers or even just a piece of cardboard cut in a strip.

Gather your materials. You will need a paint stir stick, pom poms, glue, googly eyes, a pipe cleaner and paint. We used paint daubers because they dry so quickly and we didn’t want to take a break in our art time. You may also want some scrap paper under the stick to keep the paint from getting on your table. My daughter helped me set up the shot.

pom pom caterpillar craft

Start by painting. She loved this and I just sat back while she worked on her hand eye coordination with this step.cateroillar craft for kids

Grab the glue! The glue will probably pick up some of the paint color but it won’t wreck the craft.caterpillar craft fine motor skills

Add on the eyes. caterpillar add the eyes If your child adds the eyes in the middle of the stick resist the urge to peel them off. Let them create, crafts are wonderful opportunities to create while working on so many other skills and there is NO need for perfect little facsimiles. One tip is to provide materials but no example. When you show kids what you are making they will likely duplicate it but if you give them materials to create it remains less structured , the more options for materials the more open it becomes. I usually ask my daughter what she wants to make and have her help me choose what we use, which is why so much of it is pink.

More glue! caterpillar craft more glue yay

Add the pom poms!caterpillar craft for kids with paint sticks

Add on the antennae too! caterpilar craft for kids

 

As soon as this was dry my wee girl popped it on her bedside table so it can watch her sleep. I think it may a bit like a dream catcher, watching over her at night. When she attaches so deeply to something she created I can’t help but smile. Excuse the iPhone photo but after so many years with terrible sleeper I had to sneak in and get a shot in the pitch black! Thank you Instagram for your magical filters.

sleeping with her caterpillar craft

Caterpillar Books For Kids

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bob and otto book

Bob and Otto by Robert O. Bruel is a lovely story about two 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.  The message being that everyone has an important job to do even if they aren’t the same.

 

very hungry caterpillar

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. The simple cut outs in the illustrations where the caterpillar ate through different foods is just the right amount of novelty to grab kids attention for this simple story. It was a childhood favorite of mine and both my children have loved it as much as I do.

caterpillar and polliwog

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.

4th Of July Crafts – Spin Painted Noisemaker

4th of july craft for kids It’s time to get out all the red, white, and blue paint for 4th of July crafts! This craft can easily be adapted to any color so even if you aren’t celebrating Independence day you can make a fun noise maker for your music basket. My daughter absolutely adored making this and even though she created a product the focus of the activity was largely on the process. She experimented with the colors, experimented with where we placed the paint and the direction we spun the salad spinner. Crafts can be about more than the finished product, it’s all in how you do it!

Gather your materials. You will need two small paper plates, some red, blue, and gold paint. We used gold but any glittery pain would work well. You will also need a salad spinner, stapler, and some dry pasta or anything else you want to pop inside. I like bigger pasta because it’s less likely to sneak through the plates and spill. fourth of july spin painting

Start by putting your plate in the spinner and adding paint. You can do all the colors at once or one at a time. Have fun with this and experiment! 4th of july craft spin painted noise makers for kids

Close the lid. Make sure it’s on tight. And spin.  My daughter and I took turns spinning. 4th of july spin painting

Open and be amazed and if you want keep adding more paint to see what you get! 4th of July spin painted craftWe must have done the first plate 8 times. She was in heaven and I was loving how she adjusted where and how much paint she added each time. I could see the gears shifting. spin painted noisemaker craft for 4th of july

When they feel like their design is just right let it dry and grab the second plate. Repeat the process. The novelty had not worn out one bit with the second plate. We did this one five or six times too. This photo is a totally gratuitous one , I just thought it was cute. spinner craft 4th of july

After they are totally dry ( ours took about 12 hours they were so layered with paint)4th of july spin painted tambourine craft add the pasta. 4th of july craft for toddlers

Pop the top on and staple. I stapled it in three places to get a start and then my daughter did the rest. Now you are ready to make noise at the 4th of July parade! 4th of july craft for kids noisemaker

 

 

 

 

4th of july books

Check out our patriotic 4th of July books for kids here!

 

 

Easy Paper Plate Craft – Butterfly

paper plate butterfly craft We love simple crafts that can be set up and made using only a few materials and done in those little snippets of time that busy families have. Yesterday we hit the gym, the grocery store, the beach , and two school conferences. It was a busy day to say the least but when my daughter and I were briefly in the playroom I noticed she’d covered a book in gems and asked her if she wanted to make a craft with them. We didn’t have time to make this complicated and I think it turned out perfectly simple. I started making one after I cut two plates by accident but she ended up finishing mine too! This easy paper plate craft is great for fine motor development ( picking up and placing all those little pieces) too.

Gather your materials. You will need a paper plate, pipe cleaner, glue, scissors, and some fun collage material like gems, buttons, sequins…. whatever you have on hand. butterfly craft

Start by cutting two triangles out of the plate. paper plate craft butterfly

Add glue. Much like her brother at this age adding glue is rather dramatic at times. paper plate butterflies craft for kids

Add on the gems and buttons. fine motor paper plate butterflyShe had to spill them all over the table so she could find the “most amazing ones.” Seems logical!jewel butterfly craft

Let dry enough so that the gems don’t fall off. Add the pipe cleaner. She finished mine while hers was drying so you can see tons of glue on mine. paper plate butterfly with jewels

 

Marshmallow Easter Bunny Craft

easy easter craft for kids I love making things with mini marshmallows. We have made all sorts of things with marshmallows over the years but never an Easter bunny craft with mini marshmallows. It was time to grab a bag of mini marshmallows and have some fun. When I post these crafts I often get many comments and emails asking how I can stop my kids from eating all the marshmallows and keep crafting. It’s simple really. I have used the same method for years and in incorporates some math into the craft as well. I will give them a number of mini marshmallows to add and after they do they can have 3 to eat. Then I give them another usually larger number and so on until they are done. So yes there is some eating but no more than a handful go in their mouth … I am pretty sure I eat more than they do. I LOVE marshmallows!

Gather your materials. You will need some mini marshmallows, white glue, googly eyes, some yarn, pencil, some construction paper and pom poms.marshmallow bunny craft for kids

Start by making a template for the outline. I used a piece of scrap paper that had drawing on the other side.

Then trace the bunny. My son did this solo and I gave my daughter a bit of a hand.bunny marshmallow craft for kids

Add the glue.marshmallow easter craft for kids

Next start adding the marshmallows. marshmallow easter bunny craft for preschoolSeeing how my two very different children attacked this task was fascinating. My three year old was methodical carefully placing the marshmallows on end. marshmallow crafts for easterWhile my seven year old was putting them on as fast as he could to eat more marshmallows.  Counting is natural even if you don’t use the same add then eat method I explained above.eating marshmallows from the craft

Add glue for the features.marshmallow bunny whiskers

Add the eyes, the yarn whiskers, and pom pom nose.fine motor marshmallow easter craft

Long after he was done my little girls was carefully adding the marshmallows. marshmallow easter bunny craft for kids and preschoolersWe sat down and counted together when she was all done. Her’s had 73 total!

bunny craft for kids

Books About Bunnies

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white-rabbits-color-book-alan-baker

White Rabbit’s Color Book by Alan Baker is a classic in my mind and if you have never read it you must. It’s not a complicated story, instead it’s a brilliant book and lesson about color mixing . The cover illustration of the bunny in the paint always makes me think of dying Easter eggs which is another great opportunity to teach about color mixing. Kids love this book and adults reading it will enjoy the fun and dynamic language used to describe the vibrant colors that the bunny plunges into.

A Very Big Bunny

A Very Big Bunny by Marisabina Russo is a nice book about two bunnies that don’t fit in at school.  This book opened a good dialogue between my son and I as we were reading about how both the tallest and the shortest bunny in the class got picked on.  The students in their class were mean but not purposefully bullying, they excluded these bunnies because they simply didn’t fit. The part that hit me the most was when the teacher lined the kids up by height, and Amelia the tall bunny was always last. It just made me think of how adults so often single kids out without trying to be terrible, but really hurting them. All that aside, the book itself comes to a nice conclusion and I think it’s worth grabbing for any child tall or short or in between.

wee little bunny

Wee Little Bunny by Lauren Thompson is such a sweet little book that just oozes spring! Readers get to follow along with the wee little bunny as it frolics around with other animals and plays the day away. After a long day the bunny returns to it’s happy place to snuggle with it’s mama. Toddlers will connect with the bunny and this sweet little story. The illustrations by John Butler will make you want to reach into the pictures and try to pet the bunny’s soft fur, they are that vibrant!

Crafts & Activities For Kids { Add Yours! }

kids activitiesIt’s the weekend, time for us all to check out what all the awesome kid blogs were up to this week. It’s so easy to do with Link & Learn. Just scroll down and see all the great activities for kids.

If you are a blogger you can leave a link or two to your favorite posts from this past week and see what other bloggers have been sharing by visiting a few too.  If you have never linked up before please don’t be shy. We don’t bite and this is by no means an exclusive linky. All blogs that have posts that will benefit children and families can join in!

What are you waiting for? Link up!